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Beemer

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High School [Jul. 18th, 2010|12:53 am]
Beemer
Just got back from the reunion. It was awesome.

It was very crowded, and very loud. The upper register of my voice is totally thrashed, so I can only speak in my Teddy Pendergrass voice, baby.

Reconnected with my two best friends from elementary school. Got to meet the one's partner of 10 years. The other lives right off the street I drive every day to get to work, and works from home, so we'll do lunch together sometime.

It's amazing to see all the people who look just the same as they did 20 years ago (well, generally with a lot less hair -- gone, thinned or receding on the men, and simply not all poufed out on the women) and all the people who look *TOTALLY* different. Some of the guys have turned into decent eye candy - guys in their late 30s are much more my speed than 18-year-olds ever were.

It was a really wonderful atmosphere. At the 10-year reunion, there was a feeling of pressure to measure up, this wondering how you'll compare to everyone else. Now? We're all 38. Nobody gives a damn anymore. We are who we are, good or bad, and everyone seemed to be comfortable with it.

But also, there was always something weird about our class. We never had the cliques; the honors students all hung out with the burnouts and the jocks all hung out with the band geeks, and in quite a few cases they were all the same people. And everybody just... got along. Like maybe there were people you weren't particularly friends with, per se, but there wasn't anybody that just HATED anybody else. One guy I was talking to remarked that nobody there was making themselves out to be important, we were all just being who we were.

Nobody asked me in so many words "So are you single?", which I was a little disappointed with, because I really wanted to answer "I would bet you money that I am the least single person here," but I did tell people, whenever it came up -- which was pretty often -- that I had recently bought a house and was living there with my three boyfriends and our two cats. And nobody -- not one person -- reacted negatively. Most people took it in stride, and just said "good for you!" (which may well be code for "I'm not really sure what to make of that, but it seems to make you happy, so... okay!"). A few were sort of "wait, what? Tell me more about this! I am fascinated!" But everybody was happy for me.

And that's... I don't want to say "special", because that sounds too self-congratulatory. So I'll just say it's unusual. There was something really different about my high school class (and I know it was just class of '90, because I know the years above and below us weren't like this), and I was really lucky -- blessed, even -- to have that kind of an environment for those tricky late teen years. Twenty years later, I still like these folks. Honestly, I'm proud and impressed how many of them seem to be solid, upstanding contributors to society.

I don't know what it was. Maybe something in the water. I just wish it weren't unusual. I think everybody deserves to have had something like whatever it was that was there, and still seems to linger on.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: pink_halen
2010-07-18 01:38 pm (UTC)
I have a question that will give us some perspective. How many people were in your class? My High School class was very small, 33. I have friends who had 600 other classmates. I knew everyone I went to class with but I cannot see how one could know 599 other people. You speak of this as if it were a relatively small number. Also, What percentage of your classmates showed their faces. I was only able to muster about one half for my 30th reunion.

There is a book called, "Is there Life After High School?" The author visited class reunions and looked at how people grew and changed. Those who were popular in High School seemed to have "Gone to Seed" while those who were the nerds, geeks and wallflowers seemed to have blossomed. The Jocks had all gotten fat and the beauty queens had lost their glow.

I took my partner to my 30th reunion. No One was negative but I think your generation is probably even less judgmental.

Alas, This would have been my 40th reunion year. It's not that I chose not to go but that no one had the energy to organize us. So I cannot report on the state of the class of 1970.
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[User Picture]From: nehrlich
2010-07-18 02:06 pm (UTC)
This is really great to hear. I've been mulling over whether to go to my 20th reunion this fall (ours is in October to sync with the high school's Homecoming football game). I went to my 10th, which was interesting in how little people had changed - they were still fundamentally the same people, grown up a bit (that includes me - at that point I was just leaving my first job and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life).

It's a good excuse to visit Chicago, if nothing else. I may just go for it.
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[User Picture]From: k8cre8
2010-07-19 02:35 am (UTC)
A very wise mentor of mine had, as a general advice, was to make it a point to go to your 20th. Skip the 10th, because they're the same as they had been in high school, but, at the 20th everyone was over all the pettiness, and had grown up and it's a really good thing to see people as grown-ups.
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[User Picture]From: bitterlawngnome
2010-07-18 04:58 pm (UTC)
I didn't have that, but it does one good to hear that someone did :)
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[User Picture]From: arcticturtle
2010-07-18 06:24 pm (UTC)
I salute you and your class. Nice to feel like you can feel some ribbons of friendship through your life history that stretch back that far.
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[User Picture]From: sluggobear
2010-07-18 06:45 pm (UTC)
That's awesome!
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[User Picture]From: dcseain
2010-07-18 07:28 pm (UTC)
I'm glad that it was a good time. :)
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[User Picture]From: inmc
2010-07-19 03:33 am (UTC)
That's cool you had a good time
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[User Picture]From: baronet
2010-07-19 04:29 pm (UTC)

Other reunions

I didn't go to my reunion, but I heard of one of my classmates who brought his wife and his girlfriend to the reunion, and got some negative reactions from people (and some positive). My class was mostly good people and we were bonded by the shared adversity of being in the charter class, but many of my classmates were (publicly at least) homophobic. That's Illinois for you. It is halfway between a coastal state and the backwoods.
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[User Picture]From: annlarimer
2010-07-19 05:26 pm (UTC)
"Wait. TWO cats???"
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[User Picture]From: dr_tectonic
2010-07-19 05:44 pm (UTC)
There was one person who seemd to think that we really ought to have FOUR cats. For reasons of symmetry, I suppose.
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[User Picture]From: annlarimer
2010-07-19 06:02 pm (UTC)
Jeff and Gretchen have...um...four to six cats, I forget exactly. So it balances out.



Bo, Polo, Ditto, Palmer, and...that may be all. It's hard to tell. Two of them are identical twins, and one of them likes to hide in the basement, so I just figure Gretchen and Jeff know if they're not all there. Sort of like penguins or buffalo. If they had pet cats.
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