Give me a name tag. Survivor. Oh, wait, they gave me a name tag at my reunion. With a darling, black-and-white senior picture on it.
Wow! That was me?
Those of you who know me, know that I look 18. Don't let that fool you. When I was 18, I looked 11. I was surprised how many people looked at me, dropped their eyes to my name tag, and looked back up, mouths open. "It's you!"
Yep. It's me.
Friday night we met at a local restaurant, just to get together. I've been looking forward to this for--well, ten years. I was the quiet, studious girl in high school. The one with a small circle of close-knit friends. The one that never had a boyfriend. The one that didn't go on dates. Cute but shy. Self-conscious and not confident. (Probably, if a guy had asked me out--any guy--that would've changed.)
College changed me. My wonderful wonderful roommates (shout out to them! Emily Yu Severson, Colette Shaw Finnigan, Salley Myer [can't remember the married name], Julia Reding [again, can't remember the married name], and Wendy Nelson) and Brigham Young University introduced me to boys and confidence. Yeah! It was great.
And somewhere in all those years, I met my fantastic husband, the kind of guy that I would've given my left arm to date in high school. Of course, he'd matured, served a 2-year mission in Africa, and was ready to find a wife. And he was extremely good-looking, funny, kind, and all around a good catch.
I couldn't wait to show him off.
The irony. He joins the army in time to miss not only his 10-year reunion, but mine. Luckily, I'm still close friends with my high school best friend, Kelly Salsman Holland. I got a bad case of the nerves as I drove to this restaurant. I felt my heart sink into my toes, and thought, "I can't walk in there by myself. They'll look at me and think, Poor Tamara. Still a loner." So I parked in the parking lot and called Kelly. "I'm not going in without you," I said. "No problem. We're almost there." She had her husband with her, of course.
I had a miniature pity party in my car while I waited for her. Mark was supposed to be with me.
But Kelly arrived and we went inside, and started scanning the crowd. Looking for friends that we hadn't seen in years. Somehow, I had formed this idea in my head that because a decade had passed, all those cliques from high school would be silly and frivolous. Not necessarily forgotten, but certainly unimportant. I figured we'd all want to talk to each other and catch up on life and be friends.
I was wrong. It seemed like some people had reverted back to high school. A group of kids--and a predictable group--sidled up to each other and wandered of to, as one of them said, 'get smashing drunk.' Uh...doesn't sound like fun. I talked to almost everyone there. And what I realized was, I made the right friends in high school. The people who were my friends are the kind of people I still hang out with. And the people who weren't my friends--it appears there was a reason for that. I still wouldn't know how to be their friend.
The next day we met at a park and had a BBQ. This was family day, so I brought along my two boys. Talk about ice-breaker! Asher was dancing and stealing everyone's food and making friends. Nobody was drinking and I found it so much easier to talk to people! The atmosphere was friendly and inviting and I think a lot of people were able to drop the shroud of cliquehood that they'd been hanging on to.
But of a class of 640 something people, I was very disappointed that only 100 something showed up between the two days.
Of those 640 people, probably 60% still live in or close to my hometown.
Where were they? I was very sad not to see them. Kind of angry, because I know a lot of them didn't go just because...well, no reason. Because high school sucked? And therefore any memory of it does too? High school was the worst three years of my life. But the people weren't. Those that didn't go made me feel like those years were so unimportant, it wasn't worth seeing those people again. That kind of hurt. They were my friends too. Some of them I talk to on Facebook and emails, and even though they live within 30 minutes from my house, I don't even see them. I commented on Facebook about their absence. One said, "Oh...I guess I should've gone...I thought it would be lame."
Well, it wasn't. That's okay. There's always next time. See you in ten years.
Check out these stats, people. I think I've officially hit the half-way mark.
today's goal: 45,000
tomorrow's goal: 47,080