Unbreakable's Pearls of Wisdom...

...and Foolish Mutterings


Down the rabbit hole, Texas,
December 06


MAY 19, 2011 5:54PM

It's Been HOW Long?

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Although I am loathe to admit this, my 35th high school reunion is rapidly approaching. Did you catch that number? My THIRTY-FIFTH. I know that’s hard for most of you to believe, given my youthful appearance (HEY! No snickering! This is my blog and I can say what I want to) and my great zest for living (smirk. Okay, my great zest for living on most days.) Alas, ‘tis true. Thirty five years ago, I donned a white graduation robe and secured a red mortar board to my hair with bobby pins and readied myself to walk across that stage to receive my high school diploma, praying silently all the way, don’t let me fall down, don’t let me fall down, don’t let me fall down. (I stayed upright. Yay.)

And now, here I sit, thirty-five years and a whole lifetime later, wondering how the years have treated my fellow graduates. I wonder if I will recognize any of them, and if they, in turn, will recognize me. That’s what name tags are for, right? Right. I wonder who the years have treated kindly and who has had the stuffing kicked out of them by the vagaries of life. Who has gone bald, kept their hair, gained weight, lost weight, aged well, stayed the same… I wonder. Thirty-five years is a long time by anyone’s calculation.

Here’s the thing I wonder about most of all. I believe it’s a fair assumption that we’ve all left behind the masks we wore then. You know the ones. The masks that identified us by the things we did or the groups we belonged to (or didn’t belong to.) There was the cheerleader mask, the football-player mask, the cowboy-mask (yes we had that one – I grew up in Texas, remember?), the doper-mask (which was child’s play compared to the doper-masks worn by high school kids today), the brainiac mask, etc., etc. Which is not to say that we haven’t adopted new masks all these years later, but that’s another blog for another time.

What I wonder is whether we will all fall into those old roles when we gather in the same room together again. I’d like to believe that we no longer feel the need to be anyone or anything other than ourselves; that we aren’t defined by what we do or whom we associate with. I’m excited to find out who all these people became; these people who were such a crucial part of my history. I’m captured by the thought that time surely must have radically changed the dynamics of this group. None of us really knew who we were back then. Let’s face it—it’s the rare person who knows anything about themselves at eighteen. Not so at fifty-plus. By now, most of us have surely learned a thing or two; and I’m willing to bet that we are a fascinating bunch.

A fascinating bunch who at one time swore we could never trust anyone over the age of thirty. And now look at us. Who knew?


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Good luck. At my 25th reunion (which seems like 35 yrs ago) everyone was into showing off and strutting the same personas they had in high school. On my fortieth we all just relaxed and got drunk, just like high school. Rated.
I hope you blog about it.
rated with hugs
The football captain is probably manager of the local IHOP. The Homecoming Queen is probably a hairstylist. The school nerd is probably the guy who invented the iTouch.
I'd love to read a blog about your thoughts on the aftermath. Then and Now. I've never attended to reunions myself. Hope you'll enjoy yours.
Yes please blog about it...I only remember a few kids from high school and would never go to a reunion. I want to feel what one would feel like!
At my 25th reunion, I found that some of the barriers had come down, but there still were people who were wearing some kind of mask. Let's face it, some people will be pretentious and arrogant until the day they die. Another thing I noticed is that the people I liked in high school were still pretty much the same people I talked to the most at the reunion. My 35th is coming up in June of 2012. I anticipate more barriers will come down. Please fill me us in on how yours goes! I hope you have a great time!
Oh I do remember that "Cowboy mask", I wore it with pride. Here's the thing though...the mere thought of being in the same building, no matter how large, with my long ago classmates, just does not appeal to me. Heck I didn't like most of them way back then, so I sure wouldn't go out of my way to spend time with em now.

BTW.....good to see you again my friend.
I went to my 30th, skipped the 40th. I only went to one because it is in Hawaii...I really don't need an excuse to go anymore. I didn't remember one person...and NOBODY knew who I was. Yes, it was that much fun. YAWN.
I've found that everyone has lightened up and that, weirdly, Facebook became the great equalizer. I've enjoyed many (many!) reunions because I end up talking to someone really interesting that I barely remembered, simply because back in the day we were wearing those masks that made us feel safe. Have fun!
I experienced the same thing at my recent 25th. It amazes me how there's still so much to learn...and how much growth you can achieve, and need to achieve. I hope I never stop wanting to go further.
Gerald - It will be interesting, I'm sure. We went to our 10th, but that was so soon after high school, not much had changed. This will be the first one we've been to since then.

Linda - oh, you know I will. :)

John - hilarious! I'll let you know...

Fusun - I'm looking forward to it. I hope I'll enjoy it as much as I'm planning to. I'll definitely be blogging about it. You can do reunions vicariously through me!

LL2 - my husband and I took a stroll down memory lane the other day and came up with dozens of names - you know, "hey, do you remember so-and-so?" I wonder how many of them will be there. I'll be blogging about it, for sure.

Edgar - I was pretty insecure in high school. I guess what I'm most curious to see is how I'll interact with everyone now that I like myself much better! Watch for the update!

David - How did I know you wore that cowboy mask? :-D There were over 600 in my graduating class and I think there are about 75 confirmed attendees so far. Quite a discrepancy there. I think a lot of people must feel the same way as you.

Sheila - Well, hell. Seems the consensus is it will either be a blast or a nightmare. Hmmm.
dirndl - ahh, love your comment! That's what I'm hoping for - you give me hope. :)

Bellwether - I hope I never stop wanting to go further. Me, too. I'm constantly amazed at how much I've changed and at how much I still have to learn.
I loved reading this ... tongue-in-cheek and lots of fun and yet so very, very sincere and honest. Absolutely beautifully written, Kim!

I know you'll have a wonderful time and, yes, I'm sure you will be a fascinating bunch!

My goodness, time does fly by way too quickly, doesn't it?
Kate - thank you for your very kind words - you are such a sweetheart. And you're right - where DOES the time go??
For me the challenge - even for my 15th - was trying to recognize people. Even in 15 years some people change a lot, while others seem not to have aged at all. That was the fascination. Have fun. I suspect you'll be one of those the guys eye and then look at each other and say, who's the babe?
Scary thought - 35th Reunion. I've never done it, I can't even remember people I went to HS with. It was probably the "culture" where I grew up. School was cross town & I just hung out with kids from the neighborhood, not kids from school. Can't wait to hear about it.
i'm ahead of you, dammit, but stopped going after the 25th, i think. the 10th was the one where lots of random people started hooking up -- old boyfriend syndrome, dontcha know. we actually got a smaller group of friends together on the same weekend, but we met privately at one person's home instead of at the big do. that was great fun, hanging with the people who were all pals then and now. i guess we're still clique-y. :) hope you have fun at yours! xoxo
My high school was built to accommodate the boomers (and I am one) so in 2000 it had its 40th anniversary. That was pretty good as everyone still seemed full of life, some had barely aged, and it was a fun lively evening. Last year I went to its 50th and it was dispiriting. Too many of my contemporaries just talked about what they were going to do in their retirement years and some went on about their ailments. Last one I'll go to. Hope yours is better.
I've skipped my 10th and 20th(10th I did for spite---god, I didn't want to see these people back when I was in high school for free --- sure wasn't going to pay hundreds of dollars not including air fare to see em!! :D and the 20th, well, it was last year, a few months AFTER I got laid off and other stuff. Poo!! :D)

Hope you have fun at yours!!!
are you sure we can be trusted? lol
Matt - I just plain love you. :)

Tril, Candace, Abrawang, Tink - Ohhh, the stories I will tell!

Kathy - It's simple. Now I don't trust anyone UNDER 30.
You look svelte to me.
Mrs. P, in joining with me for a reunion with high school friends several years back, opined that we fell into roles. Could be mass cases of arrested development. Could be that they weren't roles but who we are. Well, that seems unlikely. . . . Let us know how it turns out!
Btw, if we're playing "I'm old" cards, I've already passed my 35th college reunion. So there! Ha!
At my 30th (three years ago, so I'm hot on your heels), I was still getting snubbed by the same cheerleaders who snubbed me 30 years before that when I was a fat hippie. I'm not a fat hippie anymore but there you go. I figure it's all they've got, along with their Farrah Fawcett hairstyles (still) and life that peaked out at 16!

What's really disconcerting to me is that, with the advent of Facebook since that reunion, I'm now "Friends" with a bunch of them. I'm unsure if that will make things better or worse in two years. On Facebook, as in real life, the cheerleaders are still snubbing me too!
I get the Texas reference in spades. But then, when I was fifteen, we moved from Texas to New Mexico there the groups were - goat ropers, (AKA Future Farmers of America, your cowboys) ROTC kids, the "vatos," the Indians, the jocks and the freaks. I think that covers it. At our 20th reunion, it was the cheerleaders who all had grandkids already by the time they were 38, and a lot of us "freaks" had gone on to pursue careers in journalism, teaching, writing, the arts, and uh, well, some of them, career dope smokin'. I myself excluded from the latter, having too little brain mass left to tamper with. Based on your writing and your photo, you can hold your head high and please write about it. How's that diet coming? Oh come on, everybody in the world who is going to their high school reunion at least thinks about going on a diet! I thought a lot about it.