My reunion is next weekend and last night, as I thought about it, I almost started hyperventilating. It had nothing to do with the reunion itself, mind you. But, as I was lying there in the Salt Lake county heat with a fan blowing straight onto my shoulders it really hit me. This is not a two year reunion. It's not even a five or six year reunion. This is TEN years. When I graduated from high school, if I'd looked back ten years I would have been gazing at a seven-year-old. A whole lot happens between 7 and 17.
A whole lot happens between 17 and 27.
Maybe that is what has me so disturbed. Perhaps it seems impossible that ten whole years have gone by when I remember them all so clearly. I remember graduating. I can acutely recall that tingly feeling of nostalgia and angst and excitement all rolled into a ball and placed somewhere underneath my mortarboard. We all said we'd be back for the reunion. Even then, as I said the words, I wondered why so many people don't go to theirs. I figured there had to be some truth to the statement that after ten years of growth and change have happened, you just don't care. But even as I figured on that, I couldn't believe I'd ever reach that point in my own life. Truthfully, I debated. I live two states away, it costs a crudload of money I don't have, and it was planned for three weeks before I have to be back in California for my brother's wedding. Obviously a reunion doesn't hold a candle to my only sibling getting married. But in the end I had to decide to go. In the end, I'm very protective of my seventeen-year-old self. That girl would have walked right up to me and slapped me in the face if I decided not to go. (Okay, she was not a slapper but she definitely would have been all passive aggressive on me.) That girl would have asked me if my word meant nothing.
But I wish I hadn't made that promise to her because she didn't realize how it was going to make me feel. She didn't comprehend that, ten years later, the idea of a high school reunion would make me feel so old. She had no idea what it meant to be barrelling toward 30. She didn't know that she'd be lying in bed with her husband next to her and her boys asleep across the hall wondering how it went from lockers and swim meets and football games and slumber parties and English class to wedding vows and diapers and mashed carrots and legal fees. That seventeen-year-old had no idea that the thought of a TEN year reunion could induce hives. The 27-year-old is hoping that all the other 17 and 18 turned 27 and 28-year-olds are grappling with it the same way. She's hoping that this seems somewhat overwhelming for everyone. She's secretly hoping that everyone else is as old and frumpy as she is.
And she's wondering if she ought to go on an eight day fast and then conjure up some story about inventing post-its.