Recently I received a call from someone I haven’t spoken with in twenty years – or more accurately, from someone I can’t recollect ever having spoken with at all. This sweet-voiced female was phoning to get my address so she could send me an invitation to my high school reunion. Now, I left the small town I grew up in about two and a half seconds after graduating valedictorian (not much of a feat as Canon City, Colorado is not what one would call, um, an “intellectual hotspot”) and I am very happily still in touch with exactly three people from the class of ‘88. (Hi, Vanessa, Michelle and Jen!) Which made me wonder:
1) Why would I want to give my personal information to someone I don’t know so she could send me an invitation to gather with a group of people who I also don’t know and never did? And, just as importantly,
2) Why on earth would any rational individual in my graduating class (other than those three friends who, like me, left Colorado years ago) want me at their high school reunion? For I was simultaneously the school rebel who refused to stand for the pledge of allegiance, brandished anarchy signs whenever possible and generally attempted to show my contempt for anything and everything that had to do with the status quo – which meant mostly my peers.
I don’t mean this as a slight to the poor dupe who made the call, for she was probably just going down a list of all the names given to her by someone else that she herself, until recently, hadn’t spoken with in twenty years. I just find this whole “high school reunion” ritual a bit bizarre, the way I find the whole “MySpace friends” thing odd. Why all these efforts to reach out to strangers? What does this say about the society we live in? And why not just have a MySpace high school reunion?
After all, wouldn’t that be the best way for me to catch up with the friends I never had?