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.