An Imaginary Conversation at My High School Reunion

by Abby on May 7, 2012

Abby, age 17-ish

I dug up the dorkiest photo of me from h.s. I could find. You're welcome.

My 20th high school reunion is looming. I am not going. Let’s just say I am not a reunion person. The mere thought of milling around making small talk with people I haven’t seen in 20 years who last saw me with unplucked eyebrows, unfortunate bangs, and an ill-fitting uniform kilt gives me hives.

High school was not terrible for me; I actually have lots of fond memories and some old friends I wouldn’t mind seeing again. I was neither a cool kid nor an outcast, more like a distinctly unmemorable peripheral player. But I envision the conversations going like this:

Former classmate: Hi! Amy, right? How are you?

Me: Uh, it’s Abby. I’m good, how are you?

FC: Great! I can’t believe it’s been 20 years. Can you? Have you seen Jim yet? Doesn’t he look exactly the same? And can you believe Claire has 6 kids now?!

Me: Um, which one is Jim again? I’m not sure I knew Claire back then. My memory is actually really bad. I don’t get much sleep…

FC: So what are you up to these days?

Me: Well, um, I live in Baltimore now… I’m married, I have 2 little boys, and I’m a writer.

FC: A writer! Wow! What do you write?

Me: Some magazine articles, some corporate writing, some stuff on the web. It varies, you know…the economy…the publishing industry…

FC: Ooh, I love magazines! What magazines do you write for? The New Yorker? Vogue? Vanity Fair?

Me: Well, no, actually… Do you read American Baby? Or the Amtrak magazine? No…? I also write a blog about my kids and stuff.

FC: A blog? Oh, you’re a mommy blogger? Like that woman on the “Today Show” who writes all those books?

Me: You mean Dooce? Or are you talking about the Pioneer Woman? Scary Mommy? The Bloggess?

FC: Eh, I can’t remember. So have YOU written any books?

Me: Well, not exactly. I mean, I tried to once. I did publish an ebook

FC: Is that like one of those Kindle thingies? I hate those things. I like REAL books, you know what I mean?

Me: Yeah, I can understand that…

FC: So did you ever think your life would be like this one day? I mean, could you even IMAGINE?!

Me: Oh, um, wow. Good question. I guess not. I mean, definitely not, no.

No WAY did I think 20 years later I’d be struggling with a 3yo over whether he had to poop or not, and why he insists on wearing his underwear backwards.

I didn’t think I’d be force-feeding a 5yo cheese sticks to get some protein in him before T-ball, where I’d sit on the sidelines trying to keep my toddler from being beaned in the head with a ball while my husband coached a team of kindergarten boys who’d rather tackle each other and pick dandelions than learn to catch grounders.

I certainly didn’t think I’d be writing brochures about industrial machinery and teaching people how to publish essays about their pets while chronicling my poor housekeeping habits on the internet.

And it’s safe to say I never imagined that my daily life would involve worrying about whether olive oil would affect the taste of my zucchini bread that I only baked to use up the squash that was going bad in my fridge, because I ran out of vegetable oil and hadn’t made it to the store because I was too busy rescuing my toddler who’d gotten himself trapped naked in a recliner. Nope, I can honestly say I never daydreamed in study hall that my life would be like this one day! …So, what have YOU been up to?

Obviously, this is an imaginary conversation, because in real life the other person would have wandered away after the third question. Or excused themselves suddenly for an “urgent” phone call from their babysitter. I think I’d be doing all of us a favor if I just stayed home and exchanged cute pics of our kids with my former classmates on Facebook, don’t you?

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathleen Basi May 7, 2012 at 6:58 am

Oh, Abby! As usual I’m chuckling. The naked recliner one is priceless!

My 20th reunion is coming up in a month, and I’m actually looking forward to it…what I’ve learned through Facebook is that we all have a lot more in common now than we did, or thought we did, in high school. But I will admit I haven’t quite decided what to do about the nursing baby that night… 🙂


neena May 7, 2012 at 7:09 am

I have skipped all my reunions so far. I’d rather be home in my yoga pants judging the real housewives than squeezing my butt into some dress and pretending to be entertained by balding accountants.


Ali May 7, 2012 at 8:24 am

I didn’t go to my prom, graduation, or college just to avoid seeing my HS classmates again (I was bullied at my stripper school for not being more stripper-esque). So I certainly can’t imagine going to my HS reunion.


jetts31 May 7, 2012 at 8:51 am

You forgot one thing in your imaginary conversation…the smooth stylings of Bel Biv Devoe playing in the background.

I’ll be at 20 in two years. The people I really want to see or talk to, I already do. I’m sure there will be something on TV the night we have a reunion 😉


Abby May 7, 2012 at 3:33 pm

BBD! The soundtrack of my teens.


Angie Mizzell May 12, 2012 at 5:41 am

Thanks for putting “That girl is poison” in my head. No kidding, I was listening to 90s music on satellite radio and that song came on and I TURNED IT UP. One of our classmates is playing DJ (he’s a radio personality now) and he’s been instructed to play lots of Bel Biv Devoe.


Angie Mizzell May 12, 2012 at 5:43 am

Oh, because I’m actually planning the reunion. The whole Patty Simcox thing.


Corey Feldman May 7, 2012 at 9:39 am

I did go to mine and it was OK. I was surprised how many people I just didn’t remember, even though my class was less than a 100 people. I think it was more of an excuse to get out of the house than anything else. If it wasn’t local, we wouldn’t have gone.


Margaretta March 9, 2017 at 8:42 pm

Good points all around. Truly apedcpiater.


Jamie May 7, 2012 at 11:42 am

Love! So true. And so much like my life!


Abby May 7, 2012 at 3:34 pm

I love you guys. You are my people. And thank you for not saying I look exactly the same. 🙂


stephanie May 8, 2012 at 10:31 pm

This is literary gold in my book…. “I didn’t think I’d be force-feeding a 5yo cheese sticks to get some protein in him before T-ball, where I’d sit on the sidelines trying to keep my toddler from being beaned in the head with a ball while my husband coached a team of kindergarten boys who’d rather tackle each other and pick dandelions than learn to catch grounders.” (and so true!!!)


Abby May 10, 2012 at 9:48 am

Thanks! I’m sure you know every word of that is true!


Kelli May 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Oh those unplucked eyebrows and unfortunate bangs – I had both, but didn’t everybody? Well…almost everybody. I am not a reunion person either. I figure if you haven’t talked to someone in 20 years then why start now? haha 🙂

Cracking up at your imaginary conversation – I think you are much more fascinating than you give yourself credit for. I mean, it’s not everyday that you get to rescue a naked toddler trapped in a recliner!


Mindy May 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm

This is too funny. I can totally relate–except I force feed cheese sticks before soccer and I have to substitute American Baby and Amtrak with Transport Topics and Road King magazine.


Abby June 7, 2012 at 9:55 am

Road King magazine sounds pretty impressive to me!

Reply May 24, 2017 at 8:01 am

Déjà ?! Que tu es matinale !! :))) Merci pour ton message, toujours aussi adorable !! Ici, on a passé la nuit avec une minette en chaleur… Je me suis fait un porridge pour tenir le coup ce matin !! 😀 Gros bisous et bonne journée ma belle, je t’embrasse !! xx


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