Wednesday, December 2, 2015

“High School Reunion"

My High School Senior Picture

“High School Reunion”

When those three words pop up in conversation or in a Facebook post, your reaction will be one of two things:  Sign me up!  or  No way!

Having attended two of the three reunions for our class (we celebrate once-every-ten-years), I want to encourage you to make the trip back home to Merrillville next summer. I admit that I initially thought No Way!  But on second thought, I remembered having a fabulous time at past reunions and would probably regret not attending the upcoming event when I see pictures posted after the event.  

Here are 10 Reasons to Attend Our High School Reunion:

1. People do change
A big reason why people don’t return for their reunions is that they hated being in high school and why return to the scene of four years of misery? Consider this, by now you and everyone else (well almost everyone else) have long since shed your teenage self-doubt, painful shyness, and clique noteworthy behaviors.  It’s no longer about whom you were then, it’s about who you are today.  Trust me; people will be interested in your journey and the changes that have taken place over the years.

2. No strangers
Over the past decade, adults have flocked to Facebook. You can walk into a room of people you have not seen in person since you walked across the stage with your diploma and immediately jump into a conversation about their golf game, their trip to Florida or their grandchildren. Conversation with someone you hardly knew in high school will suddenly be stress-free.

3. Release your inner 18-year-old
We are now required to behave like responsible adults every single day. At work, as parents/grandparents, and as leaders we suck it up and play the role of a responsible adult. But, for one night, when neither boss nor kids will be there to judge your behavior, channel your young at heart feelings and throw caution to the wind.  Stay out late!

 4. Mysteries revealed
We may have sat through classes together, but how we lived our teenage years were infinitely diverse. At the 20 year reunion I loved hearing stories from my classmates. They filled in some gaps and solved a few long-forgotten mysteries. Now I know who swam naked in the pool, who had a major crush on me, and why our bus driver was fired to name a few.  Also, many interesting conversations started with “Whatever happened to __  __” …mystery solved!

 5. Expressions don’t change
Not to worry, yearbook photos will most likely be on the name tags. Sure, reading glasses now sit on noses, hair has turned grey (mainly the guys J), we have picked up a few pounds — but the smiles endure.  The eyes are the same. The sense of humor of that guy, who drove our Chemistry teacher crazy, is still there, too.

6. Music and dance
While fashion and make-up from the 70’s look dated, the music we loved in high school is locked in our brains as the best party tunes, ever.  You’ll grab your girlfriends and abandon self-consciousness. So what if your kids say your dancing is like the Charlie Brown Christmas characters? You can throw your hands in the air like you just don’t care.

7. The one who broke your heart
Was there one person, who dumped you, or in my case didn’t even know I was alive despite the huge crush I had on him all sophomore year? Maybe he or she will show up, too. Go ahead and seek them out, you might be happy you didn’t make that connection after all (wink).

8. Prom redux
Perhaps you remember our prom as a night of Cinderella-like splendor. No? Me neither. Looking back at yellowed photos, mine seemed more about blue eye shadow and a matching powder blue tuxedo. A reunion is a perfect time for a do-over. Splurge on an outfit you feel great in. Ladies, schedule a hair appointment and drop by the makeup bar. We’ve paid for our daughters and sons to go all out for their proms and weddings, why not indulge ourselves for one night?

9. See how the story played out
When we graduated from Merrillville high school, some of us had definite career goals, others were madly in love, and some went to work in the mill as their fathers and grandfathers had before them. The reunion is a chance to see if those high school romances blossomed into marriage (some did and, remarkably, the couples are still married). Did the kids who already knew they wanted to be a doctor or a lawyer stick with it?  Where did everyone land geographically and what prompted them to move away?  What plans for retirement are in the works? One story I heard at the 20 year reunion was fascinating to me; I would have never predicted he would live where he does and create the business he has.

10. Friends
This is, of course, the real reason you NEED to attend our reunion. If you are in touch with high school buddies, great, this will be a fun night with them. But friendships were more than your best friends. They were the kids you were on yearbook staff with, ones you were in elementary school with but drifted away from in middle school. Maybe you have no connection whatsoever with your high school and you have moved far away. There may be no better way to rediscover a friendship than at a high school reunion. Please consider joining the fun, I want to catch-up!

Please reply “YES” in the comments below if you are interested in attending a reunion next summer.

Lori (Patton) Dorrington
Johns Creek, Georgia

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  1. Great read Lori! So true! Looking forward to a reunion! Would love to see your artwork!

  2. Great read Lori! So true! Looking forward to a reunion! Would love to see your artwork!