My Totally 10 Year Reunion

romy and michelleLast weekend was my 10-year high school reunion. I dreamt of that day since my freshman year in high school. I couldn’t wait until I triumphantly returned to my class and got to brag about all the incredible things I’d done with my life in the past decade. I’d be like Romy and Michele except I wouldn’t have to lie because I’d actually be super successful (though if I did lie, it’d be way more believable than inventing post-its).

But, like most things in life, the past decade didn’t go as I had planned back in high school. What actually happened is that I was unable to make it back for the weekend because I couldn’t afford a plane ticket from LA to Indy and was already booked for a couple shows in LA. But I could have gotten out of the shows. Truth is, I just couldn’t afford the ticket.

Because I’m not yet financially successful. I couldn’t arrive in a limo or in a helicopter like I wanted. I couldn’t even arrive on a Southwest redeye I paid for with a credit card because I don’t have the money available on the credit card and don’t have the time to give off work. I’m far from home out here in LA so a trip like that is a commitment. I know friends who were able to make the trek to say hi. But I didn’t. I couldn’t. I’m juggling too much here in LA too delicately. Too much time off and something has to give. And I’m not yet in a position to be able to give anything up. So I didn’t go.

I was class president for two years and student body president my senior year. And I didn’t make it to my 10-year high school reunion.

In case you can’t tell, I’ll just say it- I was disappointed. Not because I had anything to prove. I actually had wonderful friends in high school, many of whom I keep up with regularly. I even get to talk to some of my teachers too because social media is great for all that. And I’ve been back to my high school a couple times since graduation so it’s not like I’m a stranger around there.

I was disappointed not only because I wanted to be there but I think I wanted to be further along in my career at this point, too. I wanted to be able to tell people that I had a dream and I made it a reality and look at the cool stuff I have to show for it. But not really because I needed to show other people. I think I just wanted to prove it to myself.

I know I’ve chosen a different life path than many of my peers. And I’m happy with where I am and happy with the decisions I’ve made. I know as a result my journey is windier and weirder because it’s more unconventional. And that’s ok. But sometimes, there are clear reminders that I will miss out because of my choice. Missing my 10-year reunion was one of those reminders.

So if any of my BJPS Class of ’04 buddies are reading this, I hope the reunion was awesome. I would have loved to have been there and gotten drunk with you (since I was such a prude and a nerd and never did so in high school). I would have loved to have heard about your careers and your kids and your spouses and your sex changes and your college years and your job complaints and your future goals. Please know that I was there in spirit. And hopefully I’ll catch you at the next one. Because I swear to god if I can’t afford a friggin ticket to Indianapolis by then, I’m going to run away and join the nunnery. I hear they love comedians.

Sarcastic insult transforms to genuine compliment through minor change in tone and delivery

Brandi Meyers is considered the most popular girl at her school. A current junior in high school, she spent much of her career as a teenager insulting and making snide comments about her peers.

Her world was changed, however, with a simple miscommunication last Friday. When one of the more unfortunate-looking girls was walking by her table at lunch, Meyers laughed and said, “Hey, nice shirt. It compliments your eyes behind your glasses really well.”

Yet this time, before she could laugh at her own creativity and compliment herself for yet another successful distraction from her own insecurities, a strange thing happened. The girl turned to Meyers with genuine excitement and affection and said, “Thank you! Thats so sweet of you to notice!” The freak walked away before Meyers had a chance to reply. She was dumbfounded by the entire interaction. In that moment, Meyers discovered that she could actually become the nicest girl in school by making a few tweaks to her delivery.

“I guess I wasn’t laying enough sarcastic in my tone or body language,” Meyers explains. “The strange part was, it felt really good to make another person feel good. And that scared me.”

With upcoming homecoming court voting, Meyers is feeling pretty good about her chances with this new approach. She believes she still has enough fear and intimidation from several successful years of emotional manipulation, but can look like a genuine enough nice person through this new non-sarcastic approach to speaking to people.