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My 20-year high school reunion is coming up next month, and I’ve yet to RSVP. In true blog fashion, I’ve decided to put the question to my readers.
Should I Stay or Should I Go?
BASICS: The reunion is being held over Thanksgiving weekend in Philadelphia. About a quarter of my HS class has committed to going, and another quarter said “Maybe.” I am one of them. Tickets cost $50 – 70 each.
BACKGROUND: I no longer live in Philly, where the reunion is being held. I presume Thanksgiving weekend was chosen to accommodate travelers who’d be returning to the area to visit family. Unfortunately my family lives in Atlanta, and my husband and I had planned on celebrating Thanksgiving here in Maine.
MY HUSBAND: Is supportive of the trip, but financially it would be a burden. My parents are tied up for the weekend, so we wouldn’t have anyone to watch our kids (or pets) here in Portland. The reunion would necessitate a hotel stay for two nights, boarding of our pets, as well as a babysitter for our daughters during the event. It would also mean purchase of reunion tickets, gasoline, food for four, travel expenses. In sum: NO SMALL CHUNK OF CHANGE. Add the fact that it’s Thanksgiving Weekend, guaranteeing the roads will be packed.
BUT: A part of me really wants to go. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen anyone from high school. I had many close friendships and have reconnected with many friends via Facebook. The reunion should be fun. They’re having an open bar & food, music, a video montage and even swag bags. A lot of people have already bought tickets, likely more will attend. For the sheer pleasure (and curiosity) of seeing what people look like after 20 YEARS (!) part of me says YES!
MY DILEMMA: Attending the reunion is possible, but it’s a big unnecessary expense. I also suffer from Meniere’s Disease, a condition often exacerbated by travel and stress. Portland is 7 1/2 hours by car from Philadelphia; a do-able drive, but in traffic it will be longer. Bottom line: ???
POSSIBLE SOLUTION: Enjoy Thanksgiving here, then go to the reunion by myself. If I went alone, it would be a much smaller burden, involving less stress and expense – one ticket, one room, food for me, and my husband could stay home and take care of things. But how much fun would that really be? How many spouses attend reunions solo? I’d hazard a guess at very few. It’s not that I don’t feel comfortable or confident enough to go alone, it’s just.. not ideal.
SO. SHOULD I STAY OR SHOULD I GO? I don’t want to ditch my husband for my reunion, but I don’t want to miss it either. Is it worth the hassle and expense of us going as a family? Is it better to simply stay home?? Would I have a good time if I went by myself or would I just feel awkward? Has anyone been in a similar situation? What do you think?! Give me your 2 cents!
NOTE: My two friends above WILL be at the reunion!
Some of you already know what I am talking about. But for those of you still thriving on your own, who haven’t been party to my day-long ramble of comments, pokes and pokings, I am hear to say.
I have LOST MY FREAKING MIND.
I have joined the Borg-like collective otherwise known as Facebook. Unbelievable, I know. I have resisted for SO LONG. I hate Facebook. Still do. But when I googled my best friend from HS yesterday and saw she had joined, the urge was IRRESISTIBLE. WHY??? I have no idea. Perhaps the thought of interacting w/ her even marginally proved too enticing. Our friendship has waned over the years, and we now live 5,000 miles apart. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my first 24 hours on Facebook, it’s that none of that matters. It’s not how long since you last spoke or interacted, nor whether you’ve even actually met in real life. Once a friend, always a friend. At least on Facebook.
Unfortunately. one day on Facebook has taken 2 weeks off me in real life. I stayed up till nearly one o’clock in the morning last night. Facebook took control. I was searching for names as fast as I could type. Anyone and everyone I’ve ever known. To see whether they too had joined the massing throng. And many more of them were there, than weren’t. Oh some I knew would be there. Others I’d never have imagined. After 5, 10, 20 years, some I wouldn’t recognize if we passed each other on the street. Others – WOW. Time has stood still.
In the past 24 hours I have reconnected with over 60 people. I can hardly believe it. From one to the next – reaching out to each other like we’ve never been apart. Like a cyber-reunion on crystal meth, it’s been SPEEDY FUN. But it’s also exhausting. I haven’t thought about half of these people in years. Many ask what I’ve been up to. How do you summarize such enormous parts of your life w/out omitting crucial details & emotions? I left a doctoral program. I worked professionally. I got pregnant, I got married. I was consumed by motherhood. I lost a child. I have been plagued by a disease. We’ve moved. A lot has gone on. And not just for me, but for ALL OF US. Every person I’ve friended on Facebook has a dozen or more stories to tell, not of minutia but of monumental change. Frankly, it’s a little hard to digest overnight. Last evening, I went to bed late and I didn’t sleep well. I found myself waking periodically, wanting to check my Facebook page. I spent this morning half-awake, absorbed by the thought of him or her, and them. The Collective. Trying to wrap my head around the concept I had resisted for so long, and the reality that is Facebook.
And also wondering.. inevitably. WHY? Why has so-and-so NOT responded to my friend request. Hmm. Maybe they are not obsessive computer users? In hospital? Out of the country?? WHAT IS GOING ON?! Am I not COOL? Facebook. Although it brings pleasure, all this reconnecting and reminiscing w/ old friends also makes you feel a little like that person back in high school. Wondering whether you are popular. Or popular enough. Whether so-and-so is thinking bad thoughts about you. Or, conversely, someone is thinking about you a bit too much.
Twenty-four hours in. I am spent. Too much time on the computer does that to me. It’s why I don’t Tweet. Why my blog posts are often few & far between. I much prefer living my life outside. in the real world. Where I have far fewer friends. Till tomorrow, anyway. When that urge to check my Facebook page rises up, and once again. Our thoughts are one. Linked together by a billion strands of interwoven cyber friendship stretching far, far into space. That’s right. I am now on Facebook.