A week ago today, my 20th high school reunion was held in a hotel in Palm Springs, Ca. I didn’t attend. And I really don’t think I missed out on anything special.
Ever since word of the reunion started spreading on Facebook, I thought about going. In the end, I thought about how much money I would have to spend to get there and stay in a hotel. Depending on when I would buy the tickets, I would probably be spending $300-$500. Could I spend that money in better ways? I decided that I would rather spend the money toward transition related expenses.
I didn’t have the best high school experience. Shortly after the pictures started rolling in to facebook, I went to the parents house to pick up my yearbook. There were some faces I didn’t recognize and names I kind of remembered. I came from a rather small school. So, I thought I knew everyone. I think my class had 500 people. When I opened the yearbook for the first time in I don’t know how long, I was reminded how much school sucked. Nobody wrote in my yearbook. Some of that was my fault. I had severe social anxiety. So, I wasn’t exactly outgoing. But, it wasn’t like I didn’t have friends. It was just that by the time graduation came along, my anxiety and gender dysphoria were at an all time high. I was excluding myself from just about every activity. Even the swimming pool.
In the week leading up to the reunion, I looked at the list of people who weren’t attending and felt a little better. Although few people explained why, I suspect it was a mixture of the economy and the fact that facebook is now out there. It’s easier to stay in touch with that thing called the internet.
If I would have gone, I have no doubt everyone would know me and say hi. Like I said, small school. And I was one of the better known athletes. But, it would have been mostly worthless small talk and drinking. I still talk with the woman I dated in high school. She is a year older than me. I asked her if she went to her reunion last year. She said no. And added “Who wants to go to the high desert in August anyway?”.
It’s now been ten years since I have been back to my hometown (a friend rightfully calls it the sticks). I think I’ll make plans to go back next summer for a week or so. There are places in Southern California I would like to visit. There are friends I would like to have lunch with. And there are family members I would like to visit with. My Dad has moved back to SoCal. And my two cousins live very close by. I’m looking forward to that trip far more than my high school reunion.