Class of 1994 Part 2

Well, I went to the reunion, and it was a surreal experience. People kept telling me it was so good to see me, and in my mind I couldn’t help but wonder why they would say that. I mean, it’s not like I was a long lost friend or something.
But people have changed. A lot. I was surprised by who was balding and who had gained weight. And I swear one of the girls had a boob job. Somehow I wasn’t surprised at all by the person who showed up in the tweed suit with the bow-tie. There were a lot of people there- about 110 of or class of 200 RSVPed, and a few who hadn’t RSVPed (like me) showed up, so, it was a big group, at first all crammed into a small space- the bar.
I talked to a lot of people, most of them just the surface, broken record conversation of “So, where are you now, what are you doing?” A lot of people stayed fairly local, within a couple of hours of “home”, but a few people are out of state. One girl, one of the “popular girls” from highschool, has gained about 40 pounds and lives in Alaska. Another girl, who I remember from 3rd grade on, lives in New York and is a journalist for Fortune magazine. It’s weird, because I went to preschool with some of those people, and have memories of them from then. Funny thing- the golden boy of my class was an East Indian boy named John- and last night he was still the golden boy. He’s actually the reason I was at the reunion, because he called my parents house and talked to my mom, who in turn called me at work and started applying the pressure.
I think one of the dumbest things that has ever come out of my mouth came out last night. I saw the guy who was voted “Most Non-conformist” by our senior class, and he was wearing this black blazer with white grosgrain piping, and this funky tie. And I was like “Hey M. Good to see you. You’re looking very British tonight (beat…beat…) Wow, I can’t believe that just came out of my mouth” He just smiled and we laughed it off, but man was that dorky.
Some of the highlights:
The girl who made my life hell (well, one of them anyway) actually apologizing for being so shitty to me. We had a really nice talk, and I was saying how weird it was that people were so glad to see me, and I told her the reason I hadn’t wanted to come was because no one was nice to me in school and the only reason I wanted to go was to show them I was happy, that I had a good life and that they hadn’t broken me, but that I decided answering immaturity with immaturity 10 years later when I should definitely know better, well, didn’t seem like a good thing to do. Then she just looked at me and said, “I’m so sorry. We were such jerks back then- you got a raw deal in school and you didn’t deserve that. I’m so sorry for the way I treated you” And really, what to you say to that? So I was saying it was weird being there, with random people saying hi to me, who wouldn’t have given me the time of day back then. I realize we all grew up, well, most of us anyway, but it was still strange. And how there were people that I know saw me, that avoided eye contact and wouldn’t say hello, which was how I had expected everyone to be, and then Kim said something surprising. She said, “They don’t know what to say to you. I mean, what to you say to someone whose life you intentionally made hell? To be honest I didn’t know what I was going to say to you either. I was so happy when I got your email, and I’m really glad that you came”. Wow.
Seeing the guy that I had a crush on from kindergarten through senior year. He and I emailed a few times about 2 years ago, but I hadn’t seen him in about 8 years. He was there with his fiance, who is utterly fabulous and I had a great time talking with her. And I’ve never seen him so happy, so that was great.
Then there was Emily. Emily is the little sister of my first boyfriend, Jason. She is dating one of the guys from my class, so she was there even though she’s younger. Jason didn’t go to my highschool, but for some reason Emily did. To make a looooong story very very short-(click here for a slightly longer explanation) his parents hated me, and I thought she did too. I have very bad memories of everyone in that family except Jason. So all night, I kept eyeing her, wanting so badly to go and ask her how he was. I haven’t talked to him in 11 years. I was so nervous about it I actually called Keegan from the far corner of the deck, and he gave me the courage to actually try to talk to her. I walked over to her, and had this little speech prepared “Hi, um, I know I’m probably the last person you want to talk to tonight but I couldn’t let this chance go by and not ask how he is.” I walked up to her, put a hand on her elbow to get her attention, and the exchange went like this:
“Hi, um, I know I’m probably the laste person you want to talk to-”
“Why? Why… why would you say that?”
“Well, um… because… I don’t know…”
“I know who you are. You want to ask about my brother.”
“Um, yeah. I do.”
We chatted for about 10 minutes or so, in which time I found out that it wasn’t just me, her parents treated her friends badly too. Sadly, I found out that Jason isn’t doing so well- he isn’t happy and he’s working what sounds like a dead end job, and has been there 7 years. That was hard to hear, because I of course would rather hear that he’s married to someone else, or gay or something, just as long as he was happy. I asked to her tell him I said hello if she talked to him, and she said “Oh, I’m totally going to tell him that I saw you, and that you look great… I think it’ll be good for him to know that you still think about him.”
After that, I decided it probably wasn’t going to get much better, and I had accomplished the few things I really wanted to, so it was time to go. Besides, the guys had started doing shots at the bar, and the drunkenness level was fast approaching the place where things were bound to start getting ugly. So I said my goodbyes and got out of there. All in all, it was a good experience, and I’m glad I went, because it was a lot different than I thought, and now I don’t have to wonder for another five to ten years.

3 thoughts on “Class of 1994 Part 2

  1. Almost Lucid (Brad)

    Some people had to decide whether to go because they knew they had some apologizing to do, and some people went hoping they would get that apology. Aren’t you glad you were on the right side of that decision?
    I’m glad it went so well.

  2. Kay

    Hi Judy, Thanks for your concern about our precious “Rascal” as I worried that I should not have put that on Brad’s blog. He’s been the most unusually healthy dog and companion anyone could ever have hoped for.
    I’m sooo glad you went to your reunion also! It has to make you feel good that your perception of yourself is different than you thought. There were many people who probably admired you for being yourself and sounds like their behavior was terrible. They have much to apologize for, so let them.
    I went to my “umpteenth” one a few years back and had not seen but about 5 people in 20 years. Our class was only 92 people in a small town of 2000 people, so we all knew each other very well then. I went away to college and my folks moved away a few years later also. Anyway, I was “floored” at how graciously I was treated at the reunion. My date, Dick, still tells my kids about that night. I only had two dates my whole life in that town. My Dad was the State Patrolman there, Mom a teacher. Dad was overly strict and I just assumed since I was really “skinny”(yeah, we called it that then,) no one found me attractive. What a revelation to find out that guys wanted to ask me out, but were too shy. Two even wanted to follow up after the reunion, but I am in a monogomous relationship with Dick. At one point during the night, Dick said I was completely surrounded by men, “holding court,” he called it. Ha! One guy kept saying, “Wow, you really grew up!” I had to ask Dick if the guy meant I was heavier or what. He assured me it was a compliment.
    Anyway, Judy, I was so much more relaxed 5 years later when they decided to get together again and convinced several others to go as well. You see, I was president of my senior class and we worked for Junior and Senior years to get enough money to go on the last Senior Trip ever allowed at the high school. We worked terribly hard and I saw to it that every single person got to go on that trip. I was adament about that no one was left out. At the reunion, I was told that is the only time most of those 92 people have ever been out of the state and some out of the town since that trip. We went to 9 different states, two weeks long, and traveled in two busses. It was an exceptional time for all of us. Even at my age, it’s nice to know, however late, that you were appreciated.
    Don’t miss the next one, Judy, and smile ’cause they never know what you are thinking!

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