I received my third reminder Friday morning that I (somewhat inebriated at the time — hey, who doesn’t need a little social lubricant at their high school reunion?) agreed to plan a 15-year high school reunion. Charlie even claims he heard me say this, and while I don’t dispute it, I don’t recall specifically saying I would do it. I was probably flattered that people thought I’d done a decent job organizing one part of our 10-year and went with it. And a part of me probably thought it was hilarious and/or ironic that, as the most notorious member of my class, I would be planning a get-together for the rest of them.
As of right now, I have three ideas. One, we do something formal, like outside at the Museum of Art. Not black tie, of course, but outside, in September, under the stars, listening to piped-in Bossa Nova and Nina Simone while sipping on champagne and eating hors d’oeuvre. Knowing my small town, midwestern, suburban classmates, this would not go over well at all and would probably deter many people from showing up as well as solidifying my status as both an outcast and a total snob.
Two, super low-key. Cosmic bowling and beer in Fountain Square with pizza. Everyone in jeans, relaxed, and no tables set up to encourage old cliques from reforming.
Three, network and brown-nose at the coffeeshop in an attempt to get stuff for free or super-discounted. I know two women who are event planners and, from what I’ve seen, pretty extravagant. I know one young woman who plans specifically for a place downtown that has a bar, a dance hall, and a restaurant. One of our regulars owns a restaurant, and two are chefs. A brother of a friend is the head chef at a pretty cool place downtown. While this isn’t technically an idea separate from the first two, it’s another avenue I could take.
So far, I’m hearing people want exactly what they did last time: a cash bar at a bland rented conference hall with catered meatballs and a DJ who is encouraged to play ’80s and ’90s music all night while the “popular kids” (now somewhere between 32 and 35 years old, depending upon how long it took each one to graduate, married and divorced at least twice with 3 children at home) congregate in a larger space and the rest of us are relegated to tables close to the door.
I’m well aware of how much animosity I still have towards my old peers, holistically, but that’s just sort of how I operate. Individuals in unique settings I can handle. Groups that band together to form alliances against others in an effort to avoid social embarrassment, I’m not fond of.
I am back in touch with several people who I never considered friends all those years ago. Time is said to heal wounds, and absence makes the heart grow fonder. If anything, there are only a few people who seemed to be as big an asshole five years ago as they were fifteen years ago, and it’s got nothing to do with me.
I’ll do my best to plan something that I think would appeal to everyone, but now that we’re all in our early-to-mid thirties, I should think it’s time to break out of the safety and cultural black hole of Hendricks County and do something a little different. If for no other reason than to put people in a neutral environment that forces them to associate with one another.
I think the only person from my class who reads this on a regular basis is Heather. Do you have any plans to attend? It would be mid-September.