Column - Wish name tags were biggerI am not sure why I was so stressed out and half afraid of what was going to happen last Saturday night because it turned out to be a lot of fun – and not what I expected.
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
I am not sure why I was so stressed out and half afraid of what was going to happen last Saturday night because it turned out to be a lot of fun – and not what I expected.
I attended my high school class reunion – I was a 1990 graduate of Willmar High School, ironically, also home to the Cardinals. And as much as I hate to admit it, it exceeded my expectations.
But I also have to say that I was a “Nervous Nellie” right up until I walked through the door of The Oaks, where the reunion took place. My heart was racing, I felt like I was a sweaty mess and my hands may have had a slight tremble. Yet at the same time, I couldn’t stop smiling, beaming almost, and I was actually feeling quite confident. Although, nobody could probably tell because I kept repeating how nervous I was.
When we arrived, it was almost as if I was walking through the doors/halls of my high school on the very first day of school all over again. It was strange, nervewracking, but yet, exhilarating all at the same time.
I was almost as nervous, but perhaps more fired up an hour earlier, while waiting at a restaurant for my three very best friends to arrive so we could have a drink before the reunion.
I’m not sure why, though, it’s not like I haven’t seen them in 20 years – like the rest of my classmates. Yet at the same time, it felt eerily the same. Weird. I guess it was because it has been a few years since all four of us have been together at the same time. We have let our families, careers and busy lifestyles get in the way of us, and that’s unfortunate. I hope that changes in the near future. It’s amazing to realize how much you missed your friends without even knowing it.
I was apprehensive about going to my reunion for plenty of reasons, but those reasons didn’t really seem to matter as the night progressed.
As the four of us walked into the reunion room, along with my husband – yes, I was the only one who brought my husband – it was non-stop chatter.
The chit-chattering all around the room was so loud you could barely hear when it was time for all of us to take a seat.
“Who is that?” “I don’t know, try and read the name tag!”
“Did you see so-and-so yet?” “No, did you?”
“Do you remember when…?”
“Oh. My. Gawd! Did you hear about…?”
“Is that so-and-so? Noooo, it can’t be.” “Oh, I guess it is.”
“Who is that?” “I don’t know. I wish the name tags were bigger!”
“Do you remember…?”
“How many kids do they have?”
“How come so-and-so isn’t here?”
“Hey, do you remember that time when…?”
“So, where do you live now?” “What do you do?”
“It’s so great to see you.” “You too.” “It’s been too long, hasn’t it?” “Yes, it sure has.”
“I remember when…”
“Wow, you look fabulous.” “So do you!” “Love the outfit.”
“Remember when we wore…?”
Oh, how we all prattled on and on and on, late into the evening.
We yakked, gabbed and OK, gossiped, mostly within our own little group, but we talked with many of the other classmates who attended the reunion.
I will admit, though, I didn’t approach many of my classmates, except while passing each other in the hallway on the way to the restroom or while actually in the bathroom. People may not believe it, but I am actually kind of shy. I am somewhat of an introvert when it comes to social situations. For some, that may be hard to believe, but it really is true.
As the night starting moving closer to early morning, the dance floor – and our vocal chords – finally got some action. Those 80s and 90s tunes couldn’t keep us seated anymore. We were shouting out the lyrics to Bon Jovi’s You Give Love a Bad Name and Toni Basil’s Hey Mickey as well as moon walking to Michael Jackson’s Beat It – just like the good ol’ days.
I didn’t really realize – until then – that maybe; just maybe, high school wasn’t nearly as bad as I remember. The reunion brought back a flood of memories – yes, some were still bad, but to tell the truth, most of them were good.
As nervous as I was, I wouldn’t trade my hoarse voice, tired body, sore feet or newly formed and rekindled friendships of Saturday night for anything.
And, I can’t wait for the next reunion.
“It’s Our Turn” is a weekly column that rotates among members of the Echo Press editorial staff.