Heather Mooney (Janeane Garafalo) in Romy & Michele’s High School Reunion
Today is a bit different of a topic. High school. Oh…dear…GOD. My twenty year reunion is
looming coming up and I am really torn whether or not to attend. Like many people, high school was really difficult. I was painfully shy and awkward and made up for my profound insecurity by talking non-stop. If you can’t dazzle with brilliance, baffle with…
I didn’t make friends, I took hostages.
Not to mention that my reunion is…well, complicated. See, I don’t even really know which reunion to attend. I was on the 5 year plan. I switched schools eleven times and five of those changes were in high school. My parents decided to move us to Florida in the middle of my sophomore year, which meant in Florida, I got the joy of doing my sophomore year…again.
Florida was nice to me. Even though I had to repeat 10th grade, they at least let me take honors classes. I took College Literature, Honors Marine Biology, only when I transferred back to Southwest in Fort Worth?
None of it counted.
Not even my Health and Wellness class.
The Fort Worth Codependent School District called it Health & Fitness, and, even though Florida’s Health & Wellness was taught from the exact SAME book, I got to retake the class…AGAIN. I took Health THREE times, all because each school called it something different and it was required that I not be confused where babies came from.
I hold a special kind of hate for school administrators.
Thus, instead of graduating in 1992 in a class of people I actually knew and whom I had gone to school with in my earlier years before my parents decided to move around more that Romany Gypsies, I graduated in 1993. Thus, technically I really shouldn’t be attending my 20 year reunion until NEXT year, but all the people I know are in the reunion THIS year. So, I don’t even think I am on the list of graduates for 1992. I keep picturing this humiliating scenario where they reenact crossing the stage, only I’m not on the list of those graduating.
Sort of like this dream I’ve had for the last 20 years where I am a successful doctor, lawyer, author and my high school counselor shows to tell me that there was a mistake. I never really graduated high school so my college degree is null and void and I am slotted to return to high school…and begin again at the tenth grade.
Because apparently I didn’t repeat that grade enough in the 90s.
The upside to all of this high school drama is that it made me funny. My dear friend and business partner Ingrid Schaffenburg tells me that humor is birthed from pain which explains why I am freaking HYSTERICAL. Those years were dreadful, but they taught me to never give up. Many people would have never finished school after being held back so many times.
But you know what? I learned to have rhino skin and not take myself so darn seriously and those are qualities that have helped me become a successful author. I learned that, when things get bad, we only have two choices—laugh or cry. I’ll take laughing any day of the week. I learned to just keep pressing. Keep moving forward. Setbacks are only temporary stops if we just keep moving forward.
Failure can be a tombstone or a stepping stone; the choice is ours.
Southwest was full of some really wonderful people that I wish I’d known better. No one was ever particularly mean to me (that was another high school), but I did watch most people from afar, envious of their friendships. I always felt like an outsider looking in.
At Southwest I just coasted along being an annoying overachiever who tried too hard. I didn’t make a lot of close friends because I was so tired of saying good-bye. Every move had meant letting go of people I loved, so by the time I finally lighted on a school I kept everyone at a distance.
So after all of this, I am really on the fence about whether or not to go. I don’t really fit. Technically speaking I am actually crashing the 92 reunion, since I should attend the 93 reunion. I find life has a sick sense of humor. The person who hated high school gets to go to TWO reunions.
I keep waffling back and forth. I might get to finally make friends with the people I was too afraid to talk to back then, and that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. And then there is this other vision I get of spending a couple hundred bucks to just stand in a corner blabbing to one of the caterers.
So what are your thoughts? Should I go or not go? I am kind of terrified, but I just spent Wednesday’s blog kicking you guys out of the comfort zone and I try to take my own advice. But at least I’m honest when I tell you that I am a total chicken so I need your help before making this decision. This is one advantage to blogging :D. You can use your followers for
free therapy feedback.What was your high school reunion experience? Good times? Biggest mistake EVER? Share your high school hell stories!
I’m actually happy I graduated from Southwest, because this could have totally been me had I graduated from another high school that shall not be mentioned by name…
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