On Friday night, I went to my 10-year high school reunion. I'd been debating since high school whether I'd really be willing to go but when I found out that it was this summer and I knew I'd be living back in my home town, I decided to go.
It really was a far better experience than I'd expected (I must say, I think I look far better than I ever did in high school and a few people commented, so I had a somewhat shallow boost of self-esteem). The turnout was small, but I liked (or at least got along with) all but two of the people who came. I enjoyed chatting with everyone and it was interesting to hear what people are up to. I am in contact with a few people from Facebook or MySpace, so I knew what some of them have been doing, but had a good time talking to those I hadn't been in contact with. Some of the guys in particular are doing things completely unexpected. One guy is a stay-at-home dad with a young daughter — the absolute last thing I'd have predicted for him 10 years ago. It's amazing how many people from my class now have multiple children, but it seems that parenthood changed people for the better. One guy's wife was going around apologizing to people for what a jerk her husband was in high school, (He really, really was. In fact, he was the one person who on the day of the reunion I thought about and hoped he wouldn't be there) and when I talked to his wife for a minute she mentioned how being a dad made him a much nicer person. And told me something about him that I won't repeat here but that made me smile more than just about any news I've heard all year.
One of the girls I was kind of friends with back then but haven't seen since gathered up some liquid courage and told the guy who'd tormented her in high school about how awful he was. He was rather inebriated and didn't seem to believe he'd been THAT big of a jerk, but he did apologize to her. The conversation was entertaining to watch and I was glad that she did it. It probably felt good to get that off her chest after so long.
Saturday, we had a family picnic and while only about 10 people showed up, all with their kids, I did enjoy seeing the people I talked to there. I'd been wondering about this reunion for years and of course wasn't as wealthy or skinny as I'd hoped to be, but the people I really wanted to stick it to weren't there anyway and I realized how little any of that really matters now. In a discussion with some other classmates about who we disliked, no one even remembered the person I'd had the most trouble with, which oddly made me feel better. The 10 years went by so quickly but the reunion was a reminder of how long it has been. Going to the reunion did bring a sense of closure and I'm happy that I went.