high school reunion

September 6, 1980

 

 

September 6, 1980 It’s too bad my 10-year high school reunion fell before John’s. If I’d been forced to attend his first, I would have had more empathy for him when we went to mine. Let’s just say, it’s not easy to attend a significant other’s high school reunion when you didn’t go to high school anywhere close to the same zip code.

John and me at my sister Joyce's wedding around this time.
John and me at my sister Joyce’s wedding around this time.

For a narcissist such as myself, it’s excruciating not to recognize anybody or be recognized; I was a ghost. Seemingly everybody in the place wanted to talk to John.  I had no idea who they were and they had no interest in me. On the bright side, it was excellent training for future office and legal dinners when everybody wants to talk cases with J and I can’t contribute as much as a crumb to the conversation.

John and I at someone else's wedding around this time.
John and me at someone else’s wedding around this time.

A spouse reconnecting with an old high school flame is a typical reunion challenge. For me, it would’ve been a mistake to panic – it brings out the worst. Besides, I could understand why J liked Jill. She was smart, pretty, classy. He wouldn’t meet me for five long years after graduating from high school – of course he fell for other girls.  As friends, they no doubt had a lot in common and genuinely liked each other. It would’ve been stupid and arbitrary to go nuclear crazy and possessive – “Don’t you dare talk to her!” Which isn’t to say I don’t get jealous. I do. But a little jealousy never killed anyone. There is, of course, more to this tale, but I’ll save it for another time.

John and I at my high school reunion, a year earlier. Apparently the photographer missed us at his reunion.
John and me at my high school reunion, a year earlier. Apparently the photographer missed us at his reunion.

September 8, 1979

September 8, 1979

With John at 10 year high school reunion
With John at 10 year high school reunion

Maybe some people go to their high school reunion with no motive other than to share a good time with old friends. Not me. I RSVP’d to show my former classmates I wasn’t the loser they remembered.  Just to be on the safe side, I brought an entourage – my sister Joyce, husband John, and two friends. Sure, it practically screamed insecure, but at least I wouldn’t wind up sitting at a table by myself. I wore my favorite outfit – an ill-advised Evan Picon vested skirt suit that failed to stand the test of time.

I wanted people to think I transcended high school but in truth I was obsessed with it – so much so that at age 29 I posed as a high school student and returned to Wilcox as a student for a brief spell – but that’s another story.

 

Disguised as high school student for my return enrollment at Wilcox in 1981. I hoped the huge hair would draw attention away from my face.
Disguised as high school student for my return enrollment at Wilcox in 1981. I hoped the huge hair would draw attention away from my face.

Suffice to say, it’s no coincidence that well over half of my scripts and teleplays concern high school kids. It became my specialty. It was easy to channel adolescent minds, because my own mind was mired in adolescence.  While I might be excessive, I’m not unique.

In Ralph Keyes’ excellent book Is There Life After High School, he distills his experience, research and interviews to three major points.

  • These memories focus on comparison of status and
  • High school is the source of indelible memories
  • Status comparisons continue long after graduation, in a society shaped fundamentally by high school
Big hair to compliment my chic ensemble

On the outside, I’d travelled far since high school but on the inside the neurotic outsider I used to be ran the show. I drank too much, talked too much, got too giddy and too grandiose.  The harder I tried to be one of the cool kids, the more I proved I was not.

These photos are, I think, cheats from later reunions.
These photos are, I think, cheats from later reunions.
Carolyn Sakuaye, Ruth Anderson and.....
Carolyn Sakuaye, Ruth Anderson and…..
Sandra Hegwood, Ray Prevost, Fred Hegwood
Sandra Hegwood, Ray Prevost, Steve Hoffman

 


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