The 20th Reunion

My 20th high school reunion is this summer and I don’t think I will go.

I didn’t go to my 10 year reunion for financial reasons. We had just bought our first house and the tickets were $200 and the  reunion was an hour away at the beach, even though my new house was less than 10 miles away from the high school.

This time I’m just not sure.

Now I live 1000 miles away.

I’d like to pretend that the distance is the reason I don’t think I will go, but the truth is that I could go and stay at my mom’s house for free. I mean, I would still have to travel to Florida, but we usually go down there once in the summer anyway and I am certain I could arrange that trip around the reunion.

Last time I convinced myself that it wasn’t a big deal because with very few exceptions I am still in touch with the people that I care about that graduated the same year and from the same school as I did.

I can see the rest of them on Facebook for free. I don’t even need to buy a dress.

If I don’t go I don’t have to drag my husband to a crappy party that he will loathe with a bunch of people he doesn’t know or care about.

If I don’t go they won’t have to see how much weight I have gained.

If I don’t go I won’t have to see the popular crowd that I was not a part of.

If I don’t go I don’t have to see my high school nemesis.

Ah, we reach the truth.

I got a Facebook invitation of some sort about the reunion and it was signed by my archenemy (my highschool archenemy, not my current one) and I don’t want to go if it is her party.

Yes, I am a petty, shallow person. I talk a lot about forgiveness around here and I think I have actually managed to forgive almost everyone who has wronged me.

Except her.

I have forgiven the boyfriend she tried to steal from me, and that guy was a liar, a cheater and an all around dick. I have forgiven the ex-boyfriend who has a child that was born eight months after we broke up. I have forgiven my psycho ex-boss.

Wait – you can forgive somebody and still hate them, right?

I have not forgiven my high school nemesis and that is my deepest darkest reason for not wanting to go to my 20th high school reunion.

For a couple of days now I have been rolling this around in my mind and I think I have to forgive her. This isn’t about her – screw her – this is about me and my mental health and the fact that I have been carrying this poison around inside of me for 22 years now. So she tried to steal my boyfriend in 10th grade when I thought she was my friend. That makes her a shitty person, yes, but doesn’t holding this pointless grudge make me flawed as well?

It does.

So I will try to finally let it go if I can, totally betraying the promise I made to my 16 year old self (I vowed I would never forgive her.) and see if it helps me feel better.

I probably still won’t go to my reunion anyway.

My secret back up reason is apathy.

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  1. Dress in a black suit. Go as a bad ass, cold blooded killer. Don’t talk to anybody.

  2. Speaking as someone who happily blew off my 20th HS reunion, I think all of those reasons – including the big one – are completely valid. Other than being able to mine it for writing fodder… it doesn’t sound like you’ve got a single compelling reason to haul ass down there to attend.

    Fuck it.

  3. Good luck with the forgiveness. It’s hard to let go of these hurts, even when you can kind of step back and say, “We were 15! Everyone does stupid shit then!” I never really forgave my high school best friend because I felt like she didn’t support me when I had a horrible transition to college. Objectively? Hello? We were 18, 19 years old. We were all in our own worlds. But still, I expected something from her and didn’t get it.

    I agree with you that forgiveness is the way to go, and it’s for you, not for her.

    But screw the reunion. Who needs that crap?

  4. I seem to be the lone ranger here. I would suggest going. Despite the reasons you’ve stated, by 20 years most people that end up at the 20 are happy to be having fun together and catching up. I organized my 20 (trying to work on the 25 right now) and I swear it’s true. You would certainly connect with a few people that you have ‘forgotten’ about, or some you will really like now that you may not have even been on your radar then. I know it happened to me. Also? my husband actually had a great time and now prefers my reunions to his own. I don’t know what the schedule is but typically there is a friday night cocktail party that is way more fun than the saturday dinner part. Just go to the friday part!

  5. Our 20th never happened. I’m surprised to say that I didn’t miss it. I am still in touch with just about everyone I want to be in touch with from HS. There are a few I’d like to reconnect with, but they are not the type to go to reunions.

    One of my best friends from HS is FB friends with a bunch of people I can’t stand, including a nemesis similar to the one you described. I can’t stand to see her interacting with this friend and it kills me that she is able to read my comments on his posts.

    It bothers me that she (still) induces such a reaction in me, but it pleases me wickedly to know that she ended up according to stereotype.

  6. Hmmm, I don’t care enough to go to any of mine. I didn’t go to the 10th and I won’t go to any of the others.

    However, I have that person. The enemy. The reason my middle and high school life sucked at different times. The one who tried to steal my husband. Yep. She’s awesome. If I even think about her, my stomach hurts…so no, I’d never go.

  7. My 20-year is this summer, too. I haven’t been to a reunion since the five-year, which was basically exactly like no one had left high school. I probably won’t go, primarily because I’ll have nothing in common with anyone by virtue of the fact that I left not only the county, but the state and the frequently the country. It would be five minutes of catching up on the usual baloney (family, kids, people who’ve died), Def Leppard and Motley Crue playing in the background, and keg beer.

    I’m pretty sure I just finalized my decision by writing this comment.

  8. My class being very small, just 44 of us graduated together, we have had a 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 year reunions. Not dating myself here am I? The 25 was a combo reunion with all classes from the 80’s so that was fun. Plus I got to see some of my high school nemesis(s)how do you make the plural? anyway, it is amazing how far some of them have fallen from their high horses of high school. You should go just to see the changes in people. I have actually gotten to be friends with some that I couldn’t stand back then.

  9. I enjoyed my fifth, quite a bit more than I’d expected (I went out of morbid curiosity, with an escape plan worked out, but ended up closing the party down.)

    As far as I know, we didn’t have a tenth reunion (or if we did, I wasn’t invited.)

    I’d probably go to a twentieth, but then, my old hometown is only three and a half hours away, and my parents still live there, and I don’t have an old nemesis who makes my blood boil just by thinking about her.

    It’s interesting to see how people are seasoned by life– and yes, shadenfreude about the fall from grace of the former popular crowd is always fun.

    I guess I’m wondering why you are debating this at all. Is there part of you that still wants to go? Or do you just feel like you should?

  10. You should come to our 20th reunion instead. Everyone loves you here. Except, it’s not planned yet because everyone is waiting for me to do it & I really don’t have time. Hey, I know. You can help plan our reunion & then it’ll be your name on the invite, not the name of your nemesis.

  11. Go! If you you go you will have faced it and then it’s over forever. Plus you WILL have fun. GO!

  12. What about all the other promises you made your 16 year old self? If you are like me, I’m sure you made some really strange promises to yourself! If you go, Gabe can stay home & I’ll be your date.

  13. I went to both and my husband’s 10 year reunions and both were some of the most boring nights of my life. You are not missing much.

  14. smart aleck says:

    Don’t go, unless you follow papa bradstein’s advice, play the right songs in the background, and post pics of John Cusack in your wrapup posting.
    You basically have the job he described in Say Anything, so I think the transition would be smooth!

  15. bah. Forgiveness is for jerks!

    I kid, but I don’t honestly think everyone needs to be forgiven. I think your karma is still in the clear.

  16. You couldn’t pay me to go to my high school reunion. And I don’t even remember any archenemies.

  17. I went to my 10th reunion. I still haven’t decided about the 20th. (I also graduated in 91). We actually haven’t heard anything about it yet though… just the date. No other details.

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