As some of you may recall, Sampson and I attended the same high school. This year marked a full decade since his graduation (he’s one class my senior), which can mean only one thing: the people who were student government types back then had an excuse to relive their glory days and plan Prom, the Sequel.
Actually, it was a weekend’s worth of events that culminated in a formal gathering. We opted not to attend the gala event, citing the fact that with as many “mandatory fun” military balls as we’re obliged to attend, there was no way we were going to fork over a cool $180 for the dubious privilege of spending an evening awkwardly grasping for topics of conversation once we’ve exchanged our two-minute spiels about what we do for a living.
We did go to the bar night the day before, and it was good to see people we hadn’t clapped eyes on in ages. I very much enjoyed catching up with an old acquaintance who has also taken up knitting in the years since high school. She was wearing a charming cabled cardigan and a really neat felted fair isle hat that she’d made, and we conversed quite cheerfully about yarn and assorted fiber-crafty things.
There were other folks we enjoyed seeing, but there were also awkward encounters where people I had known in high school told me, “It’s nice to meet you.” Um, hi. We’ve met. Apparently I was invisible for the three years our high school tenure overlapped. (Realistically, I’m pretty sure we can chalk this up to the fact that most people don’t expect high school sweethearts to wind up married to each other, so they assumed that they must never have met the spouse before. It was still a trifle deflating.)
The next day was Alumni Day at the actual school building, open to all alumni rather than just the Class of 2001 and spouses. We caught up with a few more people from other classes, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I truly do have good memories of my high school experience, but being back in the building — this place that was once my own — failed to bear me up on giddy clouds of nostalgia, or whatever it is reunions are supposed to do.
It is probably telling that the best conversation we had on Alumni Day was with an alumnus who graduated one year ahead of Sampson and is now an Army officer. After a weekend’s worth of Sampson trying to explain his job to very smart people who are staggeringly ignorant about the military (“You’re a pilot? So you’re in the Air Force, right?” “Did your wife come with you on your deployment?”), it was refreshing to talk with one of “our people.” He may not have been an expert on the Navy, and we’re certainly not well-versed in Army particulars, but we had the foundation for a meaningful conversation. Sadly, it is not hard to see why we in the military community tend toward insularity.
Long story short, there was a reunion, and it was awkward at times. To end on a positive note, though, I must say that I loved that no one assumed we must have children or that the conversation should revolve around wee ones. In the military bubble, we are definitely the odd ones out for not having a couple of kids already, so it was an interesting change to find ourselves in a group where almost everyone has held off on procreating.
4 thoughts on “Why We Skipped “Prom 2, Electric Boogaloo””
You are brave for attending any sort of high school reunion – I couldn’t give a flying leaf’s thought to going to mine. But that being said, I came from a school where 30% of my class dropped out just Sr. year. Yup…winners. Then people had random kids with random people and are now trudging their way through Hometown Living.
Mine is next year and I doubt I’ll go. High school was a fantasy for most who thought they could live the dream afterwards….then they get stuck there. And now they’re dental technicians or really bad beauty students.
My Baby Sister is 21 and she’s noticing how her former class how most have kids now and zero education. It’s the suckfest ideal of a small town in Oregon without a lot of reach to larger cities for higher goals and ideals.
Oh, and I can’t butt-pucker more. $180….are you kidding me??!?! We’re complaining about $35 tickets for our Command Holiday party. 🙂
Wow, that would be a very different crowd. We went to the “smart kid” school, and everyone went to college. In fact, Sampson and I are the slackers because we only have our bachelor’s degrees; the statistics for his class showed an average of 1.8 degrees per person. I feel woefully inadequate for my lack of Ph.D.
In a room full of doctors, lawyers, and software developers, though, I will say that Sampson’s “Oh, I fly for the Navy and land on aircraft carriers for a living” spiel had a bit of a wow factor.
That was pretty much my reaction to the ticket price! That $180 would have been the total, not per person, but it was still ridiculous. We’re grumbling about our command party’s tickets, too; we’ve got to go be the token Jews that make it a “holiday party” rather than a “Christmas party.” 😉
I missed my ten year reunion, and I’m a little bummed about it. It’s not that I particularly care for many of the people in my graduating class- I think I just wanted to hear for myself that the cool kids who were condescending to everyone else flunked out of college and are going nowhere in life. Call me a biatch, but I would have LOVED to have been there for that.
Couldn’t possibly justify spending $180 on a fancy dinner surrounded by those condescending a$$-wipes, though…
Ha! I think there’s a part in all of us that wants to see jerks from our past get their comeuppance. Oh well, we can congratulate ourselves on our maturity for not wasting cold, hard cash on the opportunity. 😉