Party Like It’s 1994

I’ll say it, even though I don’t actually believe it: my twenty year high school class reunion is this summer. As a group, we are preparing to go back to the time of flannel shirts. But, here’s the thing…I don’t actually think it has been twenty years. Sure, there was college, then graduate school, the professional career, then the travel phase of life, the super fun times with friends because we were all childless, then there was buying a house and moving phase, the multiple failed relationships phase, the transition from wine coolers to wine, the friendship with my parents phase, the having babies phase, the finding THE ONE phase, the career crisis phase…but I really believe I did all of that in about 7 years, 11 years tops.
At least, it feels like it’s only been a decade. Sure, I feel like a completely different person than the insecure brat who mouthed off to her parents, and indeed it’s now an entirely different era.

When the OHS class of 1994 was launched into the world, not one of us had an email address. Or a cell phone. Or an understanding of why we might ever want these things. For graduation, I was given a word processor and a friend’s mom made me a basket of stationary with envelopes and stamps so that I could keep in touch with my friends.

At the risk of sounding like I’m heading to my 60 year class reunion, KIDS THESE DAYS don’t understand what it’s like to be out of touch with an entire group of people for 15 years. They don’t understand that the people who surrounded you for 12 years could just vanish and you met new people, new friends, new enemies. They don’t know the feelings of elation and fear when you realize that no one in your life knows anything about your awkward junior high moments.

As a group, we were allowed to change. We were allowed to grow and evolve and make thousands of ridiculous mistakes without tweeting them to the world.

I think reunions are losing their luster as we have the ability to be loosely connected and investigate anyone we want to. Reunions on movies and television always had people wondering about their former classmates as they nervously walked into the room. Who did that football star end up marrying?! Who ended up losing all of that weight?! Who is balding?! Will anyone recognize me?! Thanks to Facebook, we already know the answers to all of these questions. The mystique of the class reunion has disappeared.

As a group, we were together during the most difficult and the easiest times of our lives. Our job in high school wasn’t just the acquisition of knowledge, but to learn how to connect. To learn how to communicate, to learn who we wanted to be in the world. Some of us knew immediately, some of us have taken a winding path, and some of us still don’t know the impact we want to leave on this planet. For now, we’ll just get together, eat some tri-tip, make comments about how music in the mid-90s was the best, laugh at our former hairstyles, and acknowledge that we are all forever a part of each other’s memories.

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Kriste Colley

Kriste Colley

Kriste has degrees in counseling and child development and still has no clue when it comes to her own two children. She is sarcastic, thinks she's funny, and her house frequently looks like it's been robbed. She is currently a stay at home mom in Kennewick, Washington.

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  • Suzy Garza Higley

    I was dreaming when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray…. Oh sorry wrong year. Great post! I miss flannel. And good music. And kids these days just don’t know how to drive into the middle of know where with no phone or gps for back up! Wild days living on our wits! ;P

  • Kriste Colley

    Haha!! Not only “kids these days”, but PARENTS these days don’t know what it’s like to send you kid to a football game and dance and have no idea if they made it there safely!!! Now, kids have to text when they are leaving, text when they get there, text halfway through to let us know you are still there…..oye!

  • Funny stuff, and so true! My hubby has his 20th reunion this summer as well…yes, Natalie thought it highly weird when her baby sis started dating a guy her age! Oh, and he’s “anti-Facebook” so he really doesn’t know what too many people are up to now other than the ones he still actually speaks with.

  • Kriste Colley

    Haha! Captain Fabulous is anti-Facebook, too 🙂 It’s strange to observe someone else’s reunion….you hear these back stories that were only interesting if you were there!

  • Becca Lingley

    Agree about losing their luster… my ten year reunion was a few years ago: only 3 people from our class (okay, so it was only a class of 68 students, but still) attended. We all keep on touch on Facebook (now that we’re re-found each other again since we didn’t have Facebook in high school or college) and it decreases the need of spending several thousands of dollars to see people physically for a weekend when you can stay in touch daily if you want.

  • Kriste Colley

    I understand what you mean, Becca! There are no more post-high-school mysteries 🙂 I even find that I’m closer to some people now because of our Facebook connection than we ever were while we were growing up. Thanks for reading my post!