How to Ruin a High School Reunion
Most people who bother to go to their ten-year high school reunion have an agenda. Some are looking to impress fellow graduates who tormented them. Others are hoping to have a sexual encounter on or near campus, preferably with someone who tormented them. One or two people actually want to have meaningful conversations. No matter when or where these gatherings take place, they’re all the same collection of highlights and lowlights.
Three basic types of reunion exist:
1) The Romy and Michelle Reunion
In this scenario, you lie about your success without remorse. This deceit feels good. It starts to take hold of you and you believe your own fabrications. Your recollection of events from school is colored by your own myopia and you still dress like a fucking idiot even though you are now 28.
2) The Grosse Pointe Blank Reunion
You attend your ten-year reunion begrudgingly, primarily because you are still pining over a lost love or unfulfilled attraction. Regret compels you to do something potentially embarrassing. Also, you are John Cusack and you don’t look 28 at all. You look closer to 38. Whoever thought Cusack was a good casting choice is a moron.
3) The Zack and Miri Make a Porno Reunion
You are a huge loser, and can’t afford to live an adult life. As such, you hope that your reunion will be a chance to recapture past glory. After it’s over and you’ve made a drunken fool of yourself, you forge a pact to finally achieve some measure of happiness. Instead, you end up getting penetrated on camera. You decide to never go to another reunion again.
These events don’t have to be as depressing as the ones above, but invariably, they end up being a boon to the pharmaceutical and liquor industries anyway. The cycle of shame continues without end because not enough time is spent explaining exactly why reunions suck. It’s not just because you’re shallow, self-pitying, lazy, or fat. It’s those things, plus all the mistakes made in the planning of the reunions.
If we can all just work together to stop doing the following, we might be able to make revisiting puberty pleasurable.
Making Me Pay for Drinks
I already spent $40 on a ticket. Plus, I dropped $200 on my trip back home. You also made me spend time with my family. Haven’t I suffered enough? Free drinks mean we all get to have as much fun as we want without suffering any consequences, and isn’t that what high school is about anyway?
Forcing People to Dance
I was a terrible dancer when I was 16. At 28, I can barely bend down to tie my shoe without grimacing or splitting my skinny jeans down the middle. Contrary to what most reunion planners think, the proceedings are embarrassing enough without adding the Electric Slide to the mix. By the way, who the fuck is still doing the Electric Slide? We weren’t doing it in 2002. We sure as hell are not doing it in 2012. The only thing worse would be getting people to do the “Gangnam Style” dance.
Playing “Gangnam Style”
Yeah, it happened at my reunion. A few people seemed to really enjoy it. I think I heard one person say they were glad the DJ was finally playing “alternative music.” At times like that, it would be really helpful to have an open bar.
Booking a Venue That Is Clearly Too Big for the Number of Attendees
If 50 people show up to a venue that holds 150, those that did show up are going to feel silly. Kind of like when I went to see Cloud Atlas. Be modest with your venue. If I can hear myself talk at a high school reunion, you’re doing it wrong. Also, the amount of food that you waste in this situation is criminal. At least take some of that sweet, sweet brisket home with you.
Showing Pictures of Me When I Was Younger
“Hey! Do you feel fat, bald, cynical and alone? Cool! Remember when you were none of those things? If you don’t, here’s a graphic representation of how far you have come on a giant flatscreen TV. By the way, did I mention that you’ll be dead one day?” — High school reunion coordinator
Asking Me to Perform a “Talent”
I was asked to do a stand-up set at my reunion. That’s fine with me, as long as you are comfortable with having a fair amount of people belittled in front of their spouses. Plus, with the whole “having alcohol” thing, I’m probably not going to be as sharp as I would normally be. I might start venturing off into incoherence, fondling the decorative elk head on the wall, or just generally planning my escape from the event.
Having Patriotic Accouterment in the Venue
America is the country that let my generation down. They let 9/11 happen. They sent scores of us to Iraq and Afghanistan to die. They shipped blue-collar jobs overseas, which means that Joe and Jenny Meathead from my hometown have nothing better to do with their time than go to Best Buy and hope the Raider game is on the display TVs since they can’t afford cable. Joe and Jenny also can’t get government assistance because those programs are being cut to the bone. The American flag is just a reminder to every sad bastard in the room that rich people don’t care about them.
I know all of these requests can’t be met, but I am willing to accept the flags, old people dancing, and the “Gangnam Style” in exchange for the open bar.
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