I remember being in high school, sitting in my parents' guest room, watching a made-for-TV documentary about people getting together for their 10 year high school reunion. This was back when The Real World was about the only reality TV show around. I don't remember a lot of details, except that I was in the thick of it all and here were people who had 10 years on me. They had 10 years to change. They had 10 years to remain the same.
In the last couple years I've asked a lot of people about their 10 year reunion experiences. Some say it was great. Others say it wasn't worth it. A lot of people didn't go. Many say 20 is better.
I've always planned to go. I've always known that it was an event I would attend and probably even be involved with planning.
In many ways, this weekend was exactly as I'd imagined it. People were complimentary of one another. There was a lot of "You look great!" I try not to dwell in shallow superficiality, but I am not above a little vanity/ego-boost at this type of event. Of course I enjoyed the positive feedback. People gravitated towards the people they knew in high school - but at the same time, they reached out and spoke to whomever.
It was interesting going to 2 of the 3 events. The bar night at The Great Nabob and then the banquet at the Muckleshoot Casino (in a banquet room, not the casino itself.) First, let me say the obvious... though many drank in high school, it was wonderful to be of legal drinking age and beyond those early years of excessive imbibing. Drinking is a lovely social lubricant.
I live all of 2 minutes from the Great Nabob. I tried not to be too early, but I knew K would be there, and I didn't want her to be alone. It started at 7 and I was there at 7:05. As I approached the bar my mouth got dry. I got butterflies in my stomach. And then I asked myself, "Who are you trying to impress?" I just wanted to see others and hear people's stories.
I walked in to see familiar faces. All ladies (initially). All people I had actually felt really close to at one time or another. And all hella cool girls. Who live/work in Seattle. It didn't feel like a reunion. It felt like friends (now) getting together for a drink. It was comfortable.
More people trickled in. Some faces brought back a flood of memories. Others I barely recognized. But all in all it was a relaxed space and before I knew it, it was 1:00 am and the night had come to an end.
I spent all of Saturday morning making final tweaks to the slide shows. Over 300 pictures were submitted. It was fun going through them. Trying to remember how people were back in the day. Seeing life's little adventures now. As someone joked, people went through and found their skinny pictures from the last 10 years. But actually, people were really real about it all. I didn't get the sense that anyone was trying to show off or be "that guy/girl."
Those who have started families were proud to show their significant other and their kids. There were some really precious pictures of families.
Then there were the single folks, proud that they haven't settled down yet. I know I fall into that category - so happy I didn't get married young to the wrong person (for me) just because that's what people do. There are a few people who did get married and are divorced - and I know they'll have no problem finding love again if they so choose.
I was impressed with how cool people were. In a down-to-earth way.
Saturday night, J and I made the trek down to the Muckleshoot. I'm very passionate about my lifestyle and my choice to live in the city. If you know me now, you probably know this about me. So I'll leave those related remarks out of this. The event was great. Truly quality. There were these great little "where are they now" booklets - I haven't read through it all the way yet, but so much fun! What a great idea. In our invitations, we all got a little survey about how we pay the bills, who we share our life with, etc. Everyone's HS picture was placed next to their little update. It was really cool.
There were some prizes given for who has lived the farthest away, who has been in TV/movies (E won for her KCTS pledge drives - I love it!), who was the most pregnant, etc.
Then I had the sobering task of introducing a little memorial for WEC, who passed away in January. It felt really awkward, as people had just won a Starbucks giftcard and there was a level of excitement. Then I started the slide show and (even after several questions with the tech guy at the casino) - there was no sound. It took me a long time to pick a song. I had literally spent weeks trying to think of what would be appropriate - not too sappy. Not too "romantic." I decided on Jack Johnson's cover of the White Stripes' We're Going To Be Friends. I figured that was one relationship more people in that room could relate to, when thinking about W. It is a short song - all of about 2:00 min. You could hear a pin drop, then the music blasted in. It felt incredibly awkward - however - everyone seemed to understand the situation and seemed okay with it all.
It was a good weekend overall. Today is the family picnic portion. I would have been there if I didn't have to work on Sundays. And if I had kids. Although, even without kids, it would be fun to meet other people's families.
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