Thursday, October 14, 2010

High School Reunions

My 20 year high school reunion was this week....and I decided to go.

I haven't been able to draw breath much lately and it seemed yet another thing to stress about, but I was DYING to see some old friends. Lots I have already caught up with on Facebook and that made the idea more appealing.

We all had months to crap our pants about it, feel old and wonder if we really wanted to go. My Unperfect life is a pretty open book anyway so I shook off my sooky-pants, shaved my armpits and skidded out the driveway as the sound of my screeching offspring faded away. Clearly a good choice already.

It was wonderful. Most people I could pick across the room, others it took awhile to match...but there was shrieking and smiles aplenty. Constant flashback memories and "remember when?"

It wasn't a long night - after all, this was a Catholic School and it was held on a during the week, but enough emails and phone numbers we exchanged so we can have a longer catch up soon.

I'm pretty sure everyone was still the same. The loud ones remain loud, the quieter one still reserved and we have all lived the rollercoasters of our own lives and come out sorta normal.

I was thrilled to hear of a friend who ran away to the UK nursing her broken heart, spent years in a sharehouse with 26 people sucking up all the drugs she could get her hands on whilst maintaining a job with an elite makeup company.
Two of the brightest faces there credit their happiness to recent divorces. The most positive girl in school remains the same and has had 42 different jobs in 20 years.

No one was down on failed relationships or careers that didn't work out - they were sources of laughter. I didn't have a bad time at school, I don't have any horrible memories. Things that might have seemed terrible back then are funny now. Things that were funny then are even FUNNIER now.

Burning memories

- daring to go up the bell tower to find the dead nun in the rocking chair.
- the infamous chairthrowing incident with T and Mr M.
- Being lined up on our knees whilst they measured the length of our dresses.
- The young priest who wrote FUCK on the blackboard during "sex ed".
- The passionate maths teacher with her beautiful saris who was completely wasted on us.
- the day the local fire brigade came to assembly and filled the entire courtyard with foam.
- the day Mr M was "arrested" during assembly and put into the back of a divvy van with the entire school screaming with laughter.

On a separate and far more sombre note, I was shattered to hear of the death of Elizabeth. In my eyes she was the Ice Queen. Statuesque, nordic blonde and with an almost supernatural disposition. She was unflappable, supercool and when I named my youngest daughter I thought of her.
Something insidious stole her away from her friends, family and worst of all herself. That razor sharp brain and confidence diminished. I didn't have any preconceived notion of what she was meant to be, but to be cut short like that was certainly not in the plan, not right and what pisses me off about the world sometimes.

A short life - but one that made a lasting impression on many people. I'm sorry you
couldn't stay Liz.


Kebeni said...

I haven't been to a reunion, not sure our school even had them. Mind you it has been 27 years since I left

Being Me said...

Awesome post, I had a blast just reading it! (and I didn't even go to your school...) I'm so pleased you are glad you went.

MultipleMum said...

I went to my 20 year school reunion a couple of weeks ago too ( you can read the post I wrote -

It sounds like the whole thing brings out similar feelings in people even though our school experience would have been very different (I went to a co-ed local high school in the country).

Thanks for sharing. I am sorry to hear about your classmate :(

ClaireyH said...

I don't know if I will ever go to a school reunion, not sure I would have much to say to half the people there.

Bronnie and family said...

Snap! I recently attended a school reunion and loved it. It's amazing how much you have in common with people you've spent formative years with when you reconnect. I don't have a deep connection with my first school, where I was bullied and felt very unhappy; but my second school where my talents were nourished and appreciated and my confidence grew has always held a special place in my heart. I had forgotten all that though, until I reconnected with an old friend through facebook, and she posted photos that showed how happy and innocent and full of life we were.
As we discovered, we are much the same inside; though life has knocked us about a bit, but also brought great joys. I blogged about it at

Lauren said...

First time here and I loved this post, pretty interesting classmates you had.

Narelle said...

Great read...I thought it was a great night. I was a bit scared of people looking down on others etc, but there was none of that. I was on the outer when we were at school, but was so, so glad I went to that reunion.