Friday, July 25, 2008

Would you do it Again? Oh, HELL NO!

Hmm. Talking about high school here. Would you? Go back? My answer in three words...Oh, HELL NO!

Talked with some ladies yesterday and one of them had signed up for the classmates site where, for a fee, you can re-connect with people you knew in high school. She was talking and laughing about how much people had changed and such. I got the feeling she really loved her high school experience. It's funny. A few years ago, I got an email out of the blue from a guy who said...remember me? Well, as a matter of fact I did. He'd somehow found me when he'd signed up for this deal and I was so fascinated suddenly at the concept of checking up of people from high school.

So I paid my fee and started checking things out. Umm...what was I smokin'? In the end, I realized way too much time had passed and I really didn't know these people. There was no interest, little curiousity. I currently live far away from my small hometown and when I thought about those days, I mainly remembered bad stuff. Sure, there was the occasional teacher who'd made a difference in my life. English teachers who nurtured my love of writing and books but that was about IT.

I remembered gossip mainly, and cruelty. Lots and lots of cruelty. Recalled the "bully girls" who liked to sneak into the bathroom to smoke and pick on the "good girls" who had actual business in the rest room. I recalled the girl, very shy, who wore her coat to school despite the warm weather and the way a group of girls cornered her and yanked off her coat in front of everyone in the gym one day. She was very pregnant and trying to hide the fact beneath this fuzzy coat.

BLECH! High School sucked. They weren't people. They were more like animals and I couldn't get out of that place fast enough. So if anyone actually posed the question...would you do it all over again? I'd have to say that, to me, returning to high school would be like taking a trip to hell.

I don't think our teens have it any easier today. Cars and clothes and gadgets are certainly more accessable, most have computers, but they have their share of problems. Drugs of the super strong variety, sex and more sex, STD's, alcohol and other things that make us moms shudder. From the stories I hear from my own teen, things haven't gotten better. Sure many kids are more affluent, but there is still that sharp edge of cruelty and cunning that I remember from long ago.

So the other day, when the talk turned to class reunions and these sites that help you re-connect with those high school days, I recalled getting a reunion invitation several years ago. It didn't take much thinking on my part. The damn thing went straight in the trash.

What will/or did you do when that reunion invitation came in the mail? Did you toss it or book a flight? I know everyone's high school experience is different. Different regions of the country. Big cities and little towns. But really? What did you think of high school and if you had the chance would you do it all over again?

16 comments:

flchen1 said...

In general, I'm not a big fan of my high school reunions--I gave my most recent a big pass. (I figure that most of the people I care enough to know something about, I stay in touch with, at least sporadically.) I did go to my 10-year reunion with my husband in tow, and it surprised us no end that as we walked in, HE was the first one to be greeted by name--this was especially odd because not only did he NOT attend my high school, he didn't even attend high school in the United States! Heh...

Anyway, there were lots of people who looked vaguely familiar, as if I ought to remember them, but I'm awful with names anyway, so of course I didn't. So hours of making small talk with lots of nice people who I should have remembered but didn't? Hmm...

Maybe if I'd been a lot more popular in high school? Oh well! ;)

(I did just read Carol Culver's YA BFF trilogy, and it brought some of those high school feelings right back--but I don't think I'd want to relive it!)

Molly Daniels said...

I went to the 10th and it was boring. It just seemed everyone was trying to 'one-up' each other.

But at the 20th, it was more relaxed. I spoke to more of my classmates, and when they found out I was published, it made up for being a 'no one' at the 10th.

I also get to reconnect with my bff from HS at these things...he lives far away, and it is so nice to catch up with all the happenings in our lives!

Regina Carlysle said...

My biggest worry about attending a reunion would be seeing people who look vaguely familiar and being unable to recall their names. That would soooo suck. Funny. I just looove Romy and Michelle's High School reunion. Awkward.

Terry Spear/Terry Lee Wilde said...

I moved from Florida to Oregon in my junior year and was really shy, so it was awful. But my dad found out about a progam where if you were 16, you could take an entrance exam for the community college, so I did, and skipped my last two years of high school and went to college instead. Worked, drove, and loved it all.

anny cook said...

About four years after high school graduation I moved across the country. Recently my 40th reunion was held with a big party. I didn't go as it was far away. But I did re-connect with a couple of ladies via Classmates.com. It was great to be able to reconnect. I think on a one on one basis it's sometimes nice to have that option. At a party? No.

anny cook said...

PS No I wouldn't go back to high school for whatever anyone offered me.

Kelly Kirch said...

Easy. I don't go. I moved every couple of years growing up. Those schools hold reunions in foreign countries. It's very easy NOT to go. They do have monthly magazines with photos and I have had people contact me. In fact, people in those countries are tracked on sitemeter so I know they are visiting my blog. But reconnect. No thanks.

Anne Rainey said...

I wasn't popular. Never dated. Had braces. Shy.

Would I go to a reunion, maybe. And I'd bring a few books with me to show those who didn't think I'd ever amount to much. hehe!

Kelley Nyrae said...

I loved high school!! I'd go back. I went to school in a small town with only 98 kids in my graduating class. Of course there was your typical gossip etc but we had no mean girls. There were yor different clicks, but if there was a party, nine out of ten times everyone was there except kids who didnt go to parties. It didn't matter what click you belonged to. I'll tell you a story. I was one of about three AA kids in my school and the others were siblings. One time a kid made a racist remark to me (the only time that ever happened). I told a couple people, not many. I was a freshman at the time. By lunch it seemed the whole school knew and they were all coming to my defense. I had boys coming up to me all day telling me, "don't worry. We're goimg to have a talk with D. I'm sorry that happened to you". I think that says a lot about the kind of school I went to. We all stuck up for each other. I know I was very lucky. Of course there were your incidents like at every school but on the whole I loved the school I went to. Granted I always had more guy friends than girl friends which is easier in some ways.

My ten year reunion is next month and I'm really bummed that I can't go.

Regina Carlysle said...

There are a few people I wouldn't mind reconnecting with and I've actually done that over the past year. Funny how different they seem from those days.

But at a party? Nope, I'd prefer a private get-together over that kind of social situation. It would just feel stressful and I try to AVOID that!! lol

Kelley Nyrae said...

I still talk with a good 10 people high school.

Mona Risk said...

I went to an all-girl high scool abroad, a private nun school. I had wonderful friends. We met several times over the years at school reunions in Paris or Montreal and invited some of our teachers too. We keep in contact through month;y phone calls, emails and visits although they live in so many different countries. Some of them came for my daughter's wedding and many bought my books since they are ebooks. Amazingly while in school I only talked to thos in my class, now I made friends with women from different classes. We have something in common that no one can take away, our youth, our background, our memories and even the special hymn of our school.

Regina Carlysle said...

Ah, I love that, Mona. Great memories. Wish I'd had that. It must be so fun to stay in touch and know they support you. Bet they are so proud of your writing.

Ashley Ludwig said...

Regina, Funny you should bring this up this week. My 20th reunion is next Friday. After much deliberation, we decided to go spend a week with my parents, play by their pool, enjoy family, I did catch up with one of my oldest friends who is bringing her boys to play with my girls...I'm really looking forward to that.

My 10th reunion was a blast. I ran into an old friend who later introduced me to my husband. BIG bonus.

So, I have no expectations. At the very least, we're going to hang out in a room where a bunch of faces are sort of familiar...

I love that line in Gross Point Blank where Joan Cussak says that it just looked like everyone had swelled. Here's to hoping that isn't me! :)

Oh, and it doesn't hurt that I can drop that I'm a published author now...

thanks for the post!

~Ashley

Sascha Illyvich - The Dark Wolf Prince said...

Hi Regina,

Yeah I'd do it again. Knowing whta I know now of course, that high school is designed to TEACH kids about coping and deaing with others, in short, social skills.

Adults are no different in the corporate work place, we have our cliches etc. But I'm a LOT more vocal now than I was in high school. You'd all be floored. I wouldn't have HALF the ocurage to tell Tess the naughty things I do today, I was dumb.

Yeah I'd do my reunion. Mostly as a big Fuck You to all who picked on me. And mostly as vengance. My best friend though, I still talk to her weekly but we've known each other since middle school so...

And I'd have slept around a lot more LOL!

Oh, and today's kids have it EASIER. They're just dumb. All of them just about.

Seriously.

Helen Hardt said...

Would I go back to high school? Not only no, not only HELL no, but even if you dragged me at gunpoint, I might choose the bullet, LOL. Bitchy girls whose sole purpose was to make others' lives miserable, hormonally challenged guys who had nothing better to do than make rude comments about my big boobs, and tenured teachers who were too burnt out to do anything about any of it... Need I say more?

I've heard people say those four years were the best of their lives. Hmm, eighteen years old, and it's all downhill from there? That's a little sad.

Great post!