Jessica, Stephon and I took on the topic of High School reunions in this week’s Perpetual Post. Find it here!
My ten-year high school reunion is around the corner, and my feeling is, either I’m showing up with Hugh Jackman on one arm, pushing a stroller full of nonuplets with the other, or I’m not showing up at all.
A high school reunion is no time for subtlety. Trust me, nobody wants to hear about your new springer spaniel puppy or your job in publishing. They want to see whether you got fat or divorced or developed a nervous tic. They want to hear if you’ve saddled yourself with a whiny loser or popped out any kids. They want to casually pretend not to recognize you, to show that they’re too cool to bother remembering once knowing you. Ninth grade habits die hard. Maybe things will be different in another ten years when you all feel like failures, but right now it’s still too soon. Your only defense against this kind of behavior is a good offense, and you only get one chance to make a dynamite first impression—to achieve that sweet moment of redemption that somehow erases an entire freshman year spent pretending that you had no friends on purpose. You better make it good.
But wait, put the monocle down, sparky. Don’t bother going if you’re going to look like you’re trying. You cannot walk back into the gym reeking of desperation. If you’re busy whiting out the word ‘Assistant’ on your business cards or thinking up ways to make it sound like you moved back in with your parents because they missed you, stay the hell home, and I’ll tell you why: Above all, the name of the game is to keep those bitches guessing, and sometimes, putting in a non-appearance is the flashiest way to do that. In the back of their minds, those people I spent four years love-hating are bound to have a brief moment of wondering, “Huh, and where is Molly? I was looking forward to pretending not to recognize her.”
Is she sitting at home watching The Wedding Date and eating raw Pillsbury Crescent Rolls from the can? Or out partying topless on the French Riviera with Kate Moss? Maybe I’m home polishing my Nobel Peace Prize or at a cocktail party chatting with Tom Wolfe and wearing a 24 karat gold pantsuit. No one really knows. And nobody really wins, either, but I also don’t have to nod with a frozen smile on my face as my former classmate tells me she just got back from spending the year in Machu Picchu, “just hanging out”. I don’t have to congratulate girls who used to make fun of my thrift store clothes for passing the Bar exam, or having babies, or headlining the World Organization Committee on Agricultural Transportation Banking Summit. So actually, someone does win: Me. Take that, Class of 1999!
May 29, 2009 at 6:37 pm
I was thinking, 10 year reunion, that’s a landmark. And then I realized oh wait if Molly is class of 99 and I’m class of 2000…Damn.
I am not prepared. At the 5 year reunion (which I missed, because I cleverly changed my last name and didn’t leave a forwarding address) I heard that everyone just got drunk and mean. There is really no defense against a reunion. I think you should just bring a video camera to your reunion, take lots of clips, and think of it as blog-fodder.
May 29, 2009 at 11:36 pm
I am with you– leaning towards not going to my 10-year, either. Honestly, it feels kind of useless now that everyone knows everyone else’s shit through facebook. And I hated high school, and didn’t like most of the people there, so hmph.
May 31, 2009 at 11:00 am
I hear you, Hannah. Facebook has largely sated my curiosity. Maybe I’ll go the reunion yet. Only if I’m writing up by then.
Molly, I enjoy your articles. Please keep them coming. (I hope not sporadically).