My 20 year high school reunion was this past weekend.

For the previous several that came up, I dismissed the idea of going out of hand. I'm not really the relive-my-glory-days-from-high-school type. And really... there were no 'glory days' so you can pretty much see why. I keep in touch with all the people that I want to keep in touch with; which amounts to one, count them, one person.

Don't get me wrong, I had fun in high school. I had friends in high school. I have no egregious memories of high school that mar my overall outlook on the past like some. But I also couldn't wait until high school was over. It was just so... high school. Other than a few fleeting moments over the past 20 years, I haven't had the desire to go back. I remember my mother telling me about how when she went to hers, the same people were doing the same things: the jocks hung with the jocks, the smokers hung with the smokers, the popular kids hung with the popular kids. I feel like in so many ways I'm not that same person anymore; I have no desire to go back and try to be that person again.
Most of my life has happened since high school ended, not before.

This one was a little different. I kinda wanted to go. Why? I have no clue. I guess because it's 20 years and people are supposed to want to go to their 20 year reunion. I guess I also had some small morbid curiosity about how people turned out. Mostly, I wanted to see the one friend I am in touch with... I always love the chance to hang out with him because we are too far away to do that much now. Whenever we do talk or get together it's like old times. I love who he is, I love his sense of humor and I miss that I don't have friends that last like this anymore.

So I made plans to go... until I realized that they had scheduled the reunion on my daughter's third birthday. Then I had a decision to make: relive my lost youth or be the responsible mother who puts a birthday her child will barely remember over her own travel plans. Ultimately, my decision became easier when events happened to severely limit my travel funds over the past couple of months. Boo motherhood! Boo responsibility! Boo Sucktember!

So I did not go. And I don't really feel my life is more the worse for it. I did give my friend strict instructions to come back with as much good dirt on people as he could. He sent a nice couple of emails updating me on where some people are now... most of those people I had to look up in my yearbook to even remember who they were. Some of them, I'm still not who they were. (KingofHearts always claims that the portion of space in my brain that was by design, supposed to be responsible for long term memory has been reappropriated by song lyrics.)

My friend generally had good things to say about people, which in truth, disappointed me. I gave him one assignment - come back with DIRT - and he failed miserably! There appeared to be no drunken outbursts, no losers, no one's been to prison. I can't even avoid applying all those monikers to my own family. It seemed like most people are just like me... trying to live their lives day by day, dealing with their own stuff, getting through.

KingofHearts sat next to me as I was looking through my yearbook and it's funny the perspective that can be placed on it by someone who wasn't there. As I flipped through the pages of portraits, he'd point to someone and say, "She's really pretty", or "I'll bet he had girls hanging all over him", or "That one was probably popular, right?" Invariably they were not the popular or rich or pretty people he was pointing out. Who he pointed out generally ended up being the people who were my friends, who were decidedly NOT thought to be popular or rich or pretty by the entire student body.

"How about this one?", I started pointing. "Do you think she's pretty?"

"Absolutely not", he'd quickly reply.

"She was homecoming queen or something and her mother was like some beauty contest winner and she always, always had a boyfriend."

"Hmmmm... I just don't see it. Was this one popular? She's gorgeous."

"No," I'd say "But she was one of my close friends and one of the best people you'd ever want to meet. Last I talked to her, she'd just gone through a really bad divorce after her husband treated her like crap and she still had the best, most positive outlook on life."

It's amazing how the inner beauty really shines through when not marred by the overtones of high school. Even in a picture.