Challenges Continued

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.

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5 thoughts on “Challenges Continued

  1. Hello!

    I have been thinking since your email yesterday. I am not sure what the logistics would be for me during that time. Then, there is the whole thing that I don’t have any desire to see any of those people except for you, and we could get together at any time.

    (OK. Maybe I’d like to see a couple more people–mostly to point and laugh.)

    (I kid)

    XOXO

    I like your museum idea a lot. Not sure how I feel about meatballs and the DJ. A little too familiar, you know?

  2. Meatballs and a DJ sounds a lot like prom– hence the congregating of old cliques. It’s not my party, but I say shake them loose from their comfort zone. Maybe only the kids you really enjoyed will show up, and the popular folks will choose to take their party elsewhere.

  3. I don’t necessarily think the separating into groups is a bad thing. As long as the groups aren’t taking shots at each other and turning it into a whole Square Pegs deal.

    I went to my 10 year reunion a few years ago. It was fairly low-key. Appetizers and salads (all homemade) at a local lodgey-type hall. It was a fairly small place so we couldn’t really avoid each other, but at the same time, there were tables and we sort of congregated like we did in high school. Not out of any nastiness (at least not at our table), but because the people we wanted to see were there. We all caught up and talked. It was fun. The people who gathered at our table were all people I was friends with/aquainted with in high school, but they weren’t all necessarily friends with each other. Some actually had messy break-ups and fights back in the day, yet we all got over it and hung out.

    We drifted between tables a bit, but to be honest, I didn’t really want to make small talk with a bunch of people I didn’t know/like back in high school. Maybe they turned out to be great people, but they weren’t the reason I went to the reunion. My old friends were.

    I think all your ideas are good (although while I’d love the art museum and champagne, I know a LOT of others wouldn’t). The meatball and DJ idea is a bit icky, but if that is really want everyone wants, it would be ok. It’s not like you really want to chum up to and make boring small talk with people you hated in high school, right?

  4. Bowling at Fountain Square sounds awesome! My jackass classmates always have a rubbery-chicken-in-bland-hall type of thing. We were all too apathetic to endorse the idea of a 15-year thing, though. Meatballs made me think of the (delicious) stein full of meatballs I was served in Marshall, Michigan last weekend. Ask Jay & Scott, I was laughing about the stein the whole time. Oh, and the felted bowl process sucked but I would try it again now that I know what NOT to do.

  5. There is no quicker way to split the wheat
    from the chaff than making this a FETISH
    EVENT.

    Sure, back in the day, everyone was a low-brow
    pervert but … maybe some evolved!

    If nothing else, it’s a great opportunity
    to take pictures … pictures to pull out
    in another ten years.

    [ Two hundred custom flogging devices
    with ‘Fighting Quakers’ emblazoned on
    the handles. You know you want them! ]

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