All the Wrong People Were Naked: The Reunion Recap

July 26, 2011

Okay, no one was naked, but I’ve had this title in my cache since my friend Reynard used it as the subject line for a post-Mardi Gras email he sent me years ago and I just had to use it if only so now it’s copyrighted under my name. (Reynard’s a painter not a writer, so I feel no qualms about stealing it). Plus, it works in so many ways: All the Wrong People Were Drunk, All the Wrong People Were Dancing, All the Wrong People Were Swindled. Try it, you’ll see!

Anyhow, here I am with the post-reunion blog. . . I came away from the night feeling that curious mix of fulfillment and frustration—glad I reconnected with friends I hadn’t seen in ages, sad that time ran out too soon or was spent in idle group banter about bad haircuts, growing midriffs, and the unfortunate effects of too many Jell-O shots. I wanted to pull one friend after another aside so I could get down to the truer business of how their lives really were, as if I were working on a ninth grade biology project and could (theoretically!) slice down their middles with a scalpel. I wanted to see their inner workings as if, through looking at their lives outside and in, I could understand my own life—the choices I’ve made, the mistakes I’ve made, the triumphs I’ve had that now seem too distant and unremarkable.

But I’m a writer—I assume everyone understands their own lives by explicating the lives and stories of others—perhaps I expected too much from this one event. And while I did file away some terrific anecdotes I heard that I’ll be able cannibalize for future fiction, ultimately the reunion was just another slightly awkward social event that everyone experienced with different degrees of anxiety and delight. I spent part of the night assigning updated senior superlatives to various attendees: Most Likely to Have A Diamond Studded Pinkie Ring, Most Likely To Still Know Every Word to Back In Black, Most Likely to Maintain the Same ‘80s Hairdo Until Death (and no, I’m not being snarky—I could easily win every one of these superlatives myself).

I spent the other part of the night wishing the band–as they got tired of playing all the ‘80s tunes they knew and the lead singer began Googling lyrics to ‘80s tunes on his iPhone so they could try out new songs–had begun playing live Karaoke for the crowd. I know for sure they could have gotten each and every one of us behind the mic for blistering versions of “I Love Rock and Roll,” or “Melt With You.” It would have been wonderful and excruciating, yet overall an event to remember.

And here’s where I look back at the yin and yang of this blog: fulfilling and frustrating, mistakes and triumphs, anxiety and delight, wonderful and excruciating. That doesn’t just describe a high school reunion—it also describes high school to a T, no? We all relived that mix of emotions on Saturday night, and just like we were ecstatic to graduate and be gone so many years ago, my guess is that on Saturday night we also were all happy to get out of Gunstock and escape back to our homes. But it doesn’t mean we won’t come back to give this reunion thing another shot ten years from now, straggling in to Gunstock or Pheasant Ridge with our anticipation and reservations equally intact.

And while many were missed this year because they didn’t attend or, sadly, couldn’t attend, as they’ve left us way too soon—Mark Merlini, Gar Green, Dave Musacchio, Brian Bean, and Tom Fabian—we all were together in spirit. So I’ll end by saying with firm conviction: All the Right People Were With Us.


4 Responses to “All the Wrong People Were Naked: The Reunion Recap”

  1. Kirsti said

    that’s so funny–I was writing my post at the same time, and we have one of the same pictures on it! I like yours a lot better, though..and that title!

  2. Michele M. Blajda said

    Sorry Kate that you felt robbed of the ability to get into our heads…unfortunately an event like this is just not one that I would feel that I could bear my soul or my life happiness with in such a public venue; anytime you would like to stop by for a chat I would be Happy to oblige you; there is alot more to tell than just the surface comments made in this post.

    I would have to think that any reunion of sorts means many different things to different people. For myself I was happy to see everyone as I always am. My biggest excitement of the reunion is to see those who have never shown up before such as Joe Beauman and Jason Chamberlain, Bryan Nixon and tammy Tougas; they have not changed one bit further it was thier first appearance since graduation; it was great to catch up with them

    Futhermore, I see and talk with many of our classmates (many those individuals that attended) during the year for school, family or friend related events; the best part of the reunion is that we are all together in one evening and that is rare with busy schedules.

    Many of the class went to Patricks Pub for the after party, I had close to 50 people waiting for me at home waiting to light off fireworks. I did invite many to from the reunion (especially those heading south to concord as I am right off route 106) to attend, if you did not get the message I apologize…

    My life is not an open book, but you can catch up on alot of what I have been up to by checking out my facebook photo’s there are many albums – I am a photo happy person and post most of them (much to Patty Chesebrough’s dismay; I post photo’s more than I scrapbook these days….so much faster.

    I can quickly say that my life is much more fulfilled now that I finally stopped ignoring my dream and got my RN. I intend to get my Masters in nursing informatic or teaching. however I am sending one off to college in 2 weeks and 1 to high school; the wear an tear on the family for the first 2 degrees was difficult and I shall wait; my duaghter needs me these next 4 years more than I need to hang another degree on the wall.

    The Jell-O shots by the way were fantastic….I only indulge in being crazy 3-4 times a year. Life is short, my family and I have lost to many to hold back and worry about the small stuff; or what others think we should do or how to act with our lives; after all if is my life, others should just worry about and live thier own.

    While I saw you briefly, I have to say you have not changed one bit. The years have been kind to you.


  3. As always a delight to read. I’d love to chat with you about my college reunion experience in May since we’ve observed similar and different trends related to reunions. I am going to Wheaton again in a few weeks to attend a luncheon honoring two of my friends who have recently left the College. I’m calling it a ReReunion since our class officer team (I’m class historian) is trying to gather up as many to come for this event as we can. We already have folks who weren’t able to come to our 25th in May and quite a few repeats. We know we won’t have the numbers we had in May, but we figure that we are one of the only classes ever who had opportunity and motive to return en masse so shortly after our 25th reunion. This September will mark the 28th anniversary of us beginning college.

    Big hug,

  4. I feel like an eavesdropper.
    I am.
    Maybe, it’s wrong to comment.
    But I heard.
    I saw.
    I am.

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