The Trinity High School class of 1986 Reunion was held last Saturday in fabulous Washington, Pennsylvania. Kudos to the reunion committee led by Tracy Smith Tush for throwing everyone a nice party.
I don’t know about you, but I loved and hated high school. I loved it because I did the activities that I loved. I liked to study, loved theatre, enjoyed volleyball and had great friends. I hated it because, I was an asshole teenager, trapped in a buildling with over a thousand other asshole, hormonal teenagers. It’s a wonder you get out of high school alive and with any confidence at all.
After 20 years, I tend to remember more of the good times than the bad, but I think some folks only remember the bullshit. I think it’s like shingles in a way. You get shingles because you once had the chicken pox and the virus that stayed in your body comes out in the form of shingles due to stress. I think for some, a high school like virsus festers inside and comes out around reunion time forcing them to stay home and miss the party.
As a person that moved away from my home town, I can’t tell you how nice it was to walk into a room filled with familiar faces. A room full of people that knew me before I was somebody’s spouse or somebody’s mom or that lady that helps out with the PTA. People that knew me before stretch marks, wrinkels, gray hairs and the need for an ab-roller. Yet even though I was surrounded by gray hairs, beer guts, wrinkles and bi-focals I didn’t see all of that. I saw actors from theatre class, politicians from student council, football players, soccer stars, singers from the chorus, dancers from the drill team, cheerleaders, comedians, artists, athletes, musicians from the band and photographers from the yearbook committee.
I saw the people they used to be before the responsibilites of the real world took over, and for a moment I remembered who I used to be. Thank God we don’t all stay stuck in high school mode and God help you if you peaked during those 4 years, because frankly, that would suck, but you can’t deny that high school does lay a foundation for you to build on. By going back you can reconnect not only to the people that you once knew, but the person you once were.
Reminiscing about the track and field days might inspire you to start moving. Laughing about your time on the yearbook staff might push you to grab your camera and take some pictures this weekend. Remembering the senior play you performed might make you order tickets for a night out of theatre. Seeing someone you used to be close to might be the catalyst the helps you keep in touch more on a regular basis.
I think that’s what reunions are for. Not to see who got fat or went bald or prove to everyone that you became successful, but to remember what you enjoyed doing and took the time for before you were somebody else’s something or other. I think if you let it, it can re-ignite the long, lost parts of yourself.