I went to my 20th high school reunion. Although, technically, it is only our second reunion because as a class, we have only met twice since matriculating from our fair school's sweltering gym way back in 1989.
My head is sort of all over the place on this and I could write posts all week long. Long, mental meanderings about how sad and disappointing small town life really can be, despite the best efforts of politicians touting its "real" American" qualities, as if us fools languishing in the suburbs and cities are doing squat to contribute to our country. About how my small town experience is complicated by the fact that I spent half of my school life in Oskaloosa, KS and the other half in Tonganoxie. About how I did not really like living in Tonganoxie. About how my time in Oskaloosa has been gifted that special soft-focus glow of memory because my parents were married at the time and I had an intact family. About how Tonganoxie is still remembered in a harsh glare of hurts, disappointments and loneliness.
My friend Tari (aka TLC, from my post Can Wii be Friends?) and I spent a week or so in feverish anticipation of this reunion. Comparing notes on outfits and shoes. Genuinely excited about reconnecting with long-lost friends and hanging out in our old high school, the scene of many crimes and ill-conceived schemes. Quite simply, we were totally stoked to the max about spending nearly an entire weekend together.
And it did not disappoint - it was bodacious and bad to the bone.
On Saturday, we drove around the town and the country roads, visiting all of our old houses (and bicycle routes!) Reminiscing about how said sad we were to find that despite new buildings, many things in our small town had not changed one. damned. bit. Talking about old dreams and new ones. How we missed the openness of the countryside, but not the ironically stifling atmosphere of a small town.
About how miraculously, despite it all, we ended up where we had always wanted to be anyway - married to two nice guys and ending up with some pretty cool kids.
Here's a toast to mini-marshmallows roasted over the flame of a unicorn candle. And may we never stop learning new things.
PS. Oh, and I can still totally kick your ass in Trivial Pursuit.
Scenes from a High School Gym
1985, 8th Grade Graduation
2009, Our 20th High School Reunion