Last Call: Do you go to your high-school reunions?

Illustration for article titled Last Call: Do you go to your high-school reunions?
Screenshot: Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion
Last CallLast CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.

Weren’t you my lab partner in chem?

Other than my usual run of kids’ soccer games and dance classes, my big event this weekend is my high-school reunion. Not going to say which one, but rest assured that my high-school reunion is at least old enough to drink legally. Our school didn’t have one for a while (Does anyone tell you when you’re elected class president senior year that it’s a lifetime appointment, as you’re slated for organizing your former classmates for the rest of your life? Luckily ours is perfect for that job). Then we had one five years ago, which went so well that we’re doing it again already. I finally talked my best friend into coming with me, along with another friend who’s flying in for the occasion, just to go hang out at some suburban restaurants with a bunch of former classmates or something.

I think my high school was nicer than most (my grade school, sheer hell), and the longer the reunions go on, the more any old cliques and stuff just fall away. Basically, everyone just seems glad to see everyone. It’s shocking how many of my classmates look at least as good as they did at graduation; I neglected to lose the 20 pounds I should have before Saturday, but hey, just wait until the next one. (Let us never forget the classic reunion quote from Gross Pointe Blank: “It was as if everyone had swelled.”) I once met up with an old boyfriend after several years, and he greeted me with, “You are unchanged.” I wanted to high-five him and run out of the restaurant, yelling “Thank you! Good night” like Kevin Cronin in REO Speedwagon at the end of a live version of “Ridin’ The Storm Out.” It was everything I wanted out of that encounter.


A few other thoughts about reunions: I hate how in the movies the reunions always take place at the high school. This would never, ever happen, because in most places you can’t have alcohol on school grounds, and reunions are pretty much impossible without cocktails. (Except for me this year, as I’m driving to the suburbs.)

I brought my husband last time and it was a huge mistake. Super-boring for him, because obviously he didn’t know anyone, and only a handful of other spouses were there in the first place. He’s staying home this time. I got divorced the morning before the night of my 10th reunion, which was also: huge mistake. That was just way too much emotionality to face in a single day with an open bar.

Do you go to your reunions? If you’re on the fence about attending, I say: just go. People are likely a lot nicer than you may remember, and as you get older honestly I think we’re all just glad we’re still around. I love to talk to people who actually remember my mom.

Plus, my high-school classmates are the first people who ever read anything I wrote for publication, in the school newspaper, as I typed out wordy movie reviews and interviews with star wrestlers and scathing editorials about Turnabout dances. I owe them a lot. Reunion or no, have a great weekend, everyone!

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.


President Zod

Yes to all of this. Do NOT take a spouse to high school or college reunion. Never took my wife, but she dragged me to one of hers, years ago, and it was a nightmare of boredom. And it sucked for her too. I finally said to stop worrying about me and go hang out. I went to the bar with the handful of other +1's and we got hammered bonding over how much it sucked being there.

I graduated high school in 1989. We stopped after the 20 year reunion. The 10th year was the best. Prime of life, physical health. That night was epic.

My class graduated almost 600 kids. But it was a pretty close class. Everyone got along, passing familiarity to friendly nods to good friends. My best friends are still high school friends.

To Gwen’s point- un my experience, reunions tend to do away with cliques, etc., and people are adults. Life has happened for all these people, and you realize that 4 years of high school, even 12 years of education, is less time than you’ve spent OUT of high school.

We realized that birth to graduation averaged 18 years. A 20 year reunion was that plus 2 more years. That’s kind of when you realize that your life is accelerating and you’re at the halfway point.

I am 47 and on the back nine. I am closer to the 19th hole than the 1st tee. Sorry, Ryder Cup weekend.

Next spring is our 3oth reunion. 30! People have married, divorced, had kids, been successful, not been successful, and have died. It is a very strange feeling, to look back at what was. My oldest is a sophomore in high school, and sometimes, if I think too hard about it, the room around me starts to waver a bit. He’s almost 16, will be driving soon. He has begun looking at colleges.

I remember all of this, like it was yesterday.

Life’s weird, and time is so very fleeting.

Gwen, hope you have (or had) a great time!