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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I'm Not Sure What To Title This Post

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(My alma mater)

This week I received an invitation in the mail for my 20-year high school reunion.

This brought about some mixed feelings. I want to attend, but I also don't want to attend. I've reconnected on Facebook with most of the people who I would want to see again; however, it would be fun to visit some of my old stomping grounds and see others face-to-face. For sure I'd enjoy reminiscing with a handful of friends, but some of the memories that can be dredged up at such gatherings of my past are painful. The verdict is still out on whether or not I'll make the trip to be there.

You know what, though? I think that reunions are sort of like blogs. No one wears their comfiest jeans paired with a favorite bleach-stained t-shirt to a reunion. Everyone comes dressed in an outfit that makes them look their best - perhaps even clothes that were purchased specifically for the occasion. People put extra effort into what they look like when they're becoming re-acquainted with acquaintances they haven't seen for years. Hair is trimmed and styled, nails are done. No one is disheveled or unkempt. Children are perfect, marriages are happy and jobs are secure... unless someone chooses to present themselves otherwise.

Blogs are much the same way. Most people put their best-self forward and portray their lives as much more awesome than they may be in reality. There are usually not pictures of the holes in the wall or the skeletons in the closet. Everyone puts their best self out there - their funniest and most sarcastic stories, the pictures of their adorable family dressed in the latest modern-yet-retro clothing, their cleverest observations on the things we all encounter each day. Of course, there are always a few bloggers who feel comfortable sharing the intimate details of their life with these people who they haven't ever met. And that's okay, too. It's a matter of choice.

My point (and I think I have one) is that we all choose the way which we want others to perceive us by the way that we present ourselves, whether it be in the choices we make daily or weekly or even once every twenty years at a high school reunion.

If I choose to venture out to California for the reunion this summer I'd love to say that I'm going to show up in my favorite Levis, a comfortable sweatshirt and my black Converse. I wish I had the confidence to show up with my hair in braids and my face make-up free, but I know that I won't.

Either way, it's all good - because I know who I am, and I'm good with that.


Chrissy said...

Good for you for going to your reunion...BTW I know where Torrance is but never heard of your alma mater. I never went to any of my reunions because either: 1. I was preggers and was in no shape to go ( too far along) 2. missed the invite because the committee didn't try too hard to find me... 3. I saw the reunion book and thought "omg"... it was quite surprising to see people who have balded, gained a few dress sizes or pants sizes or were on their 2nd marriage ....I did go to my hubby's and mistakenly took his bf for one of his teachers...

rorymckm said...

i'm curious to read about it if you do go (and in possibly hooking up sometime while you're here)! :-) i didn't go to mine. but then, i wasn't invited, either. guess that kinda made up my mind for me! getting left off the invitation list was just the right amount of "reliving high school" that i needed to remind me that i wasn't going to be missing a darn thing. LOL

Infertility Goddess said...

Everyone I want to see from high school I am still in touch with.

I admit I hated trying to fit in during high school. Why would I want to go back and have a flood of emotions that I didn't like then come rushing back at me now.

The reason you and me don't go to silly high school reunions....everyone will be jealous at how freakin cool we are. ;) (and how despite all that material, social acceptance peer pressure, wanna fit in crap - we are still the same and like ourselves. That is what makes us unique and drives them all crazy to the point they belittle us to make themselves feel better. High school never changes and even though we are 20 years older we/they will continue to put on a facade that they want you to see. So what is the point? none of what you will see is reality anyway)

apparently you hit a nerve. Sorry for my rant.

Rebecca said...

Moving across the country for my senior year of high school kind of ruined reunions for me. I don't get invited to the one where I would actually remember people I grew up with, and I don't have enough attachment to the high school I graduated from.

But I would go to anybody's high school reunion, just do indulge in one of my favorite hobbies: people watching!

Just SO said...

We had our 20 year reunion this past summer. I went and it was fun. I was nervous but that's okay. I talked with almost everyone there. There were a few I didn't speak with and I didn't care. It was quite refreshing.

As for the blogs, I agree, we each put out there what we are comfortable with. If we are comfortable with people seeing the real side of our lives then we put that in a post and hit publish. If we aren't comfortable with it then maybe we do put on a happy face with the best hair and makeup and kids all smiling in a row and hit publish.

I have to say that I've done it both ways. I'd like to say that I'm real all of the time but I'll go with I'm real MOST of the time. Because there are times when I do post something because it's how I want to be perceived not how things actually are.

Brown Thumb Mama said...

That's a tough decision. Since everybody's going to be in town, why not go, skip the formal party, and just get together with the cool people?

My high school closed the year I graduated. Although it was a pretty OK experience, I'm not terribly interested in paying $75 per person to see some of those girls again. Yes, $75 each! That's how much hubs' reunion was (we skipped it too). Yowza!

Lori said...

Great post, Gerb. I didn't go to my 10-yr reunion for much the same reason--I didn't want to be around all that faking it. I can't do that with my blog, even. If I'm having a crappy day, I'll tell you I'm having a crappy day. If my kids are being horrible, I'll tell you they're being horrible. If I'm being horrible, I'll tell you that. It is what it is, and it's not Leave It To Beaver. ;)

Anaise said...

My 20 year reunion is this year, too. I'm not going--mostly because of cost and because it is a formal affair.

My cousin's 10 year was a giant family picnic--bring your spouse and kids and pets and eat and play ball--all for basically free at a park. Everyone in jeans and t-shirts and sitting on blankets and climbing trees and getting dirty and being real.

I'd move mountains to go to a reunion like that.

diane rene said...

reunions ... are they fun for anyone? I'm not far from torrance, I could show up and tell everyone I am you ;0)

Shannon said...

I heard about my 20 year reunion last year - there was a SMALL part of me that wanted to go just to look at everybody, but to also walk in on my husband's arm (whom by the way, I absolutely adore...if you hadn't caught on). In the meantime, I had checked out some of my fellow alumni on Facebook. I friended a few, but was truly satisfied by just seeing profile pictures from the rest.

A couple of the people I friended posted pictures of the reunion. It was an 80's theme, so they all looked essentially ridiculous, but they had fun...and I was glad for them...I had no regret in my decision not to go.

Even though there is a part of me that occasionally ponders the past, the larger part of me most often prevails by reminding me of how wonderful my present is.

As far as blogging goes, I have full intention of continuing to be myself when I write, so you better watch out as the months progress!

Trish said...

I think you should just can it and go with me next year.;)

Sarah said...

My dad still lives close to where I went to HS and when he heard about our 10yr reunion, he was SO excited for me. I felt bad because he kept calling and asking if I had called the person in charge, if I was going to stay with them or with "old friends", or if I was going to bring my family with me.

I finally had to tell him that I am still trying to be a better person than I was during my teenage years. I'm striving to work past all the stupid mistakes that I made back then, and that, in short, I HATED high school (until my senior year)!

It was very hard for him to understand because HS time was wonderful for him and he loves going back and seeing friends and places from the past.

I guess everyone has different experiences so go with what you want to do!!

Gerb said...

Chrissy- It's still up in the air if I'm going or not. There were enough things that I enjoyed about my 10-year reunion that it may be worthwhile.

Rory- I would love to see you! The problem is, most of my friends from high school were in the class just above or just below mine. I do have a handful of people from the class of '90, but I'd be more interested in a get-together with others who still live down there... minus the almost $100 cost for dinner in a special room at the Cheesecake Factory.

Jen- Rant away! I always love hearing your opinions on things. I am tempted to go just in the hopes of seeing a few people who didn't make it to the 10-year reunion, but we shall see...

Rebecca- The people-watching aspect was definitely awesome. I also enjoyed the "true confessions" which seemed to happen all night. The funny thing was, every "confession" was something I could have told you about each person 10 years prior.

SO- I'm the same (I hope) with my blogging. Although I know that there are a few more controversial things that I have opinions on which I choose to keep to myself simply to avoid confrontation.

Pam- Mine is a few dollars shy of $100! Can you believe that? I wonder why we can't just meet up in the gym of the old school and reminisce there with a nice dinner? Actually, I know why we can't do that - because alcohol can't be served on school grounds. I wish it wasn't there anyway - it would be nice to see how some of these people are without any alcohol in them and I've yet to see it. That goes all the way back to HS. Some things never change!

Lori- You're real on your blog and that's why people like you. (Are you sensing any blogvy?)

Anaise- That's the kind of reunion that would work out well for me, too... not so pricey and lots of fun for all involved. I heard there may be an informal Sunday picnic at mine.

Diane- Careful, I may take you up on that...

Shannon- I'll admit, it is tempting to show up at the reunion just to show off my hottie husband and pictures of my 9 kids. But really - they can see all of that on Facebook. I look forward to continuing to read your blog. I've enjoyed getting to know more about you there!

Trish- I will TOTALLY go with you next year, regardless of whether I go this year or not. You better not be messing with me! Your WHS class is the one where I have the most friends. What do you say - is it a date? It could be like our trip to CA for Debi's wedding. Let's do it!

Sarah- For the most part, I loved high school. Well, the social part of it. Um... except for the lack of boys interested in me part, which was SO important back then (I was so dang shallow, it's not even funny). One thing's for sure - if I DO go, it'll be something to blog about! ;)

The Empress said...

I wouldn't go to my reunion b/c I went to a too weird school. All girl catholic very small high school. 1/2 the graduating class went on to become nuns.

So, no, I wont' be there. That's alright!!

Gerb said...

Empress- I bet your experiences in a too-weird school could make for some great blog entries! Thanks for stopping by. It's always nice to see a new 'face'.

Rachel said...

Yes yes YES!!! On the Converse. Gerb, we've talked before and have much the same growing up experience. My reunion is next year and I feel the same as you. I'll be interested to see what your verdict is. :D Weigh heavily......your decision could very well affect mine!!! :D

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