As I struggle to understand the world around me as well as my own emotions and role, I realize how often I judge people in my mind. You would think that the more I discover about humanity, the more I would come to dislike people who go against the grain of what I think is the right way to live. On the contrary, it’s been quite the opposite.
Lately I’ve seen a lot of posts and pictures about high school reunions. Many of my friends have reached the five-year mark (’08). My parents, like all of my family, graduated early and would have celebrated their 37-year (‘78) and 35-year (‘80) reunions. I can guarantee you they will never hold an interest in any Pennsylvania State University reunion, let alone any reunion with people they don’t care about from their high school who obviously had nothing better to do than stick around. And I feel exactly the same.
I’m baffled by how many people seem to attend high school reunions. I attended so many different schools, I don’t even have a loyalty. Neither does my brother, who attended the Valley School of Ligonier (Pennsylvania), Kiski Preparatory School for Boys (Pennsylvania), and Andrews Osborne Academy (Ohio). I’ll admit, I still go back every once in awhile to visit Valley. I’m good friends with many of the teachers there. But no one my age goes to any of these reunions. Are you kidding me? First of all, most Valley kids were from different areas and transferred to boarding schools even farther away as they set themselves up for college. So who would be left?
I went to a reunion shortly after I graduated high school. It was winter break, and my private school was just over a few mountains from my home. I made the drive and was disappointed to find that most of my college-aged friends were away for school still, on vacation in attractive places, or simply disinterested. I asked my friends how a reunion had gone recently and they told me “no one came”, a completely ordinary response. Maybe a few recent grads, but everyone else have careers and homes and live far away. Most boarding school kids don’t even come from America, so why would they come back for a reunion?
Maybe it’s different for public school people who see the same people day in and day out, who keep in touch, and who don’t move away. But I feel like that kind of person is harder and harder to find these days, what with college and careers leading us to bigger and better things. All I know is I don’t really keep any friends from high school; I’ve, well, grown out of it.
So here’s to all the people who are sick of sappy get-together photos, who don’t understand reunions or sucking up to people who think they´re something they aren´t, and who would like to think we have moved on to much greater events in our lives than catching up with people who don’t even remember our names and who obviously haven’t had a move on with their small-town lives.
One thing that pisses me off about, well, every day life is our obsession with this bizarre enigma we refer to as “fashion”. Being “fashionable” or “well-dressed” is an important part to any publicly active and successful being, at least in America and other First World countries. We are so caught up in appearances and aesthetics in literally every perspective of life that it completely consumes us. The feeling of social security we get from meeting self-imposed visual standards becomes the lifeblood to maintaining our self-esteem. One faltering moment and our confidence is undermined. But how did we ever come to rely on such meaningless concepts as “fashion”? And who became the judge of it anyway?