HOT FREAKS & REUNION RULES
Probably no other event in our life is a more apt forum for gaging failure/success in an unapologetically, guilt-free nostalgic environment than high-school reunions. Recently FBO Admin and a couple FBO members attended a 20-year high school reunion for a graduating class of half a thousand. Here are a few FAQs and FCPs (frequently cited problems) of high-school reunions that FBO will simplify for you.
Should I go to my high-school reunion? Yes (depending on your class size -- smaller schools might be more painful). If you have a need to 'go home' for visiting purposes, or live in the area, missing one (at least) is like going to Niagara Falls and not seeing the water. Might as well. There's nothing to lose. If the pricks are still pricks, or the hotties sporting new facelifts, or the jocks holding onto the glory days in letter jackets, so be it. But you'll never have a chance to enter a room with some many personalities from your life long ago. It may be superficial, but it's like time travel. Plus you get to see who got fat.
What should I wear? Let's start by saying what not to wear. Unless you have eye problems or your name rhymes with Tory Part you should NOT wear sunglasses at night. And there's no possible excuse for shirts unbuttoned half way to the navel (wiht no under shirt). Several FBO members had this treat on Saturday, with an unironic MC calling shots as if on a particularly far-reaching SNL skit. Its gawl still sinking in two days later. A reunion is probably not the occasion to make statements. Wear what you wear at Thanksgiving, but 'summer it up' a bit. For some that's a tie-free day at a bank or mixers at the yacht club, others it's vintage Nightranger muscle tees. But unless your name rhymes with Tory Part don't wear sunglasses at night.
Should I listen to the band? No. And perhaps there shouldn't be one. No matter how good they are, reunions are not about 'rocking.' A DJ can pump out the '80s hits for you to help set the background for a nostalgic mood, spur on conversations about Huey Lewis concerts. Recently, FBO members witnessed a put-together quartet of people attending a reunion. Side-by-side expensive guitars lined the stage, and the band -- named for a school endeavor for the event -- treated it as a 'gig' to land shows in bars in the area. They finished with a 1986 classic, but peppered the set with early 21st-century heavy-alternative anthems, played loud enough to make soccer moms' noses bleed. They were good, but so what? The singer -- two wrist bands on his strumming arm, unbuttoned shirt over a Jim Morrison t-shirt, and two gold necklaces tight around his neck -- complained after a compliment, 'Yeah, but no one was watching us.' Yes, they were here to talk and mingle and reveal crushes and ask about jobs or children they'll never see.
I'm on the planning committee for my reunion, where should we hold it? Why not see if you can at your high school? The FBO members' recently shelled out several dozen dollars each to go to dark casino banquet hall, with a mezzanine bar area looking over the loud slots. Cash (or open) bars are a good way to break the ice, but why not rent out the high-school gym, have punch and cake, and -- just like the good ol' days -- sneak in your own liquor?
Will I score? If you are available and looking for love, don't look for it at a 20th-anniversary high-school reunion. Tenth maybe. At 20, it's about the saddest thing imaginable, and so many people there are not doing the same. If it happens, well good for you.
I used to be mean to a few people, should I apologize? Hopefully they've gotten over it, but it might be nice to just say 'hi' and see how they're doing. If you want to apologize, that's OK, but don't do it with an audience that puts the sad freak in for some public scorn once again. Also, it's really lame to resort to 20-year-old jokes though and subject a few people to the same abuse. If you see someone doing it, it's your job to intervene and stop it -- these incidences are rare, however.
Will the cool kids finally give me a chance? Probably not. If you're looking for redemption at not being in the 'in' crowd, it's not really going to happen unless you've done something amazing the past 20 years. People are really there to see who they knew way back when. Don't take it personally.
Are pricks still pricks? Almost always.
Mobile/Semi-Permanent HQ -- Tulsa, OK