After many months and many messages on my Facebook, I decided today that I am NOT attending the 25th High School Reunion party next weekend. Here's what my decision entailed:
In 1995, I went to the 10 Year reunion. There was a bomb scare and we had to wait outside on the street for like an hour. This poor couple who had just gotten married was still in their wedding finery waiting outside their hotel with us while the bomb scare against the Aloha High School class of 1985 reunion was checked out. Roby, who hadn't wanted to go in the first place was what I would call "the belle of the ball" - everyone wanted to talk to him, he was surrounded by people the whole time. People we had hung out with, people we hadn't, people who had been mean to him because he was gay but had come out since, people who had been nice to him...it ran the gamut. Eventually, I was just sitting in a chair waiting to leave. And one woman wore a rabbit fur coat to the thing in the middle of August. Everyone was so pretentious drinking as much alcohol as possible and bragging about what they did for a living. We went to the BBQ the next day where, again, Roby had much more fun than I did. He died about 6 months later.
In 2005, as the reunion planning started, there were messages on Classmates.com looking for Roby and some other folks who had died in the intervening 10 years. When I posted that he had died, I got a lot of emails - people wanting the story, people angry that THEY hadn't been informed, people wanting to know why I hadn't invited them to the memorial service, blah blah blah. I decided I would go to the reunion because it would just be easier to tell everyone the story and the night would just be about that. So, I did. There were a few people there that I normally would have hung out with - drama people, but mostly, I was accosted by people I barely knew, people I knew OF but had never really talked to. I spent much of the time comforting people who felt like they were his "BEST FRIEND" except that they hadn't ever been there for him when he was sick or scared or needing comfort. How could you be someone's BEST FRIEND and not know they had died until 10 years after? One would assume that if you didn't know until after it happened, you would find out the next time you went to their job or called their phone or...something. People actually wept and I had to comfort them. It was WEIRD. I was (am) grateful that he is remembered and that he is remembered fondly - I know that he constantly worried that people would forget about him.
When I joined Facebook, some of the first people to find me were people from high school - even though most of the people from high school that I want to be in contact with, I am - some more than others, but there are a number of people I see at least annually and who I am glad to have in my life. Suddenly, they started talking about the reunion and there wasn't one bone in my body that wants to go. Maybe I would go to the 30 year reunion - once every 10 years is enough for me...but 25 years...I just don't want to. I kept putting off sending my answer, but finally, today, I pressed the NOT PLANNING TO ATTEND button and I don't feel bad about it at all.
I may regret not going when I hear how great it was, but only for a minute. Really, my best times were spent with people who won't be there anyway, so I just don't think I will be too sad to miss it all.