I am 20 years past high school? How did that happen?!?

20 year reunion PHS

Class of 1992, Plant High School, Tampa, FL

Joooooooy (C’mon, c’mon, here we go)…and pain. (pump, pump, pump, pump it up).  Sunshi-ii-iine …and rain.” (Keep it goin’, keep it goin’ now)

The sweet rhymes of Rob Base (above), Bell Biv Devoe, and Sir Mix-A-Lot pumped from the hotel conference room while a smattering of almost-40-year-olds laughed at the hot jams from our high school days and attempted to “bust a move” in our cocktail attire.

Dancing at the 20-year reunion

Busting moves (sort of)

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, this is your 20-year high school reunion.

“So what are you doing these days?” echoed around the room all night long. Thanks to Facebook most of us had at least the general outline of each other’s lives, but a couple of my girlfriends and I thought it might be a good idea to add bullet points to our name tags to avoid having to explain some of the details over and over again. Such as, “Divorced.” “No kids.”  “Happy about it.” Or, in my case, “I’ve had every job there is, but now I write.”

It was surreal to look around the room and see all of these people that I had spent formative years with so long ago. We were all basically the same people, just with more interesting details (inside and out) due to life’s wear and tear.  Not surprisingly, the same groups of people who hung out in high school still mostly clumped together at the reunion, though I think with far less angst and concern over social hierarchy than we all seemed to be saddled with back in high school.

The saddest part of the evening for me was hearing the name of one of my best friends from high school bandied about. As in, “Did you hear about so-and-so….?” She is in prison, due to making some seriously flawed, mental-illness-driven, really bad life choices. I’m not saying I blame anyone for talking about her, she made her own bed. But she was a bright and promising girl and the turn her life has taken is tragic, a fact made more cutting by seeing her teenage face flashed across the screen during a then-and-now slideshow.

On a happier note, I drove four of my girlfriends to the reunion–we elected not to bring significant others, for their sake and ours–and being together with these women that I love, but haven’t spent enough time keeping in touch with over the years, truly felt good for my soul. There’s nothing like a car full of happy, chatting girls to put a smile on my face.

Friends at the 20-year reunion

Girls having fun

Overall it was a great night. Several people made it a point to let me know that they have been enjoying my blog. Their kind words warmed my heart and (I admit) made me like them all that much more. I had a chance to view and purchase a few pieces of my friend Pam’s beautiful contemporary jewelry.  Another classmate gave away samples of his delicious raw and gluten-free “Grawnola”. I loved getting a glimpse into the lives and people we have all grown into.

I think it is most appropriate to sum up my feelings about our 20-year high school reunion with the words of a great poet of our time, Mr. M.C. Hammer.

“My people we don’t know defeat we crush the strong and

percolate the weak daily (everyday) We make our moves to

improve our groove because we love to rule where we

lay yo!..(Yo!) Work and play we started at the bottom and

now we’re leading the way and yea!..(yea!) i’m havin a fit kickin’ it

at the top because i’m too legit to quit…sang!…

Too legit! Too legit to quit!”

Keep on, keepin’ on everyone.
Love, Stephanie

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