The sole purpose of the high school reunion is to turn up seeming more successful and together than anyone would have ever predicted.
We all know this.
Luckily for people like me, it’s rather easy to exceed people’s expectations. I was the person who was always late, never, ever knew where my goddamn hat was and had at least three rotten bananas at the bottom of my school bag at all times. So the fact I even manage to make it to a school reunion wearing matching shoes is mind blowing.
But then there’s…. the others. The ones you talk about for years afterwards, because the people you went to school with never cease to be fascinating.
Whether it’s your five, 10, or 20 year reunion, these are the eight people who are always there.
1. “She doesn’t even go here”: The person you are 110 per cent sure never attended your school. Which is fine. But how did you find out about this event.
I’ve never seen you in my entire life and I have an absurdly good memory for things that happened at school.
I remember the time Andi claimed to get attacked by spider monkeys at the zoo in Year 8 simply to get out of doing the worksheet we'd been given. I remember when Sarah sustained an injury during preparation time for debating because she got excited and jumped on a desk. I remember when Jessie performed a reimagined Shakespearean monologue so inappropriate and politically incorrect I won't even repeat it.
But I do not remember you. You did not go to my school. I don't know who you are or how you got in here.
But hello, what are you up to these days?
2. The person who is purely attending the reunion to accumulate gossip. And... touché.
The extent of gossip to be gathered at a high school reunion cannot be overstated.
There are scandals. There are lies. There are fractured friendships, boyfriends in jail, failed pyramid schemes, and truly horrendous life decisions.
It's what we live for.
So there is always, ALWAYS a person who is solely attending to get said gossip, and spread it to (infinite) interested parties.
This individual has some dead giveaways, the most telling of which is starting conversations with gossip (i.e. "you've heard about Rachel, haven't you?"), because gossip breeds gossip: true gossips know this.
3. The person who wasn't cool at school, but went on to be one of the most successful and together people anyone's ever come across, making everyone realise they're horrible people.
Undoubtedly the most impressive people at your high school reunion are the ones who went under the radar at school. They stayed real quiet, and then BOOM, at your five year reunion they've got PhD's, run a goddamn business, or own a bloody house.
4. The no-show. Far, far too cool to go to a reunion. Their life is way too glamorous for such frivolous engagements.
There are so many no-shows.
It turns out a lot of people think school reunions are lame, which I dunno, seems a little rude.
But apparently people can be too busy to hang out with the people they went to school with. Some had a better party to attend. Or they're living overseas. Or they have all new friends now and don't have any connection with who they were as a teenager.
Lots of people say they see the people they want to from school, and there's a reason they don't socialise with the others, which I guess is fair enough.
But the no-shows make me feel like maybe I should've had something better to do than go to my reunion? Which I didn't. I was really free, and also... genuinely keen.
5. The cool person who never changed and will ride that cool person wave until the day they die.
Even if you were a fly on the wall at a reunion for another school, you'd be able to spot the cool people. They gravitate towards the same group, their confidence goes through the roof, and there's something about the way they carry themselves that says, 'I was cool then, and yes, I'm still cool now'.
No matter what, you feel a bit... patronised by them?
They've maintained their cool aura since school, probably being cool at work and making other cool friends. But as an adult, it doesn't really matter as much. People value other things.
Essentially, they're the same person they were at school, but now that's far more problematic.
6. The person you fought with in Year 8 but still won't talk to you.
When you go to a reunion you (naively) expect there's somewhat of a clean slate. But never, EVER underestimate the power of a trivial Year 8 feud that neither of you can remember the cause/conclusion of to fuel a lifetime of hate.
Because that sh*t lasts forever.
Listen to The Parent Code: Help, I don't like my daughter's friends. Post continues after audio.
7. The person who really, really wants to show off their partner and can no longer attend things solo.
There is always someone who wants to bring their partner to a reunion that just isn't partner-friendly.
No longer can they attend a social event solo - such is their love for their significant other.
Even if they're ultimately banned from doing so, they will spend the entire night referencing their partner, and answering questions as though they are, in fact, their partner, rather than themselves.
You leave knowing more about the person they're in a relationship with than you do about them, and to be honest, Mark doesn't really sound that interesting.
8. The 'I'm here for the food but also mostly the alcohol' person.
Hahahaha... ahh. This is me.