Why do we fear high school reunions? Correction: Why do we fear them – but won’t admit it?
Instead of facing reality, people will whip-up some deep philosophy (a.ka. a bull-!$ excuse) explaining why they have no use for their reunion and why their reunion has no use for them. Sound familiar: “I didn’t care about what any of them were doing in high school. Why should I care now?” Or the lamer, “I didn’t go because I wasn’t friends with any of the people that went anyway.” There’s even the rare, but effective, “My senior year I was voted prom queen as a joke and my classmates dumped pigs’ blood all over me during the crowning. I was so humiliated that I telepathically burnt down the gymnasium. So I’m actually not allowed to go.”
My advice; don’t waste B.S. on excuses – save it for the “ice breaker.”
Reunions are our chance to be everything we weren’t in high school – and everything we probably aren’t in life. And since there are so many different ways to mess with people – not blowing all their minds at this awkward get-together should be your only fear!
You can’t go wrong as long as you avoid being plain. Being normal – and boring – is why you don’t ever want to go in the first place, right?
Things to consider when molding your new reunion identity: nobody likes a winner, at least not at this event. Think of it this way; anyone can be an over-achieving success – it takes creativity to become a grossly under-achieving weirdo.
Prison stories by the punch bowl are always a hit. Watch phony smiles melt away as you assure uncomfortable classmates that, “It’s OK, that’s all behind me now.” A couple days later – when they’re relieved to find out via a mass e-mail chain that you weren’t really under 24-hour lock-down in San Quentin – your real life as a lonely raft salesman will sound pretty darn swanky.
Falsifying a name tag is always quick and easy at a reunion (or any function that requires one). “Aren’t you Mike? Mike ‘The Mad Dog’ McGuire? Why does it say ‘Rich Lather’ on your shirt?”
“Because I lost a bet in Reno that required me to legally change my name to a top-selling men’s shave gel. Say, is there going to be Karaoke tonight?”
Keep a straight face and their will be no questions asked.
Warning! The point is to purposely set the bar extremely low. Do not claim to be more successful than you really are! Don’t say you’re a dentist if you’re really a hygienist – that makes you a “liar.” Say you were at the head of the class in dental school, but got thrown out for huffing the laughing gas – that makes you a “rebel.” Remember, it’s easier – and more interesting – for people to accept you as a loser. And for them it’s like finding $20 bucks in their pocket when they learn that you’re really not.
Note: the complexity of the tales should increase as the reunions chug on. Time and distance will allow this. Start small at 10 years and build as you go. Do not shoot-off all your cannons in the first round – it’s early at this point, and everyone might still remember who you are and what you do. Always keep notes and remember what you said at the last function. If you play your cards right, you could create an entire lifetime of absurdity.
Don’t be fooled – this is your high school reunion. It’s your life. Do whatever you want with either. Everyone pretended to be something they weren’t in high school. Why change now? It’s not like you ever really knew each other anyway.
I’m going to my 10-year when it comes around in a few years. I’m not only showing up – they’ll have to ask me to leave. And they probably will.