Saturday, December 4, 2010

AND SO WE MET AGAIN



Here I am, seven days after the culmination of my big cross-country adventure, and I'm still riding a nostalgia high. Or that could be the cold medicine...no matter! Rail to the Reunion 2010 was an overwhelming success, and an adventure that I'll never forget.

There's so much anticipation and build to a class reunion. How - if at all - have these people changed? A fair share of my graduating class was made up of people I'd been going to school with since kindergarten, so these are folks that I had known for a pretty big chunk of my life growing up. Only now, we would come together as (gulp) adults.

High school for me was very much a two-part experience. In my freshman and sophomore years, I was "goth". There was of course a certain amount of ridicule that went along with that, despite the fact that I was the same friendly, energetic fellow I am today. In my junior and senior years, I ditched the all-black wardrobe in favor of outlandish clothing and a near-blinding array of color pallets. By the end of high school I was friends (or at least friendly) with just about everyone.


Bringin' it to the dance floor. I don't know if the reunion was ready.

10 years later, we all came together at the Mahogany Room of the Sheraton in Springfield, MA. Only now...we had the benefit of an open bar. I'll never understand how people can have dry reunions. While mine was awkward for a little while towards the beginning, the power of booze definitely loosened people up. People tend to gravitate towards their old cliques as things get started, but as the night went on it was time to mix, mingle and dance! I was voted 'Class Dancer' upon graduation, and you better believe I planned on keeping that title alive a decade later.

Despite the fact that some people are now married and have kids, what struck me as very odd was how everyone seemed to look...the same. How does that even work? Of course some people only get more attractive with age, and crushes you thought were a thing of the past suddenly pop back up to say hello. Le sigh...some things never change!



I had the good fortune of having a hotel room upstairs, and boy did that come in handy. Not only because I had been hanging out with Southern Comfort, Absolut, Chardonnay, Stella Artois and Kamikaze all night, but more importantly...AFTER PARTY. I was joined by 20-25 of my former classmates, and it was quite an odd assortment for sure. But guess what? High school is over, and it really didn't matter. Were there hookups? Not in the traditional sense. But my eyes did spy some locked lips - before security came to shut us down, that is.

So in the end, I got to play host to a party with some awesome people. And we got busted by the hotel "police". Validation: I haz it. A fitting end to a 10 year remembrance of "the best years of our lives". And that old adage rings true - the more things change, the more they stay the same. Until next time, Longmeadow High Class of 2000...

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