This past weekend I attended my 25th High School Reunion. Part of me really wanted to see how everyone was doing, what they were doing but another part of me wanted to get an idea of how people had changed, not physically (which matters so very little), but mentally...in their attitudes towards fellow students.
Overall I had a good time but I was very disappointed in a few people who never outgrew the puerile behavior of those high school days...by ones 40's it really is inexcusable and it says SO much about people.
After picking up lunch for my son and I at Pierre LaFond Market, my best friend, her husband, my son and I met at Manning Park for the "Family Day" picnic and walked in together. I was completely under the weather and certainly wasn't my shiniest self but I really wanted to be there and have a good time.
As we came into the event site my son quickly headed over to the bouncy castle they'd set up (Thank you!) and spent most of the rest of the event time there. We introduced ourselves to the gals (fellow classmates) who'd arrived around the time we did (or earlier) and sat ourselves at a central table nearest the west side of the park, close to where people were entering.
Since I wasn't feeling my best I tried to rest a little and eat a little something before meeting/or re-meeting the others.
I then chatted with a few people and a few people came up to where we were seated and chatted with us for a little while. I have nothing but kudos for those persons. There were, however, a select few who, echoing their high school selves, couldn't bring themselves to anything but a slightly forced "hello" or nothing at all.
I felt considerably better (though still a wee bit blah) for the dinner portion of our reunion that evening but I didn't gain my momentum until after a little food and a Margarita, the first in a long, long while. The dinner was held at El Paseo Restaurant in Santa Barbara, it has a long and varied history but remains one of the loveliest restaurants in the area, it's virtual plein air atmosphere lends to it's rustic beauty and history. Can't say much for the food or service but they do serve a delicious Margarita.
I picked a table where one of our yearbooks had been placed (5-7 tables had such), again close to where we could see people coming into the restaurant. Again, the people who had been nice in high school were nice at dinner but time and time again people (beyond those who were at the picnic) would sit down and realize it wasn't the "IT" table and would leave to go somewhere else...in FACT the two seats across from my friends and the seat next to me were empty the entire evening...every single other seat for our reunion was taken...every last one except those three.
I didn't want to leave my friends too much as the only reason they were there (my best friend was a fellow '82 graduate) was because I wanted to go. My friends weren't feeling their best either so didn't get up much and didn't want to participate much...which, of course, doesn't help to draw people in.
This was, unfortunately, far too much like high school and only proved to us that no matter how much time passes, and how different one may from their high school self, other people still have their preconceived prejudices and never mature correctly.
I can almost guarantee that the people who were treated like crap in high school by a small to
fair portion of students (like ones mentioned above) never think to attend reunions because they feel in their gut that these events have a reputation for attracting people who were in the upper echelons of the high school hierarchy.
I, for one, thought this a partial myth and was only too happy to prove it completely wrong. Much to my disappointment the myth is mostly true.
To be fair a small portion of people who'd been nice in the past were nice presently but these were people who we knew would be that way, they were mature young people back then and they grew into mature adults. Then there were people who weren't the best in HS but, at the very least, made an effort this go around. But the same people who were cruel and super click-y in high school were the same ones who made no effort what-so-ever to be genial to anyone but their close friends from HS or those students who went on to become well-known, etc.
So, either they feel so bad about the way they treated us in high school that they couldn't bring themselves to face us or they had absolutely no clue who we were (which would be so very difficult to believe considering how much they called us names/tormented us/ridiculed us) OR they simply continued to be as puerile as they were 25 years ago.
For the people who just couldn't get past their puerility...how very sad, your children will likely grow up like you and treat their classmates and others the same as you treated some of yours...perpetuating a long-held tradition of picking on those different than yourselves.
For those who were all about reuniting in friendship, YAY!! Super Kudos ladies and gentlemen, you've matured into productive and healthy adults and a pat on your parents' backs for raising you properly!! You guys and gals RULE!