Thursday, September 16, 2010

The crazy aunt in the attic

Class Reunion Massacre As a follow-up to my previous entry about being defriended by high school classmates, I have to tell you about this.

I'll admit to feeling a little paranoid and wondering about how many others had defriended me. Not very many...most of those that I've ended up friends with are still there. As I was looking at a couple of pages, I came across a posting between a couple of mutual friends in which one asked the other if they'd gotten any information about the reunion, that a couple of people from our class were working hard to get in touch with everyone. This was our 30th reunion.

Here's the thing...I am friends with several people on there, and I didn't hear one word from anyone about the reunion. No invitation, no phone call, no Facebook message or email.

I have mixed feelings about this. First of all, I wouldn't have gone, anyway. Let's just say that I wasn't sorry to say goodbye to my high school years, and when I got to college, I finally felt like I came into my own and was able to be my own person. But I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't a little hurt by this. I know that I wasn't one of the popular kids, I wasn't a jock...I was a bookworm, and kind of a nerdy kid, I guess. I wore glasses, I wasn't real pretty, and I was a quiet, shy person. I didn't have it bad like some kids, being bullied or getting beaten up--I don't mean to give that impression. I had friends, and I went to games and stuff like that.

But I also felt a mixture of amusement and puzzlement. I know that I wasn't so invisible that people don't remember me...we are friends on Facebook, after all. Am I somehow so out-of-bounds from the norm that I am persona non grata? Are my opinions so abhorrent to others that they don't even want to be around me, or take the risk that if they sent me an invitation, I might actually show up? Thus the title of this I somehow the crazy aunt stashed away in the attic of the Class of '80? I had this mental image of walking into the joint and people flashing the sign of the Evil Eye at me, women fainting, men screaming, "Don't look her in the eye!" Honestly, what the hell? Hahaha!

Class reunion alien I spent a little time pondering it all. As I said, I felt somewhat hurt, but then that was much of my high school experience, anyway! After I got past that, I felt okay about it. I was always kind of an outsider or alien, never really fitting in with any group (and there are always groups in high school), and I somehow find it something of a comfort to know that I've always made my own way and been my own person. If there are times in my life when I haven't fit in, I would much rather deal with that than try to be something I'm not. It took me a while to gain some self-confidence and know that I was a person of value, after years of not being really accepted and years of religious guilt and indoctrination. I finally found my voice, my niche, my talent, and my true friends. I'm happy about that.

I'm also happy about being strong enough to break away from what is considered "normal" in these parts and make my own choices and own decisions. In a conservative, religious, socially restrictive environment, I chose my own way. I didn't do it just for the sake of rebellion; I took many years to consider things and come to the conclusions I did. I got many good lessons and values from my parents, but ultimately, it is up to each of us to make our own way and be true to ourselves after learning and growing and exploring.

If the past thirty years have led me to the point that I feel that I am my own person, I will happily accept feeling a little excluded from certain groups. I'm cool with being the crazy aunt in the attic.


  1. Maybe the committee hasn't sent out information about the reunion to anyone yet. I've helped plan some of ours. Probably they're trying to find out how to get in touch with everyone and will then mail them all at once. That's what we do. It's unusual for the planners to intentionally not invite classmates to reunions. I'd be surprised if that's the case. Keep us posted.

  2. I think that it's a badge of honor to be the crazy aunt in the attic. Non-crazy folks aren't nearly as interesting.

  3. I chose my own way. I didn't do it just for the sake of rebellion; I took many years to consider things and come to the conclusions I did.

    It did not bother me not getting invited to tag-a-longs in high school. Does not bother me as an adult, even though I have a few people I knew from High School as friends on Facebook as well.

    Being strong enough to pull yourself out of the groupthink and deciding to forge your own way is a sign of your individual strength and a measure of how much you are your own person. This is not to say that all the 'brainwashed followers' who are slotted in the tracks that were essentially already laid before them are 'lesser', but more that you wanted something different and you made it happen.

    I never have lost a moment of sleep over being someone who floated between the groups and cliques, never quite fitting into any one box but spilling some of myself into enough of them that no one could ever really tell.

    Honestly, the only time this kind of thing comes up as an issue in my life IS when I am required to be among the people who did not add to my experience in this life. I think I may have mentioned that my seemingly contradictory advice to people is how I KNOW that if they have the sort of questions and feelings about a reunion or any event where the ghouls of the past may, and I mean the slightest of, chance to be present that they should avoid it at all cost.

    Don't go. Don't worry about being invited. Hell, as excited as I once was about my invite to Chicago, I really wish that I hadn't been. The thinking that the 'should have gone' regret is more painful than the 'shouldn't have went', is false. May be politically correct, but people will never understand the unique reasons that is behind your feelings for your actions.

    If anything, it means you did things your way and that can't be too bad at all, if you ask me!!

  4. We just watched the new 'Alice In Wonderland' [with JDepp] last night, and there's a scene where Alice asks her father if she's going mad.
    And he says, "Yes, I think you are, and a little bit bonkers, too. But then the best people are the ones who've gone a little mad or a little bonkers."
    I like that philosophy, because it suits me to a T.
    I wasn't the cool kid in high school. I was the gay nerd, and not the HGN [Hot Gay Nerd]. I was shy and kept to myself and had my own circle of friends, and have no use for high school reunions.
    Like you, I came into me in college.
    So, be mad, be bonkers, be the crazy aunt in the attic.
    That's always more fun.

  5. I have a crazy aunt in the attic! How awesome is that? Really, I don't think it gets any cooler than that!

  6. Dear Crazy Aunt. I received an invitation to my 50th Reunion a few years ago. I debated with myself for quite a while about whether I should go or not. I really didn't want to. In the end I decided not to go. A month later I got a newsletter about the reunion and absolutely nobody from my class showed up. Were they all staying away to avoid me? I don't think so. I think we just all shared the same dislike for each other and the school. I don't know where any of those people are or what they're doing and I don't care. Mark is right, I wish I hadn't gone is harder to bear than I wish I had gone.

    Time moves on. Don't come out of the attic.

  7. Like I said earlier, it's better to have these people weeded out of our lives. Social media is so efficient that way.

  8. I was an outlier, too, and glad of it. I was wounded back then, and can still be wounded now, by being shunned or avoided (that reaction is one of our primitive survival instincts, after all). But, as soon as I ask myself whether I am displeased with my path, I realize that the answer is Not A Bit! I love my brain, love its adventures, happy to continue to go where it takes me.

    And, additionally, I find high school reunions absolutely fascinating; people have followed paths I would never in a million years have predicted for them. And some have gone just where you thought they would.

  9. I hate things like that. My High School is close. Even though I have good memories of that time, I also had a closeted existence during those days. I did not even showed up for Graduation and I was salutatorian. I was at the beach getting stone with some friends, that was a moment to remember.

  10. It is interesting how times change. I have friends on FB from High School, and they communicate more with me now than back then when I was the nerd. Go figure.

  11. Don't feel too bad Beth. My class didn't even have me on the class reunion roster, though I did know about the reunion from Facebook. I felt a little hurt because of that, but the sting wore off soon enough. Stan and I toyed with going, but I didn't really like many people from highschool and going to the reunion would require going south of the Mason/Dixon line, something one should only do when absolutely necessary. We would not have had much in common with the people attending anyway. Celebrate your oddness. Normal, whatever that is, is terribly overrated.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?