Friday, June 27, 2008
10-Year High School Reunion Recap
I guess I've delayed this long enough, so here it goes...
So, last weekend was my 10-year Troup High School Reunion back in my hometown of LaGrange, Georgia. I already knew most of the people I actually keep in touch with from those glorious years were not going to be attending, which was fine I guess since I do understand their reasonings. However, I couldn't really justify enough of an excuse because I was honestly interested in catching up with people that I hadn't seen since graduation day 10 years ago.
Now there were a couple of things on my mind before attending this event. The first was, of course, who's really going to show up to this thing anyway? With a graduating class of over 300, I knew not everyone was going to make it. Although a lot of my former classmates still call West Georgia home, there are plenty that I know live far away from our small town. I've managed to move to Nashville, but it's still in the South and within a 5 hour drive of LaGrange. I know, yada yada yada...
Second, and this is just the semi-competitive side of me, but how successful has others been in their careers and life in general? I've got differing reasons for wanting to know this based on how friendly these people were to me during high school. For those who were friends of mine or at least worth hanging our with occasionally, I really hoped they had done well for themselves. I wanted to hear how the last 10 years had been great for them in both their careers and families. Now for those who chose to look down on others from atop their high school pedestal, I was weirdly interested in hearing how the past decade had treated them. I think it's those people that motivated me to not only be a more "common" person instead of a snobbish, high & mighty individual, but to also do more with my career and life so that...in a way...I could prove their perceptions of me wrong. Now don't get me wrong, deep down I still wish everyone the best in life and would never wish them harm no matter how they treated me in the past. It's just not my nature, because I was raised better than that and my faith gives me compassion for others. (Doesn't mean I'm not human and sometimes stumble in that path...)
I say all of this to get down to the event itself, which was overall okay for what it was. I managed to misunderstand where the location of the reunion was going to be and we showed up 45 minutes late to a place that ended up literally being 5 minutes from my parents' house. Um, I don't live here anymore, so a map would've been nice. Regardless, we showed up with the "cocktails hour" in full swing and everyone catching up after all those years. I ran into a few people that I sometimes see when I come into town to see my family...ran into former baseball teammates...ran into my college roommate...and even my high school sweetheart. No worries, though, cause Jill and I were glowing since we were sharing the news of our little one growing inside Jill's tummy. I was a little surprised how so many people knew we were in Nashville, but MySpace and my parents still being in town could explain that.
The beer...sucked. The food...minimal. The location...a golf clubhouse that couldn't have held anymore people if it tried. I did wonder a bit about what the $85 fee Jill and me paid was supposed to have covered, but that's water over the dam now so I'll let that go. Anyways, it was funny seeing some of the same "clicks" that existed back in the day were still attaching themselves to each other. The preppy/popular(?) bunch were hanging out sharing stories of their glory days in one area while other smaller groups were scattered around. There were awards for those who traveled the furthest (Julianna from DC), longest married (no idea), most recent married (Amy), most tattoos (Russell). And then there were the Amy Bloodworth awards (she made a clean sweep) of most marriages (3, going on 4) and most children (4, going on 5). Kudos to her...
Overall, I guess the face I was the happiest to see was Julianna. She and I spent our entire educational years together from kindergarten to 12th grade, so you could say that we've got some history together. Haha! I still remember those last days of school when she would join Matt Cagle and I on the tailgate of my truck and wait for the last class period to finish up and for that bell to ring. The last time we actually saw each other was when Jill and I attended her wedding a few years back. Since then we've bounced around a lot ending up in Nashville, while Julianna and her husband (Fleming) made the move to Washington, D.C.
As fast as the party seemed to get going, it also came to a somewhat quick ending once the awards were all passed out and the DJ started playing late 90's party music. Since finger food isn't really dinner and Jill needed some baby fuel, we invited Jules and Fleming to join us at the Waffle House. There we continued to swap stories over coffee, waffles, bacon and hashbrowns covered with cheese. It was a nice wind down after the reunion.
Alright, so basically the event itself was cool I guess. I still question whether I will make as much effort to get to the next reunion, but I think I have some time to decide that. When it came to the people, I was a bit disappointed to hear stories of people divorcing over cheating, lack of career aspirations after so much potential, and even people leaving their spouses home while they attended the reunion (um, that's just weird). And to see the "popular" people still struggling to have a working marriage and career, and to not be able to leave our little town behind is interesting to say the least. Isn't that the group everyone was supposed to look up to? It's really a shame when you consider how much potential many of them had during and even after high school. Of course, it's only been 10 years and there's still plenty of living left for all of us.
To end this, I will say that it seems that I've done well over the last decade when compared to others, especially when it comes to career and marriage, but at the same time I was glad to see many others in a similar point as Jill and I are. I still have goals that I want to reach in life, and those 4 years at Troup will continue to be an influence as I go along.