I got news of my 20th high school reunion recently. Any disbelief over the fact that time has passed faded quickly. The silver colonizing my hairline and my ever-enlarging pores remind me of that on a daily basis. What did put me on my heels was imagining the scene if I attended. I realized that I wouldn’t even know where to begin “catching up” with any of them. That loss for words filled my heart and, suddenly, it was much more than just twenty years between me and the rest of the class of 1994.

In high school, I was an odd middle child; simultaneously there and not. I had a rotating besty and a boyfriend, a.k.a My First Psychopath, as well as an acquaintance of good standing in most levels of the social hierarchy. My favorite people at the time were in graduated batches or other school districts. So, for me, high school was four years of mandatory attendance and hoping to run in to the few people I liked, avoid the people I didn’t, and earn sufficient grades to get into a good college/keep my parents happy. I similarly envision the reunion that way – minus the grades and mandatory, bah oui – which is why it’s absurd to shell out ~$600 for airfare to Columbus just to stand around the Hyatt Regancy and listen to stories about kids, mortgages, and middle-management jobs.

I’d much rather hold a dinner party for all my former Honors English teachers, the cadre of ruthlessly compassionate women and the lone gentle man who read poetry written for his wife in class. I’m certain at least one – Mrs. Coney – has long passed. Mrs. Stygler and Mr. Miller are retired at the very least. And what was my journalism teacher’s name, that prissy, bearded man who I was convinced hated me until he unilaterally had my back against my classmates’ offended sensibilities? He can come too. We’ll have Italian food – a variety of salumi and marinated fava beans to start, porchetta for main, bitter greens salad and bread of course. Mr. Brugler (ecology) can play Neil Young covers over dessert – figs and honey with sweetened ricotta – and coffee.

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