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High School Reunions: Canapés, Nametags and Too Much Spanx

Sarah Bown

My 10 year High School reunion was last week and I wasn’t there.

A combination of bad timing and a brutal 12-hour drive saw my RSVP change to “would cost a week’s salary in petrol so regrettably, no”. A part of me was sad. Ironically, the other part was relieved.

Was I mentally prepared to see these people again? Would I recognise them? Would they recognise me? High School saw Sarah in the middle of a pretty intense crocheted headband stage so my bets are on not.

In recent times, Facebook has swooped in to change the rules of the reunion game. What was once a mystery wrapped in an enigma is now predictability wrapped in too many oversharing photos of their children’s bowel movements or derogatory poses at the Leaning Tower of Pisa. #yesjakeimtalkingaboutyou

Regardless, High School reunions remain a strange phenomenon. They’re like the iSnack 2.0 of 2009 and the Donald Trump victory of two weeks ago; confusing and leave a bad taste in your mouth.

The usual suspects are in attendance at every reunion. It’s like a murder mystery party where everyone acts out their new role minus the costumes, candlesticks and 1920’s lung cancer caused by chronic smoking.

  • The one who wasn’t invited because they’re not on Facebook and 100 adults couldn’t figure out how to send an actual email/letter/carrier pigeon and think address books belong in an Antiques Shoppe.
  • The guy no one remembers who now consults with NASA on something no one understands but must be important by the looks of the two bodyguards positioned outside.
  • The one who came sporting some form of stress fracture or sprained knee. Claims they tripped over the cat but had obviously left the “reunion slim down” to 72 hrs before and even Gillian Michaels couldn’t help.
  • The one who caught the travel bug which then morphed into a full blown epidemic. They’ve visited 104 countries and spent six months volunteering in Guadalajara but don’t own a whisk and haven’t filed a tax return in seven years.
  • The one who hasn’t driven further than the Woolies carpark on the outskirts of town and thought Guadalajara was something you caught from raw chicken.
  • Those who assume everyone will be married with kids.
  • Those who didn’t realise they were the only ones NOT married with kids until they got there.
  • The one who ended up in really cool job like astronaut, archaeologist, or assistant to the Ambassador of Antigua. But don’t engage them in a conversation because they’ll ask what you do, you’ll say Business Analyst and then you’ll get THE look (I’m sure it’s a highly nuanced and misunderstood sector but can it compete with dinosaur bones?).
  • And finally, the awkward PE teacher (why is it always PE?) teaching the same curriculum from 2006 and still insisting Champion side snap trackpants are trendy.

Despite the unknowns of the last decade, there still remain some commonalities that transcend all notions of time for the Grant High School class of 2006.

  • The painting on the gym wall of a guy playing football really did have that unfortunate bulge in a particular area.
  • Signing up for the musical was the best way to get out of doing any actual work for like three months.
  • We were all lucky enough to witness a time when tomato sauce was free at the canteen.

You may be reading this having had your 10-year reunion and are riding a wave of memories: the good, the bad and the unrepeatable as per the rules of pinky swear. Or maybe you’re heading to yours soon and intend to use this as a guide on how to survive. Or as a drinking game. #nojudgement

Ultimately, reunions are like Pap Smears. You kind of dread it for ages, you have to wear the right outfit and then once it’s over realise it wasn’t as bad as you had feared.

At least there’s usually free food.

Sarah is now playing over on Facebook at Signed By Sez, sharing more newbie tips, general hilarity and plenty of things to read while procrastinating doing actual work. Be there or be square!


Sarah Bown

Sarah is fresh off the plane to Canberra and quickly realising she's not in Kansas anymore. She's a writer and marketing professional by day and spends her free time reading way too much self-help literature followed up by too much Pinot Gris. Sarah spent 2015 working in Mongolia sharing her marketing and communications skills with local organisations. Yes it was her choice, yes they have internet and no it's not next to Syria. She's in Canberra to write more, exercise more, meditate more and then proceed to do Option D: none of the above. Sarah shares more newbie tips, general hilarity and plenty of things to read while procrastinating doing actual work at www.facebook.com/signedbysez. More about the Author

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