Thursday, May 14, 2009

Countdown to Reunion

On October 3rd, the North Allegheny High Class of '69 will hold its 40th reunion.

Across the country, members of that august class are swarming to gyms, going on crash diets, undergoing minor plastic surgery, and generally getting ready to put their best face forward as they encounter the people they either loved or hated all those years ago.

It's a daunting prospect.

Yesterday, CNN ran this interesting story: Going to Extremes for High School Reunions. It told of the trauma many people go through as they go to the reunions which represent a time of mixed feelings and emotions. Married people may either anticipate or dread seeing the boy- or girl-friend from 40 years ago. Some may feel insecure as they compare their modern-day status and accomplishments to those of their former classmates. And everyone wants to put their best foot forward ... sometimes in unusual ways.

The CNN story tells of a woman who hated high school and hired a stripper to go to the reunion in her place; a fellow who got two supermodel-quality friends to go to his reunion with him so he could make a memorable entrance; and a sociological experiment involving an actress who was hired to attend a reunion as a mythical classmate, to see how people would react. It also quotes a fellow preparing for his 20th reunion: "I won't show up in a Mercedes, but I'll have a flat stomach, hair on my head, and a tan...I think that will be good enough for me."

I have mixed emotions about high school reunions. As an Alpha Geek, I spent my four years of high school dodging bullies and longing for the company of the girls who - if they noticed me at all - saw me as someone to step around on the way to the more desirable hunks. By graduation, I'd found my niche and managed to become moderately popular, but I was never one of the standouts. At our 30th reunion in 1999, I was generally pleased at how I'd held up compared to some of those I'd envied all those years before, and had an enjoyable time. Of course, attending with my trophy wife didn't hurt, either.

This year, many of us will be better prepared for the shock of seeing the dessicated husks of the young studs and babes we remember from 40 years gone. Many of us have started up Facebook pages to bring everyone up to date on our (revised and edited) histories, and some of the more brave and adventurous have included pictures so as not to deliver too dreadful a shock to our old acquaintances.

So I think I'll pass on the spray tan and the hairpiece. I'll work out at the gym, but at this point, I'm probably stuck with the spare tire I'll take to the reunion. But I know, deep inside, that everyone else is probably feeling the same anxiety that I am.

It's going to be interesting.

And Debbie owes me a tango.

Wish me luck.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



The Mistress of the Dark said...

I have vowed to never go to a reunion for many reasons. The key one being that I was the oddball there and I'm not going to bother seeing any of them again.

Debbie said...

Bill...don't be so hard on yourself. It's just that all of the girls in the class loved and respected you too much to just use you like the hunks of the class!

Now that my divorce is finalized I intend to dance with all the men at the're still #1 on my dance card. Looking forward to that Tango!

Leslie David said...

OK, so now I understand why you wanted to hire Antonio Banderas. He's got nothing on you. I think you're a nice looking guy (great eyes and smile) and can stand up to the rest. You are majorly hot since you can dance. :) I hope you and Agnes have a good time.

You know I'm going to my 35th reunion this summer--I was a major geek too (and you've seen the high school picture to prove it) and while I'm not hiring a stripper I did post on the local ballroom dance bulletin board looking for someone to go with me. I got an e-mail from a guy--divorced, a year older than I am, intermediate level dancer and not bad looking, to boot, so while I won't have a trophy date I'll have what I call a not-a-date date.

John said...

I missed #30 last year (gosh, you're old) but only because of the distance to travel and an unwillingness to use those precious days off for something like a class reunion.

It's interesting to find the paths that we've all taken...few would have guessed their life's journey would bring them to the place where they find themselves today. But some are where they are because it's where they planned to be.

Mike said...

"I'll work out at the gym"

Everyone needs an excuse to get their butts to the gym. This is a good one.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

I wish our school would have a reunion.

fiona said...

@ Mike alternatively he could introduce himself as "Bilbosaurus"
Oh, wait, shhhhhhh, he's listening...
Bilbo yer gorgeous! Don't even think about yer butt...

SusieQ said...

From what I have observed of you, Bilbo, you have every reason to be proud of yourself as you attend your class reunion. Hold your head high. You have a respectable career. You are an accomplished ballroom dancer. You're a gourmet cook. You have a great sense of humor. You have your hair. And finally, you have a wonderful blog with real live readers.

The women are going to be asking themselves why they didn't pay closer attention to you in high school. Agnes will be able to turn to them and say, "Eat your hearts out, ladies. He's all mine!"

But you are such a young'n. I attended my 50th class reunion last fall. One gentleman was extra sweet to me and said, "You're just as pretty as you ever were." Of course that can be taken two different ways. Besides, it is something you say to little old ladies so they won't whack you on your head with their cane.

Debbie said...

SusieQ I can relate to the "compliment". A certain blogger who we all love sent me a message regarding my Facebook picture. He said I looked just like I did in High School. So the question is do I look like a teenager, or did I look old 40 years ago? Be careful what you say...referring to the May 15 entry! Gotcha Bilbo!

lacochran said...

You clean up well and you can cut a rug. Now, if the reunion involves a swim party, you should know that tanning places can spray on "abs".

Bilbo said...

Thanks, everyone, for all the comments. This post got picked up by DC Blogs, too - I guess there are plenty of other folks out there with reunion angst.

Andrea - I was just about the oddest of the oddballs, and I went. You may find out that you weren't as odd as you think, and turned out better!

Debbie - the honey just flows off your tongue, doesn't it? Well done!

Leslie - a "not-a-date-date." Interesting. He'll be impressed.

John - thanks. I think.

Mike - everybody needs a go-on jab.

Jean-Luc - no, you don't. Trust me.

Fiona - I won't think about it, and you shouldn't either!

SusieQ - quit colluding with Debbie!

Debbie - am I EVER going to live down that comment? Can't you just accept being a goddess?

Lacochran - I've got plenty of blank space to spray those abs onto...

dcpeg said...

I just discovered your DCBlogs mention. Must say I'm totally surprised at your trepidation about going to your 40th. I went to mine two years ago, having previously only gone to the 10th. The latter was a disaster, but the 40th was so much fun. We all looked so old and DIDN'T CARE!! So far, that's the only blessing I've found in aging -- you stop caring what others think about you. Go and enjoy being yourself and stumping all the others in how cool you turned out to be!