Up Front by Emma Hart

Read Post

Up Front: Disunited

64 Responses

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 Newer→ Last

  • DeepRed,

    Paul Graham has already done the hard yards on why I won't be attending a high school reunion anytime soon. More specifically, why I won't be attending a high school reunion at a well-known 'ivy league' college in the Garden City that I had the misfortune of being grinded and shredded through in the mid-1990s.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4301 posts Report Reply

  • Kim Wilson,

    Yay for some Up Frontage.

    Glad all appears to be working OK, Emma.

    I went to a high school reunion several years ago and I think my main motivation was to see if I'd still think the hot guys were hot and the people I thought were ick were ick adults.

    I was surprised (pleasantly, in the first instance) to discover that, in some respects, some people haven't changed.

    I'd probably go to another one to be nosy again.

    Nth Canty • Since Dec 2006 • 23 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    From Paul Graham:

    But in at least some cases the reason the nerds don't fit in really is that everyone else is crazy.

    s/b: Fans are slans! Fans are slans! Fans are slans!

    Since Jul 2008 • 1360 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    I saw my primary school bully on the bus once, he'd just got out of jail ... sometimes the last laugh is a knowing smile out the window

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2151 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Is anyone else mentally adding '... and it feels so good' to the title of this post? No? I swear, PAS gives me the worst earworms.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3655 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Is anyone else mentally adding '... and it feels so good' to the title of this post?

    Um... guilty.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    I tend to be a forgive and forget kind of person. I've forgotten most of the people I've met, so how can I not forgive them? I do keep in touch with those I wanted to from school (most of my best friends), but do feel curious about what's happened to the odd person I liked or lusted after who has remained in my memory. But I forgot about the reunion too, and missed both the 10 and 20 years ones. I'm about as gutted as when I missed Terminator 4 at the cinema - I know it'll eventually be on DVD there waiting for me, and it'll probably be a disappointment.

    I attended my wife's 10 year reunion, though, back in Ozzie. It was actually pretty cool, for me, because a bunch of her friends dragged their boyfriends along too, and I finally got to bond with a bunch of blokes that I quite liked and have kept in touch with ever since. I even got free accommodation in Scotland for a week out of it, not bad for a night's boozing. Please no one mention this to my wife, but we actually got pretty bored of the reunion after about 30 minutes of watching people who knew each other well catching up, and sneaked next door to drink colder beer and play pool. We were not missed, but it did feel strangely like we were wagging off and having a sneaky smoke (some of my fondest actual memories from school). The wife had a good time, despite having been, by her reckoning, unpopular at school. I often wonder how many people think that they were more unpopular than they really were.

    The most weird thing about high school reunions seems to be that they are oriented around the final year of school. I played sport, and had many friends either side of my actual year, some of whom have become very good friends over time. A reunion of the class of '89 would seem a very shallow layer of those I do remember from high school.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8521 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    My mum has friends whose children went to my school, but no one I was actually friends with (or sometimes even in my year). So over the last 15 years, Mum has kept me up to date with all these people I barely remember, if at all.

    The worst situation was when one of these ladies popped over, leading to a conversation like this.

    Lady: Hello, Robyn! I'm Anna's mum! She went to school with you!
    Me: Um...?
    Lady: She was friends with Belinda, Claire and those girls.
    Me: Oh, I think Claire was in one of my classes in the sixth form?

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1858 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    These things matter to mums. I'm often meeting people whose kids went to creche or kindergarten with me, despite never having been seen since infancy. NZ's that kind of place. It's always pointed out with relish, and the conversation is unavoidedly one sided. It seems a bit rough to point out that the most memorable thing from creche to a child was probably the place, not the people.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8521 posts Report Reply

  • Amy Gale,

    Feels like I'm really an outlier when I admit that actually I think a high school reunion might be quite interesting. (Not interesting enough to make a NZ trip specially, though. Perhaps if they all just magically turned up at my house.)

    It's true that it's easy enough to find people you want to find, but part of high school reunions for the people I know in the US seems to be a softening of feeling toward the people you didn't want to find. Even the start of a friendship, sometimes. People do change.

    Even without a reunion, I find that the (increasingly!) distant perspective makes it much easier to realize that even the mean girls must have had their own worries - something my mother did in fact try to explain to me, but which I never really believed. Probably no more than one or two of one's classmates were actually sociopaths. And they're probably in prison now, not running round going to reunions.

    tha Ith • Since May 2007 • 457 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    I don't think my school does class or year reunions - but they did just hold their 125th anniversary over a whole weekend. I think I prefer the whole school reunion model rather than a specific year or class, if just because you are more likely to find interesting people to talk to and it is more of an event. That being said I didn't attend and unless I am going to be nearby during future events I probably won't attend them.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 889 posts Report Reply

  • Megan Wegan,

    Eventually? Yes. First Megan has to find me a dress, though, as I am clearly lacking one.

    I'm on it. And will take advice from the room as to what we should make Emma wear.

    As to reunions, I'm fundamentally nosy. So like to see what people are up to.

    And have a great life. So as to be able to rub people's faces in it.

    Welly • Since Jul 2008 • 1273 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    make Emma wear

    Good luck with that. :)

    And I must have missed the purpose of this dress-up opportunity upthread.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16661 posts Report Reply

  • Andre,

    It sounds like you need Romy & Michelle - brilliant role models for school reunionising!

    New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 277 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart,

    To be honest about my slight touch of hypocrisy here, I am sort of organising a university/KAOS reunion for early next year. It'll be twenty years we've all known each other, which just doesn't seem possible.

    I can totally relate to this - my tramping friends from UofC days back in the 80s are my oldest and bestest. Our knee joints are all deteriorating together!
    I guess the difference is that you choose these groups, birds of a feather and all that, unlike high school where you can't really avoid people.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2008 • 659 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I was surprised (pleasantly, in the first instance) to discover that, in some respects, some people haven't changed.

    One of the things that contributed to my reluctance was that over the years I've noticed that when I go back 'home', I revert to how I used to be when I lived there. There are patterns, some part of me that stays at my Mum's and waits for me, and I don't particularly like it. I really dreaded the idea of going back to the school and finding myself falling back into those old patterns.

    And I must have missed the purpose of this dress-up opportunity upthread.

    It was mostly about me coming home from hospital a bit down and discovering that I don't really own any clothes. And my favourite skirt (if you've met me more than once, you've probably seen it) is dying. I wanted to buy myself something nice, and couldn't find anything. Also, vanity sizing? Can die in a ditch. I just want to pick something up with a reasonable idea of whether it'll fit or not. And someone with a 37" chest is NOT a size 8.

    Megan is much better at shopping than I, and has found me some lovely things. I'm considering some kind of sponsorship deal - then I could have a Public Ad Dress.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • Isabel Hitchings,

    I just want to pick something up with a reasonable idea of whether it'll fit or not.

    That would be nice. It's particularly an issue when you sit on the boundary between the regular and plus sized ranges.

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2007 • 705 posts Report Reply

  • Dinah Dunavan,

    Emma, clearly you were a gorgeous young woman as the photo testifies to. The dress now ...

    I enjoyed my school reunion. Partied up with friends I see every few years and gossiped about the ones who weren't there. It was good to catch up with some old friends and I was sorry not to see more. I've been informed that 40 is too young for a reunion. So maybe in 22 years when the school celebrates its 75th I'll see more people I remember (I've never got into the 10yr thing - particularly as not all my friends were in my year).

    Dunedin • Since Jun 2008 • 172 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    A good school reunion will have lots of different events tailored to different needs and budgets. a)There is the look around the old school part, (with embarrassing historic photos and old uniforms) which is informal and doesn't cost much, perhaps with a cash bar. b)Some will have an afternoon tea-type event possibly combined with year level photos. That is interesting if you really want to see what some of those you remember look like now, as people will have name and era tags c)Then there is the dinner or more dress up occasion, which is OK if you are going in a group, especially if the catering is good eg Ruth Pretty. They should also have organised a witty, succinct and relevant speaker, definitely no open mike, and then a good band.

    A good reunion should have a party atmosphere and it is not unusual for some of those old school crushes to be reignited, as some people become teenagers again.

    However, a well-organised reunion does take a considerable amount of organising over many years, and such committees can get quite bloody. So if you spot an organiser, and you are having a good time, do thank them.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 2087 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Hosking,

    One of the things that contributed to my reluctance was that over the years I've noticed that when I go back 'home', I revert to how I used to be when I lived there.

    That is something that gets worse in groups, I've found. They often revert to old mode. And sometimes some individuals within them will actively push the group that way. It pays to call them on it, I've found.

    On school itself...I can remember one guest speaker at Assembly - it may have been the local Anglican vicar - telling us school days are the best of your life. And I remember thinking, 'oh, no f***ing way.' Because if you do believe that, it strikes me as one of the most depressing ideas I've ever heard.

    Not that school was terrible - when I hear other people's experiences I realise how lucky I was, because most of my teachers were thoroughly decent human beings - but the whole thing seemed to be a huge exercise in marking time.

    My own high school has a reunion next year and I'm thinking. maybe....I figure I'll probably go to one, once, and at the age of 46 is probably not a bad one to go to.

    And there's a few teachers I owe an apology to.

    Is anyone else mentally adding '... and it feels so good' to the title of this post?

    Well, I am now. Thanks a bundle.

    South Roseneath • Since Nov 2006 • 803 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Graham,

    Paul Graham has already done the hard yards on why I won't be attending a high school reunion anytime soon.

    I could say the same thing but for totally different reasons I suspect.

    I wasn't a fan of childhood, or small towns. There are a few who I would like to meet for a coffee one day to see how their life went however.

    There was one who I'd like to meet again simply because I always felt comfortable with, while not actually being especially close. Possibly one of the people I've known for the longest. There are photos of us back far enough that the Westermark effect may have been a factor.

    I lost track shortly after leaving school. I think the last I heard was that she was in the halls of residence sharing a room with a complete bitch.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 111 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I think the last I heard was that she was in the halls of residence sharing a room with a complete bitch.

    Hey! I'm sure the word she used a lot was 'slut'.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4366 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    A good school reunion will have lots of different events tailored to different needs and budgets.

    Aye, Mine required $80 for one of the events, that put me off quickly. The paperwork that came with the invite showed all those who were dead.I only remembered a few people interesting who I hadn't already caught up with at some stage, that would have been good enough reason to attend so... I didn't. My friend was one of the organisers and I admired her pleasure at the whole weekend extravaganza but not pour moi.
    As an aside, I still encounter people from all my school years who will wander up to me at functions ( most recently at the Artland Auction) who mentioned they knew me or my siblings. Y'think man, I was 6 or somesuch ???? :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6195 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Hey! I'm sure the word she used a lot was 'slut'.

    Heh, you could've been talking 'bout me there then :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6195 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Several times I've been utterly bewildered by running into someone I knew at school and having them greet me with what seems like genuine enthusiasm when all I can think about is how thoroughly unpleasant they were to me at a time when it might have mattered to me.

    One of the most socially reprehensible but sweetest moments of my life was when I stopped by the seventh-form prizegiving of some friends at a school I'd gone to for intermediate (they'd stayed for college, I hadn't) and they re-introduced me to a girl who had given me a very hard time during those intermediate years. They'd evidently forgotten.

    "You remember X," they said, "she was in our class."

    "Oh, hi, yes," I said. "You used to bully me a lot."

    She gaped, my friends were suddenly very uncomfortable, and they gave it to me later for being rude to her but boy, was it worth it.

    (In my defence, that was literally the only thing I remembered about her.)

    Amherst, MA • Since Nov 2006 • 2093 posts Report Reply

First ←Older Page 1 2 3 Newer→ Last

Post your response…

Please sign in using your Public Address credentials…

Login

You may also create an account or retrieve your password.