My high school reunion is Friday night.
I’m not going.
And that’s okay.
I have plenty of excuses as to why I’m skipping school (though I never did back in the day), but the biggest hangup is that I simply cannot believe twenty years have slipped by. It’s as if Father Time stuck a Dyson vacuum to the bottom of his hour glass and he just sucked those days away.
Granted, I just “celebrated” a birthday days ago. In certain lights the lines on my face freak me out and I start to understand why women shove needles and knives into their aging skin.
But even when I’m fighting the monotony of suburban family life and the emergenices only a mature, responsible adult must face (i.e. plumbing leaks, insurance companies, orthodontics) I don’t feel like I’m a REAL grown-up.
I remember going to my mom’s 20th high school reunion. I was sixteen. It was a weekend-long event at a fancy hotel by the beach. My parents would not leave me home alone, so I watched TV in the hotel room while they dressed up and mingled with old school chums. They were all so OLD. So settled. Successful. They’d been plugging away at their careers for two decades, married for nearly as long, and discussed their teenagers and plans for becoming empty-nesters in the near future.
I can’t be that old.
Thanks to the wonders of Facebook, we don’t even really need a real life reunion. From what I’ve seen, most of my class is nowhere near the same level of adulthood as my parent’s generation. Many of us are still single or newlyweds. My classmates have newborns, not teens. We’ve gone back to school, changed careers, and most of us still feel as if we are on the bottom rungs of the corporate ladder. We’re not settled.
No banquets and formals for my peers. They are going to partake in an all-night bar hop. Perfect for a generation of Peter Pans who refuse to grow up.
Our class song was Boyz II Men’s “It’s so Hard To Say Goodbye to Yesterday” — which I remember as a funeral dirge played during Lethal Weapon 3. Gag me with a shovel. (I voted for Alphaville’s “Forever Young” — check out The Killers cover of it below.)
For me, it wasn’t hard to say goodbye to high school. I counted down the months, days, and hours until I escaped to college. It was not the best time of my life.
I’m not sure I’ve lived the best time of my life. I’d like to think the best is yet to come.
And I’d like to believe I’m not all that different than the dreamy-eyed girl of twenty years ago.
I was struck once again by our supposed maturity when the Offspring released “Days Go By.” When the band hit, they were so wild and slightly outrageous. And now they are old enough reminisce. Perhaps this should be our reunion song . . . If I was going . . .