Thursday, September 18, 2008

Expectations, great or otherwise

When you're 18 years old, and you think about your future, your 20 year high school reunion seems SO far away. I mean, come on, you'll be 38!!! That's practically middle-aged :-)

Well, this past weekend, what seemed so far away then, became the "here and now"--My 20 year high school reunion for good old Sunset High School, was to happen in a 2 night event. The first night, Friday, was an Alumni-only get together at a sports bar in the Pearl district. The second, Saturday night, was a semi-formal affair at the Governor Hotel downtown, and you were welcome to bring your spouse, partner, etc.

I'll be honest, I had no desire to attend the Alumni only event....Mostly because I didn't want to go by myself--I know, I should grow a spine!, but I also didn't want to spend the extra money on something I wasn't that thrilled about going to anyway.

Instead, David & I went to the Saturday night event, and he arranged for us to spend the night at the Hotel Vintage Plaza as a bonus!--Kyra, in the meantime, had a sleepover at Grandpa & Grandma H's which she loved!

We checked into our hotel room around 4:30, and had a couple of hours just to relax. Here's a picture of our room, which was on the top floor, and had one wall which was entirely windows--pretty cool!

After grabbing a light snack to hold us over until dinner, we changed into our nice clothes, and walked the 4 blocks or so, to the Governor Hotel.

She cleans up pretty well...

When we got to the Governor, we were a bit early, so we hung out in their lobby for a little bit. Finally it was time to go upstairs to the reunion. By this time, I was more than a little nervous--Would anyone even remember me? Am I under-dressed? I hate these shoes...

While standing in line for our name badges, I hear this, "Kristin?" I turned around, and standing there is my best friend from my sophomore year, Christy Baker Hurlman. I literally have not seen or talked to her in 20 years, even though we both live in Portland. And then she says, "You know, I came tonight just to see you." I said, "Oh, you're sweet." And she says, "No really. I went to the thing last night, and I almost didn't come tonight, but I knew it would be the only time I'd get to see you as you hadn't come (last night), so here I am!" Wow, that's pretty cool!

So we found a table with Christy & her husband, as well as another couple, Susie Doty Romani & her husband, and had a great time catching up and reminiscing. Then it was time to eat, and the food was really good--A lot better than at the 10 year, even though it was held at the same place, and this time I don't think they ran out of food.

After dinner, we sat and talked some more, although by this time it was really hard to hear each other because the "background" 80s soundtrack had been cranked way up. In addition, some of my illustrious classmates had visited the open bar a few too many times, so the overall noise level had risen significantly.

Looking back, I would have to say that I was a little disappointed with the reunion. Although I was thrilled to reconnect with Christy again, I was surprised at how "clique-ish" everyone still seemed to be, and as a result, how intimidated that made me feel. I just thought since we're all now adults, we could get past those inevitable and sometimes very painful/hurtful "labels". It shouldn't matter if you were the biggest geek, or the most popular person in school. We've all lived 20 years of life since then, and are definitely not the same people we were in high school.

So David & I were talking afterwards, and I was telling him how I wished the evening had been a little different, and he said this: "If you weren't friends with someone in high school, it's not likely they're going to strike up a conversation with you to 'catch up'." While this is true, I guess I thought it'd be more like at a party or get together, where you don't really know someone, but you exchange pleasantries or funny quips or stories, because that's what adults in social situations do.

That's why I titled this, expectations, great or otherwise. Because I had hoped people could move past all that was high school, and get to know people for who they are, now. Because there are some really great people out there, and it would be too bad to let a 20 year misconception get in the way. Maybe we all need another 20 years...

Blessings friends!

P.S. We got some great news today! My sister's cancer has NOT spread to anywhere else in her body, per the whole body scan she had recently! This is a huge praise! Also, this Sunday (the 21st) Kyra & I will be walking the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure, as a part of Heather's team, Heather's Hope, so that should be fun!


Stephanie said...

you looked good, girl!! :)

i am on my 20yr reunion committee (mine is next year) and it is great to get/read feedback on other reunions. it seems that loud music and a few drunk people has put a damper on many reunions i have heard about this year!!

i am glad you went, tho. you would probably regret it if you didn't. if anything it was a good excuse to dress up and go out with your hubby!!

enjoy the walk on sunday... i am SO glad to hear the news about your sister!!


Melinda said...

Wow! You are so elegant!

David's a romantic, supportive sweetheart! And Grandma and Grandpa are awesome! How chivalrous that David so willingly accompanied you (not knowing the classmates), encouraging you in your nervous state of mind. The hotel stay just seems extra thoughtful!

I came away from our 30th feeling much as you did. Saddened and surprised by the cliques. I, too, expected people to mingle more freely, like grown-ups know to do in most any other large group occasion.

Many that I had hoped to reconnect with from out of town did not come. I was delighted by one who came from Vegas!

I tried to build some new friendships with people who are still local. Most simply wanted to hang out with the same people they had obviously continued to hang out with for the past 30+ years.

We did enjoy meeting some people we had not known well in high school, but they had trouble hearing to converse (I could lip-read).

I chalk it up to experience, and delight in the friendships in my life, now. Like YOU!