Article 25

Facebook and High School Reunions

In Uncategorized on 07/09/2012 at 1:37 pm

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Facebook and High School Reunions

Frequently Asked Questions

By Anne Skove

 

Q: How are Facebook and high school reunions the same? How are they different? Aren’t they exactly the same thing?

A: Some of the same people are in both these sets. Others are in neither. A few stragglers are in one (Facebook) or the other (reunion). The rest are trolls. Remember when you wondered why you had to study Venn diagrams? This is why.

 

Q: Have you ever been to a high school reunion?

A: I was going to go to my 10th, but my partner in nostalgia (we had a pact to go together) called me, long distance: “I have some good and funny, funny news…” She was pregnant and wanted to fit in a visit to her sister in Florida before she was too far along for air travel. But we recently attended our 25th together.

 

Q. How does one learn about one’s high school reunion?

A: Fast forward (“Mom, what’s ‘fast forward?’ ”) decades later. A Facebook friend told me about the 25th reunion.

 

Q: Is information on the Internet reliable?

A: When I checked, the school website informed me that the reunion was held the previous Saturday. I was confused. But my friends told me no, this was a different reunion. This made sense; when we were in high school, we didn’t have things like the Hulu, Squidoo or Pinterest – only Cthulhu and Harold Pinter (although I didn’t learn about the latter until college).

 

Q: Is a high school reunion stressful?

A: It was going to happen that very Friday. Like ripping the Band-Aid right off, jumping feet-first into a cold swimming pool, there was little time to fret or plan. I texted my partner in nostalgia to make sure she was going. We still had a pact!

 

Q: Do people really worry about how they look before a reunion?

A: Less than a week meant few worries. Let’s face it: Many of us have given birth, lost hair, and gotten even stupider. Who are we trying to impress?

 

Q: How gussied up must one get for a reunion?

A: My friend declared she was not going to get “all gussied up,” but did resolve to shave her legs and re-dye her roots. Of course, she looked fabulous. Speaking of stubble, the craziest thing about aging is that suddenly these eyelashy things sprout where they absolutely should not. Also, eyebrows sometimes go the wrong way.

 

Q: How gussied up must one get for Facebook?

A: On Facebook, you can post a picture of Beyonce and hope nobody notices that it isn’t really you. You may or may not be wearing pants as you post information about your cats; no one will know your state of undress unless you tell them. (I know someone who does disclose this fact, and I have yet to square it with his love of frying bacon and grilling out.)

 

Q: What if no one remembers me? What if I remember no one?

A: My friend and I created this pact for partly that reason. Because my friend and I were going together, people would probably remember us. We were always together in high school. We even shared a chair at lunch. Sometimes she would make her sandwich talk, and it always made me laugh with the sweetly hilarious things it said. Yes, I think people might remember us. … I learned there is a bit of a brain lag while you try to add up the nametag information, current face and person you might or might not have known 25 years ago.

 

Q: What kind of music is played?

A: On Facebook, you can post videos to show how good your taste is. In high school, we had something called “MTV,” which was a cable TV station that played “music videos.” For example, Pat Benatar might be piloting an old-fashioned plane for no obvious reason, while “Shadows in the Night” is performed. Every horrible ’80s song we heard the day of the reunion, my husband would announce: “Get ready!” So, I came prepared.

 

Q: What will you be remembered for?

A: At a reunion, you might be remembered for the type of music you listened to in high school. My peep listened to bands like the Meat Puppets, Cro-Mags and Dead Kennedys. I listened to hippie shit like Neil Young and the soundtrack to Hair. Unlike Paul Simon, I was born at the wrong time. We were also remembered for getting our friend in trouble. She had never done anything wrong. We convinced her to skip out on an assembly. We assured her no one would find out. We had no way of knowing that her big sister, who attended a different school, would be at that very same McDonald’s.

 

Q: Must spouses participate?

A: Spouses may participate in Facebook, but rarely spend time on it. The friend who told me about the reunion specifically noted that her spouse wasn’t attending, and not to bring ours. My spouse immediately wanted to send her a “thank you” gift. If you attend your spouse’s reunion, you will be known as Mr./Mrs. (your spouse’s first name here).

 

Q: Is it a coincidence that Retro Day at your kids’ school is the same day as your reunion?

A: Yes, and it is an inspiring coincidence at that. Retro Day is when kids can come to school in clothes from the ’60s, ’70s, ’80s or (no lie) ’90s. My younger son calls these “the olden days.” He wore his uncle’s Paris (the city, not the Hilton) T-shirt, which says, “1986.” My daughter wore a funky hippy shirt with flowing sleeves and a plaid skirt (’80s?). Their older brother suggested they wear togas and say they are from a very retro time indeed.

 

Q: Will you run into any of your former teachers on Facebook? At a reunion?
A: Many teachers avoid social media like the plague, but some are on it. They might make an appearance at your reunion if you give them free pretzels and beer. This is a more fitting honor than they can get down the hall at the so-called “Teacher Appreciation Dinner,” thrown by the same administration that has withheld raises for the past five years.

 

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