So, your high school reunion is coming up. Damn, that 5 years went fast!
(If you think the last 5 years went fast, I’ve got some bad news for you: It only gets worse. Life is like a roll of toilet paper. The closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!)
I know that high school reunions can provoke anxiety, insecurity and maybe even the occasional nightmare.
But go anyway.
And go expecting to have a good time because whether you think you will have a good time or a bad time, you’re right.
Go to renew old friendships, recall your youth, feel young again and celebrate how you and your old friends have changed.
But, here’s the secret for having a good reunion experience: go with a general intent to have fun, but keep your specific expectations low.
To help, I’ve come up with some tips in the form of 8 dos and don’ts for your next high school reunion.
DON’T expect everyone to remember you. In fact, to be safe, don’t expect anyone to remember you. Maybe you’re wearing 40 pounds of camouflage or your face is unrecognizable because you have so much more forehead. It doesn’t matter. As you’ll soon find out, everyone is in the same situation. Sooner or later, we all look like the before picture in a plastic surgery ad.
DON’T expect to remember everyone (for the same reasons). Even if you prepare by going through your high school yearbook, there will still be people you don’t recognize. That’s what name tags are for. And here’s another tip. If anyone that you don’t recognize even glances at you, before they can say anything, rush up to them and introduce yourself. The natural instinct is for the other person to respond by stating their name. Problem solved.
DON’T bore everyone with your resume. When people ask you what you’ve been up to, they really don’t want an answer. It’s just an awkward conversation starter. And, besides, because you found the reunion without getting lost, they already know that you’ve accomplished more than they expected.
DON’T expect the dicks to have changed. Most of us change and grow up. But some dicks don’t. Just avoid them. Oh, if you don’t know who the high school dick was, here’s what you do. Look around the room. If you don’t see a dick, it’s you.
DO talk to anyone who will talk to you (except the dicks, of course). Even if you weren’t friends in high school, you could have a lot in common now and you could leave the reunion with some great “new” friends.
DO allow yourself to be swept away by the music of your high school years . . . unless, of course, you were in high school during the unforgivable disco era. That, you want to forget.
DO be yourself. They accepted you during your Urkel-like years — at least some of them — and they will now. You don’t have to cover up your receding hairline with some ridiculous comb-over. And this applies to the men, too.
DO have fun. Why not? You’re there, you’re dressed up and you can’t get your money back. Reminisce with old friends. Even if you haven’t spoken in years, or even if you weren’t close friends back in the day, you have a lot in common. You shared what was one of the best, or worst, times of your life. If high school was agony for you, your few high school friends made it bearable. If high school was the best time of your life, your friends were probably the reason why it was so good. Either way, be sure to thank them.