reunions and regrets

I should be using this post to regale you with stories of my 10 year high school reunion that (finally) happened this past Saturday.

SHOULD BE.

Except I didn’t go. That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone whose been here for a while, but in case you haven’t, I didn’t want to go in the first place.

Luckily, even though reunions are something the Class of 2005 did not excel in, it turns out we did have an excellent class historian. Or, at the very least, we had one guy who took a shit-ton of pictures of everything and everyone (mostly). In the days leading up to the reunion he started to post these pictures in the reunion’s Facebook group. As I was looking through the pictures, I started to get all kinds of feelings.

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i know, right?

First I got nostalgic for a time before bronzer and routine eyebrow waxings. Then I got sad because I’m 28. Finally, I got mad at myself for not being a participator in any after school activities. I didn’t go on the senior trip (a dude ranch in the winter? no thank you!), I wasn’t in the Law Institute (formerly Law House) so I wan’t part of Mock Trial or Moot Court, and I wanted absolutely nothing to do with SING. really quick – i’m not sure if SING is a known all over thing or just something from my school so i’ll explain. students were broke into two teams, Junior/Fresh & Senior/Soph. they both put on performances, based on a theme, with sets and costumes made entirely by the team. after performing the show for two nights, the shows were judged and a winner was named. i’m not sure what the prize was, if anything. all i remember is senior/soph won in my senior year and i was at the final show. there were tears- lost and lots of tears. I feel like I excluded myself from a lot of bonding experiences and activities that could have been fun and memory filled.

It took me a very, very long time to find my passions. It wasn’t until the end of college that I picked up a camera and liked being behind it as much as I loved being in front of it. I always liked to write, but blogging wasn’t big back then and, let’s face it, it was a totally different time. Teens today are prettier, more put together and all around cooler than I was or probably will ever be. i mean, really. have you been on youtube lately? The other thing was that if my core friends were’t going to be there, neither was I. So if it was decided that something was dumb or the other people involved were annoying and it was better to just go home, I didn’t argue.

Dear 14-18 year old Martina,

It is impossible for everything that may interest you to be lame. Even if it is, do it anyway. Don’t take what anyone else says to heart. Let them be the one with regrets.

Sincerely,

28 (and bitter) year old Martina

Anyway, the day after the first set of photos popped up, round two appeared. I begrudgingly clicked on the album because God forbid I just leave it alone; this is Facebook, after all. As I was scrolling through the hundreds of thumbnails, I saw a very familiar face. IT WAS ME! I honestly didn’t think I’d make the cut. I quickly clicked the picture and could remember the day it was taken.

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In a last ditch effort to be involved in something during my high school career, I signed up to be a part of the writing committee of the yearbook. Ironic, dontcha think? So, two days a week I stayed after school and sat around a table, creating captions, writing blurbs, organizing where things should go. Actually, I just sat at the table and took it all in. Not much work got done at these meetings and because I sat there and put in my time and put up with whatever shenanigans that went on, I got a personal shout-out in the letter that the yearbook advisor/ one of the cooler teachers in the school, wrote to our class. It was a nice surprise when I was randomly going through the yearbook about 3 years ago and happened to notice it. I’m nothing if not observant.

In case you were wondering:

  • No, I am not balding in the front of my head.
  • No, I don’t have makeup on. That’s probably why I look like death warmed over. I didn’t spend any much time on my “look” back then, obviously.
  • That shirt is one of those connected “twofer” shirts. Just further proves how I would never survive high school if I had to go back today and it proved my point of what I said earlier about teens today being cooler and prettier.
  • That was my go to “smile” back then. Personally, I think I look constipated. Or scared. I just really didn’t want to be there.
  • Yes, that girl in the top row all the way on the right does beauty videos on YouTube. I found her randomly and it took me a while to remember where I knew her from.

Last quick story about this photo and then I’ll leave you alone. The writing committee put out a call for submissions of poems, short stories, limericks, anything from our classmates. As you can probably imagine, we didn’t get much of a response so the “leader” of the group told us that we had hand in submissions of our own. I wrote a silly little rhyming poem that I wan’t proud of but it was something. He handed it back to me and said it was too juvenile and that I should re-do it. Poems don’t have to rhyme, you know.

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So back to the grindstone I went. I came back with the most angsty, “mature”, non-rhyming poem you’ve ever read. It was about the popular kids and cliques and wanting to be in that crowd, yet wanting to stay far away. Everyone loved it. There were mumblings of a Pulitzer. (wink)  It was submitted and approved. Now all I had to do was wait to get my yearbook and I’d see my work in print. Fast forward to June. I have the book in my hot little hands. I flip to the back, where the “original works” were. I was scanning through them, looking for mine. Finally I saw my name at the bottom of one of the poems. I re-read it – twice, three times. It was not my work. Someone (Mr. Group Leader, perhaps?) totally fucked with MY original work. I was pissed. But I was also graduating and knew I’d never see these people (or most of them) ever again.

As much as I’d like to end this saying I kicked his group leading ass, I just let it go. My hate fire sparks up a bit every time I happen to look through my yearbook though.

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What sticks out most in your high school memories? I’ve asked this before but would/did you go to your high school reunion?

Let’s discuss!

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