13 October 2005

When I Get Older, Many Years From Now

Since my husband has written on my ten-year high school reunion, I figure I should. So here goes.

The places: "casually mixed" at a tavern, skipped the school tour, attempted a rained-out Revel picnic, finally truly enjoyed the cocktail party at the same place where we had our wedding reception. There's something anticlimactic about having a date at a cocktail party because you and the hubby get all dressed up, go somewhere fancy, the entire time talking with other people, and go home exhausted, wishing the entire time that just the two of you had gone to dinner and sat at a small made-for-two table. But I haven't seen many of these people in ten years (hence the title of the event), so what are you going to do?

The people: more attorneys and more degrees from Ivy League schools and more "So, what are you doing now?" conversations than I care to count, many people married to other people I could have picked out of a crowd as perfect for them, and others married to peculiar people who are perfect for them but unpredictably so. Lots of children, ranging in age from 10 (oh my) to 4 months (and she, super mom, uses cloth diapers). Lots of future politicians, lots of future cool nerds and also just nerds.

The conclusion: musing about the nature of public high school and friendships in general. Of my high school friends and acquaintances, I have remained the best of friends with one, have maintained sporadic correspondence with another, and have occasionally seen another five or so around town or at weddings. Some of these people attended preschool with me and we learned in classrooms together for 15 years, but we never emailed each other in college and I now have better relationships with their mothers, whom I merely see in Target or amid an afternoon run.

Our high school thrust people together because they lived in the same town and had similar intellectual aptitudes, and many of us have a tremendous collective history because of educational backgrounds that go farther than the "Excellence in Education" (insert our founding principal's southern Spanish accent here) we received in those hallowed open-air pavillions. But when we left for the wide world of college (and most of us did), we had the tremendous liberty of choosing our own friends. At college, you develop some of my most lasting friendships from a fairly self-selected group of people, and you only gotten better at selecting companions in the years after. Maybe it's just because you get older and wiser and cooler (not "cool" like you defined it in high school but like real people mean, like "more well-rounded and self-aware").

Nevertheless, Go Mustangs! Even if you smirk when you say it, you must have some kind of group cry for a ten-year reunion. Just because we never said it for real doesn't mean it isn't true. After all, we were a "performing arts" school and the Mustangs were really metaphorical for the angst we all felt at being anti-stallions, each of us a "small hardy naturalized horse" after intellectual prowess, which meant squashing wild athletic losers. Do note, however, the great attempts by our soccer teams (girls' soccer began my freshman year) and tennis and, of course, fencing (it's a lifetime sport, people, even if I'm not spending my lifetime still doing it). If we had had a real mascot, it would have gotten more rally for the debate team and Model UN than for athletic contests.

4 comments:

lady_catherine said...

Righto. Well, what a crying shame I won't get to experience a 10 year reunion. Mine (if it were to happen) would consist of me, my sister, and my brother going into the dining room, pointing at the desk, then walking into the kithcen and sitting at the table. What fun would that be??? Tons, I'm sure.

Micah said...

wrong link, but close enough

Jen Strange said...

What, the link to Strange's blog? I don't know--it should be right but doesn't actually work. Anyway, it's the post for October 12, so navigate to it yourself :)

magicsuperfunshow said...

What's the point of you having this...I mean really, Jennifer.