Monday, September 24, 2012

On High School Reunions

I'm fresh off the plane from my 10th (cough, cough, cough) high school reunion. I'm completely beat from hanging out with all the old people, who I'm here to tell you, can still really party despite the extra pounds, gray hair, baldness and, lord help me, grandchildren. I'm going to make this brief due to the headache from staying up past my bedtime for too many nights and a yoga class with my 75 year old father in which I found myself doing a headstand.

In any case, high school reunions are kinda awesome for a variety of reasons, but here are my top ten from a writerly perspective:

1. You get to see the overall story arc of a group of people you've known in many cases since childhood.
2. Is there anything more fascinating than the evolution or non-evolution of people you've grown up with?
3. In so many cases, the careers, spouses and personalities were eerily close to what I'd imagined, but what of those few people who threw me for a loop?
4. Why was it those voted Most Likely To generally didn't and, more interesting, what did they do instead?
5. The physical changes, both positive and negative.
6. The cliques and how they still impact classmates who stayed in our hometown.
7. How much and how little people really change.
8. How and why time truly is the great equalizer.
9. Where else could you possibly find so many fleshed out potential characters in one place?
10. The stories!


Shannon Baker said...

Just imagine what they are saying about you? Were you voted Most Likely to Publish?

Beth Groundwater said...

I remember going to my 20th high school reunion and finding out that the woman who beat me in the "Most Likely to Succeed" category for girls was a housewife with two kids and no career. While I'm sure she worked hard at home and I support the choice to stay at home and raise our future good citizens, I did feel a sense of satisfaction that I at the time was a software project manager with a Masters Degree--and two children of my own.