OPINION | A 5-Year High School Reunion is Weird & Dumb & I Don't Like It

 If you stare long enough into the abyss, the abyss will stare back.

If you stare long enough into the abyss, the abyss will stare back.

Hey, it’s your friendly neighborhood Azuka blogger Lucas. As some of you know, I’m a student at Philadelphia’s own Drexel University -- a junior, to be exact, which means I graduated high school almost exactly three years ago. To some people my age, high school apparently feels like it was a really long time ago. At least that’s how they talk about it. But for me, high school was a mere fast-flying 1,095 days ago, and I still think about it a lot. What can I say? I look back on it with fond memories and a single nostalgic tear. Multiple single nostalgic tears. Plural tears. I am crying.

With those John Hughesian hallways and pop punk Pandora stations still uncomfortably fresh in memory banks that I wish Dave from 2001: A Space Odyssey would wipe clean while I sing “Daisy Bell”, I’m thankful my high school reunion isn’t until 2025. My standard of measuring time is that if I don’t know what live-action Disney remakes are coming out that year, it’s a very long ways away, because they spill that shit like a decade in advance. So 2025 is a speck on the horizon.

 The lead singer of Weezer went here. Don't care? Me neither.

The lead singer of Weezer went here. Don't care? Me neither.

Except while I was home for spring break a couple months back, I met up with some old P.E. badminton teammates and we were cracking quips faster than Robert Downey Jr. in any given role about the fast times at E.O. Smith High. And one of my friends brings up how she doesn’t know how to feel about our relatively upcoming five-year reunion.

And I say, “Well now, you must be mistaken, darling” as I gently fan a peach. “Any sensible person with two brains and a buttersnap knows that high school reunions happen ten years after graduation, not five, when wounds are still fresh!” On “fresh”, I squeeze a few droplets of peach juice into a gallon jug and fill the rest with vodka, creating a spry springtime martini.

My friend turned out to be right, though, reminding me of the harrowing closing words of some administratively useless class president’s graduation speech: “See you in five years!”

Five years?

2020?

The release year of the live action Mulan remake?

Which thank Christ isn’t starring Scarlett Johansson or some bullshit?

 This could have been much worse.

This could have been much worse.

Look, like I said, I love to reminisce about high school as much as the next guy whose psychiatrist tells him his wallowing in a past he can never change is probably unhealthy. But a five-year high school reunion is weird and dumb and I don’t like it.

First of all, the memories are too recent. You’re probably going to remember a lot more people than you would a decade after the fact, and that’s not a good thing. I don’t wanna remember everybody. I wanna have to read name tags. I don’t wanna think, “Oh, that’s Julian, he sat behind me in English when I still thought Gatsby was an inspiring tale of true love!” I wanna think, “Ohh yeah, that was...she was...oh, darn! High school was so long ago. I didn’t have twelve Nobel prizes back then. Beats me.”

Secondly, high school was recent enough so that I still feel compelled to use transition phrases like “secondly.”

 "Emile, you were named after the strongest and bravest man I ever knew."

"Emile, you were named after the strongest and bravest man I ever knew."

Thirdst of all, I will have accomplished nothing! I’ll be a year out of college. I’ll still be stumbling panickedly through the haunted labyrinthine terror that is the Philadelphia theatre scene, and lightning will still be flashing every time I say that. I want to be able to go to my high school reunion and proudly present eight sons and daughters, each named after supporting characters in Ratatouille. I want to be able to advertise my latest staged production, a brooding meditation on free will that uses the metaphor of, say, a rat puppeteering your every motion from underneath a chef’s hat by pulling on your hair. Fittingly, I want to do exactly what I did in high school: put on a guise of being far more confident than I actually am and at least have some life success as evidence to back that gusto up! And five years isn’t gonna cut it!

 Me on five-year reunions.

Me on five-year reunions.

Apparently these five-year high school reunions are becoming more of a trend. There’s a whole Buzzfeed article about it that, indicatively of a bold new artistic direction, uses gifs from The Office. But in this strongly worded email I’ve just decided I’m framing this as, I posit a view that I have to believe many of my peers share: there is no point to this trend. In fact, there is the opposite of a point. There are many reasons why it should not be a thing. I mean, I can’t be the only one, right?

Now, I know what you’ll say -- “No one’s forcing you to go to your high school reunion.” And you’re absolutely right. But a high school reunion is basically a live action adaptation of my past-wallowing imagination, and I am NOT going to pass that emotionally unhealthy opportunity up, no matter what the timeline.

As long as it doesn’t star Scarlett Johansson or some bullshit.

- Lucas

Want a see a really awkward college reunion? Mrs. Harrison previews start TONIGHT -- reserve your Pay What You Decide ticket now.

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