When I think of decades, I find it odd that there's almost always a distinct separation from one to the other. You don't talk about the 40s and 50s in the same sentence, one would never compare the 60s to the 70s, nor do you dare mix the 80s and 90s together. How is it those decades begin and end within a definite 10-year periond. Don't those years blur in the slightest bit?
I speak of decades because it's only been a single decade since me and my 400 classmates left Fayetteville High School for the last time and began our lives as young adults. This weekend was the weekend of choice for our 10-year high school reunion, so I packed up some clothes and headed back down to Fayetteville.
I'll admit I was a bit distraught when I realized the reunion was so close. Not because it's already been 10 years, but because I loathe small-talk and I don't really enjoy awkward situations.
Fayetteville Residents Not Invited
The reunions of previous years proved to be a bit expensive – maybe because alcohol was included in the fee(s). This year was much cheaper because a new company was used to help plan and organize the entire event, which I'm sure was very nice for the reunion planning committee. To ensure that all classmates were contacted and informed of the reunion, some agency was used to track down each member of the class. How odd is it that at least five of the students, who now live in Fayetteville, weren't contacted? They found me and I just moved in January, and I'm not listed in any directory. Strangely enough, there were at least two classmates that were at the same bar/restaurant on Friday night and was able to partake in some of the celebration.
“Hi, I'm Seth...”
Friday night was the ice-breaker event, where you catch up with your classmates, then Saturday you party hard... or something. At one point in the night, a girl came up to a group of us and said she wanted to introduce us to her husband. With her hands to her side, as if the husband was right there, a guy walked up with his hand out to shake. Todd shook his hand first and then I extended mine and said, “Hi, I'm Seth.” Everyone kinda chuckled a bit and Todd quickly said, “And I'm Todd.” Turns out it wasn't the gal's husband, but yet another classmate and I stupidly introduced myself to him. Sorry Matt, I'm an idiot.
And the Award Goes To
The oddest moment of Saturday night was the presentation of awards. We were all wondering what this was going to entail and entertained ourselves by making up absurd awards to give out. Finally the time came and it turns out it wasn't that big of a deal. There were many generic questions asked about the classmates and their history or present condition: who traveled the farthest, who's been married for X amount of years, etc. Then the question “who has changed the least?” No one really said anything and looked around from table to table. Finally, a girl (ironically the same one who wanted to introduce her phantom husband) yelled out, “Seth Gunderson!” What!?! Several other names were shouted out after that, but I won in a landslide verbal vote.
WHAT!?! I've changed the least? So in the contest of who's changed the most, I was the loser. I lost because I'm pretty much the same person that I was in high school. I don't know what that means... I didn't get to ask that girl why she nominated me. Is it that I still look the same or is it that I still act the same? Both? If you want to twist the meaning to make it good, how about this... I knew who I was in high school and I didn't have to figure that out, and I've been the same ever since. Who knows. I didn't make anyone cry last night by critiquing their English paper, but I did give the double-bird and a loud “F-U,” when I won the award. That's how I roll.
Were We Wrong All Those Years?
Easily the most intriguing notion about this weekend was something that I thought about the entire way back up to Kansas City. Still, thinking about it now, I wonder about its implications. One time this weekend, someone snubbed me to converse with someone else and a few others made the statement, “you probably don't remember me,” to me and Todd. We were talking about that this afternoon, and we're unsure what it means.
As a little background, Todd and I were pretty much a self-contained duo in high school... especially senior year. We had many, many friends, and groups that we hung out with on a regular basis, but we usually kept to ourselves and our humor. We were also well-known throughout the class, as our names were synonymous when mentioned in legends and lore. The biggest thing about us was that we didn't play the typical high school game(s) – we weren't going to partake in the popularity contests that can consume young minds, so we just were who we were.
We didn't have any, for lack of a better word, enemies at school... but looking back, I can see where some level of animosity could've built up and lingered – through no one's fault, just typical high school stuff. We weren't rude to people, but like I mentioned, we kept to ourselves and mostly existed in our own little world.
So when people, especially two girls I went to elementary school with, say the words “you probably don't remember me,” that strikes a nerve.
I hope I wasn't thought of as some high and mighty ego-freak. I never thought I was better than anyone, nor do I think that way now. I have a crude and crass sense of humor, but those who know me understand that I'm just very sarcastic – often reverting to shock-value jokes, just to get a laugh. Again, that's how I roll.
Could those same people we didn't interact with in high school think that we were playing some type of game, too? Or were they being modest and just saying typical reunion-stuff? I hope it's the later of the two.
All in all, I had a fabulous time. I caught up with a lot of people, got phone numbers, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed – it helps when your table consumed the most beer at the party... it also helps when Josselyn is there and laughs at anything Todd and/or I did. If you're on the fence about attending your reunion, I highly encourage you to go... don't be a wuss.