My 35th high school reunion is coming up next year (gulp!), so when Classmates.com reached out to me to try out their site and write about my experience I jumped at the chance, because I’m nothing if not sentimental. I hopped online and within seconds created a profile and my high school yearbook magically appeared on the screen.
One scroll through the pages and I was taken back in time. My best friend wore cornrows ala Bo Derek in 10, while I painstakingly blow-dried my kinky curly hair into perfect feathery waves like the Charlie’s Angel that I dreamed to be. Disco was the rage, jumpsuits were in, and when we weren’t crimping or smoothing our hair we were studying. (Who am I kidding? Hair was our number one priority!)
After thirty-some years I don’t remember everyone in my graduating class (or who I passed notes to in geometry, which explains my stellar math skills). But Classmates.com does. It was as easy as typing in the name of my high school and graduating class year and the names started flowing.
It’s been great fun putting names and faces together from the past. Seeing who’s aged well and who hasn’t. (Meow.) Wondering which high school sweethearts are still together and who’s ripe for the picking. Thinking of my favorite teachers (especially my tenth grade English teacher who encouraged my writing), and the curmudgeonly ones that didn’t approve of my personal conversations during class time. (As if!) Even reminiscing about old crushes, or the mean girls, who I lovingly refer to as “the girls who peaked in high school.” It’s fun to look them up from a safe distance.
The last time I looked through my yearbook was by flashlight as I read the notes and signatures (over and over) into the wee hours of the morning, always a favorite end of school year ritual.
You see yearbook signing was the highlight of each class year. It signaled that summer was so close you could smell the Coppertone. I hoped that cute boy from Spanish class, who I batted my Maybeline eyelashes at, would ask me to sign his yearbook. I couldn’t wait to read my BFF’s long sappy ode to our friendship, which I also wrote (practically verbatim) in her yearbook. Oh, and the endless stream of acquaintances wishing various versions of a happy summer and begging me to “never change.” Pure gold, I tell you.
Nothing can compare to those bonds of childhood, the before to our now. Classmates.com is a wonderful way to help find, make and keep those connections. Staying in contact with my high school friends has been deeply rewarding. Something I’m cherishing more with each passing year.
So, as my 35th high school reunion gets closer I am excited about getting together once again. High school reunions are, whether we admit it or not, an opportunity to take inventory of our lives, our hopes, our dreams. Or maybe it’s just a chance to see how everyone else aged. If you’re looking upwards of a 25th reunion it’s a time when love handles and bald patches and crows feet and achy joints are part of the vernacular.
We’ll be faced with those we adored and those we hoped to never see again, and everyone in between. Who could ask for more? Hey, if you’re single, you might look across a room and BOOM: A love connection. Who knows?
Let’s face it, we don’t go to the reunions for the rubber chicken and watered down drinks. We go to see friends and familiar faces. There’s really nothing better than reconnecting with the people who knew and liked us in spite of our perms, Mohawks, and bad fashion choices.
Thanks to Classmates.com for providing access and compensation for this trip down memory lane. All opinions are mine.
I thought the high school photo of you was your daughter. So adorable!! Hope you have lots of fun at your reunion when it arrives. I know you’ll be looking prettier than most.
Evelyn krieger says
I graduated from an all-girls religious high school–class size 12. So no big reunions for me. Don’t think I’d be into it, either way. Sounds like you have good memories. I’d guess that the majority of us would have little desire to revisit those days. I’d love to read your follow-up post. Have fun!
Sandra Sallin says
Adorable. I loved the old photos of you.
It’s amazing how other people age when they come to reunions. I thought the men looked the most diferent. Hard to recognize them. Women not as much. I remember my sister driving to the parking lot going to her reunion and wondering who all those “old people” were. Where does the time go?
Laurie Oien says
I’ve been to all my reunions, but the 30th was the best one! It seemed everyone had grown up and were less pretentious or self-conscious. It was all about just having fun – no more silly high school cliques. I’m sure you’ll have a great time just by being yourself. Reconnecting is great!
Kathy @ SMART Living 365.com says
Hi Linda! What a transformation between your freshman year to your senior year. And yeah, I can relate to all that metal in your mouth as well. I have gone to two of my reunions and while it was fun to connect with a couple of the women I was close to then, not that many actually showed up which was disappointing. I hope your upcoming reunion is everything you hope it will be. ~Kathy
Karen Shatafian says
High School was not my favorite time in life, but you are right, it’s about the people. I went to my reunion to see the friends I made while growing up. A few bonds that I hold from those years will last forever. Thanks for helping me remember! 🙂
I’m so lucky! My two best girlfriends in high school are still my two best girlfriends. I’ve served on our reunion planning committee along with people I didn’t know when I was in high school. These new friendships have been very special indeed. Brenda
Rebecca Forstadt Olkowski says
What a fun story. I was sort of appalled when I saw what people had written in my kid’s yearbook. We came from more innocent times. Have fun at your reunion.
My 30th is next year and the guys and I have just started to talk about whether we’ll go or not.
Those yearbook signatures are fun to read, little snapshots in time.
I did a bunch of the things we promised to do and some, well I still have a few months before the next reunion to get them done. 🙂