Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Reconnection Rejection

I've been giving memories of high school a bit more thought lately and realized something important: with incredibly few exceptions, I have zero desire to reconnect with my graduating class (or any other class for that matter). I'm already in contact with the friends I wanted to keep, either through Facebook, e-mails, or "real" life.

High school was a means to an end. Both state and parental law required me to attend school, so it's not like I had a choice. While I did very well academically and enjoyed most of my teachers and subjects, friendships from that time seem like foggy spirits. I know they existed, but I can't quite picture them anymore. As active as I was in the various music ensembles, the memory of such hard work and dedication leaves a sour taste in my mouth. I loved being a musician, but I hated the petty crap and incompetent director.

A few of my current friends from high school are still friends with other people that went to school with us. My friends like to throw parties and invite all of their friends. I'm then faced with a dilemma: do I go simply because I was invited, or do I not go because I have no desire to reconnect with old familiar faces that weren't exactly nice to me for four years? Should I try to interact with people that I am satisfied not knowing? What do I tell my friends when declining their invitations, "Sorry, I'll spend time with you, but I don't want to see Joe/Bill/Frank ever again"?

I'm not trying to be malicious or cruel toward those 500 students I started 9th grade with. They didn't pay me any attention for four years, and I have no intention of becoming their friend--or acquaintance--now. It's not about overcoming or forgiving or anything other than living my own life without forcing awkward conversations over beer at a mutual friend's house.

Is it an ugly truth to not want to be a part of alumni gatherings or reunions? Is it a good thing to not want to be re-stereotyped or labeled as the "geek" or "ugly girl" or "nerd"? I'm just starting to feel comfortable as a woman, a wife, an adult: I don't need to feel less than I am for the benefit of some people I don't want to care about ever again.

But there is this little tiny part of me that wants to go back for my 10-year-reunion and dance with my husband in front of everyone. Conservatively skimpy clothes, a few sequins or a little make-up, and a huge slap in the face to those who teased me for having short hair, no boobs, and too many brains for their likes. I want to Samba and Waltz and West Coast and watch them stare in awe... not because I'm a good dancer (hehe, no), but because it would highlight a beautiful, successful, intelligent woman who managed to snag an equally impressive husband. Because nobody teases someone who can Waltz.


Strayer said...

Do it! Then leave early.

MissKris said...

It'll be 40 years for me in 2012 and I haven't been back to any of my reunions and have no plans to go to that one, either. No, Jaggy...don't go and "show them". In all reality, no one cares how you've moved on. Seriously. With years of hindsight behind me...and I had an horribly difficult time going to 3 middle schools and 3 high schools...I've never felt I want to 'lower' myself to having to 'prove' anything to any of them. My life has gone on to be wonderfully blessed with a husband who tells me I'm the center of his world, children and grandchildren who adore me. What do I care if so-and-so sees me now...and, more importantly, what so-and-so thinks. I've kept one friend from high school - actually, I met her at age 14 at one of my middle schools - and she's the only one I've ever cared to keep in contact with. I think most reunions only serve to stir up a lot of memories most of us would rather not even have in the first place.

Skunk said...

I agree with MissKris! I, too, was in your situation, and while I would love to go and "show 'em"--it just doesn't work that way. People how find pleasure in putting people down will continue to do so, no matter what. It's what makes them feel better about themselves.

I refuse to go to any of my reunions, and I refuse to go to any of my husband's reunions. Period. The worst memories of my life involve those horrid people and I care not to remind myself of them.

Jaggy said...

Thanks for the comments! I'm not sure my point was the last paragraph as much as the rest of the post, but I appreciate the insights. At the moment, I have no intention of going back. The dream at the end is exactly that: a dream. In reality, the jerks I went to school with would find a way to put me down again regardless of my successes.

cm0978 said...

Yes, and then you find that you wasted a good hour of your precious time on people you don't care about. Turn the CD player on and waltz with your husband in your own living room. A sloooow dance. At least he knows how to keep time as well as the steps :)

fourtwoseven said...

haha. Yes. I love the confidence in this. Fuck em.