putting the “re” back in “reunion”

After deleting the third or fourth Reunion.com spam (“See who’s been searching for you!”) from my Yahoo account, I finally caved. Who has been searching for me? Is my profile up to date? Are there messages on my high school’s message board?

The answer to all of these questions, of course, is who cares? I hated high school. Loathed it. As a shy, geeky girl with (how to put this delicately) issues, I did not mesh with my fellow students. I had glasses and braces and bad hair. I weighed about 100 pounds, wore clothes that were unflattering even by 1987 standards, and the less said about my experiences with acne, the better. I rarely spoke above a whisper, and when I did, I said the wrong thing. And possibly I snorted. I don’t remember snorting, but the term “snorting dork” was invented for a reason.

Compared to a lot of people, I was lucky: by the time my junior year rolled around, my friends were several dozen strong and had an undeniable presence. Somehow, all the misfits at my school had banded together and taken over. I had a boyfriend, in the on-again, off-agan high school tradition, and I never had to eat lunch alone. Take that, every high-school movie ever made! ::thumbs nose::

Still, I felt insignificant and gawky for the full four years. I wanted to be friends with the popular girls. In typical me fashion, I decided to circumvent social ettiquette (which baffled me), passing a note to a girl named Annika during History class. “My friends aren’t really my friends,” I said (this was before we took over the Quad; the people I hung out with then were dismissive of me at best). “You seem smart and fun. Do you want to do something sometime?” Annika invited me to her house after school; we had a great time, or so I thought, and I was ecstatic. A few days later she gently suggested I try and find friends who shared more of my interests. I’m forced to assume that by “interests” she meant “status,” since I liked the same things every other girl my age did: talking on the phone, watching MTV, giggling about boys. To be fair: trying to upgrade friendships via the written word? Not the best idea I’ve ever had.

I was weaned on a diet of John Hughes movies, and part of me was convinced that there was a Molly Ringwald lurking beneath my button-festooned jean jacket (::shudder::). Maybe there was. Who knows? My inner Molly certainly didn’t make any appearances before my 1991 graduation.

I was slightly surprised when I scrolled through the list my classmates on the reunion site; I only recognized two or three. Same thing when I look at my yearbooks. Aside from a few faces (mostly those of the people with whom I’ve stayed in touch) they all look completely unfamiliar. Then again, my picture doesn’t speak to me, either. I look just as strange as the rest of them. Just another girl with seriously questionable hair.

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2 thoughts on “putting the “re” back in “reunion””

  1. I saw stretch pants on the Nordstrom mannequins the other day. So not okay with that. If layered socks come back, I may have to hang myself (on a braided friendship bracelet, of course).

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  2. Ohhh, I feel this. Because that jacket with the buttons? Had that. The Molly Ringwald worship? That too.

    I write fashion articles for my local newspaper occasionally, and this fall, I wrote one about the return of the 1980s. Let’s just say that I did not approach it so much with the required journalistic objectivity, and more with the oh-jesus-this-is-giving-me-high-school-flashbacks-why-in-the-name-of-all-that-is-holy-would-you-WILLINGLY-go-back-there?

    I admit to having googled old classmates, particularly boys I used to crush on, to see what happened to them, and was surprised, like you, I think, by the disconnect between now and then. About which, Thank GOD!

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