On Her Flying Trapeze

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Beef and Cheese

class balloonsI love the line from Elf where Will Ferrell accuses the department store Santa of not being the real deal because he doesn’t smell like Santa, he smells like beef and cheese.

Well I’m not the real Santa either because I definitely smell like beef and cheese…beef, cheese and chlorine (we are LOVING my parents' pool). Yesterday was my high school reunion and I kid you not, the buffet consisted of mounds of cheese, a few hors d'oeuvres and a giant side of beef under a hot lamp. Now I was certainly not there for the food, but beef and cheese? Seriously.

Some other random side notes include the fact that our class officers hired the reunion planning out to a random company who put on the most generic reunion I could have imagined. Not one yearbook was handy, not a single high school logo or mascot was seen. We all got a T-shirt that said our high school name and “Class of ‘96” in boring sans serif font. There wasn’t even a mustang on it. Now I bet 1/3 of the high schools in America have a mustang as their school mascot. How hard would it have been to download a picture of a horse and put it on the shirts? I guess it was much harder than putting the name of the reunion planning company in HUGE print across the back with their web address and phone number in GINORMOUS letters.

A policeman was on duty in case we got out of control. He also posed us for our reunion picture while the photographer stood mutely watching.

class photo1

They played music videos of songs that were popular while we were in high school. An old-school Backstreet Boys video came on, a video in which they were still boys and they had just made their American debut after becoming wildly popular with girls across Asia.

It made me wonder again how long I’ll be able to go by the name Daring “Young” Mom. At what point do I become the Backstreet-Old-Married-Men-With-Kids-Who-Refuse-to-Change-the-Name-of-Their-Group of the blog world?

class threeI somehow conned my two best high school girlfriends into flying to Houston for the weekend to go to a reunion we swore we’d never attend and we had a great time seeing each other again. There were very few other people there that I recognized and even fewer who recognized me.

There wasn’t a great turnout and it seemed that the group largely consisted of the “popular” kids who intimidated the cheese out of me when I was 17. When chatting it up with people, we tried to find some sort of connection and the conversation tended to turn towards extra curricular activities.

Graduate: What did you do in high school?
Me: Besides eat beef and cheese? Um… homework.
Graduate: No, I mean extra-curriculars. Were you on dance team?
Me: Um…no. You weren’t a member of the Business Professionals of America club, were you? NHS? Theatre?
Graduate (blank stare): Were you there all 4 years?
Me: Nope. I moved to Texas from Canada Junior year. I was the Canadian Girl.
Graduate: Yeeeeaaahh… (moving on)

Truth be told, I actually met several really nice people and reconnected with a few old friends. The best part of the evening, besides the beef and cheese and the fact that after paying $120 to get in the door I was asked to pay $3 for a coke, was realizing that I am no longer intimidated by these people. I’m actually hardly intimidated by anyone anymore. I look back now and see that we all made different choices in our lives and became who we are and I’m happy with the way things turned out for me. Some people aren’t happy but for the most part we all became some form of the person we envisioned being in high school.

Sadly, I did not get the chance to confront the girl who “complimented” me senior year on my “sense of style” and my “bravery” to wear jeans every day to school. She even went so far as to tell me I should design my own clothing line and call it Katie’s Canadian Comfy Wear. She thought it would be so nice not to be burdened by fashion and to be able to wear whatever felt comfortable the way I could. Yes she carried the burden of driving the hot car her daddy bought her and wearing a different designer pants-suit every day to school, while I remain haunted to this day by a career in denim design that may never come to pass. Alas, we all must bear these little hardships as best we can.

37 Comments:

Blogger momofalltrades said...

Welcome to Texas! Yup. Beef and Cheese pretty much sums up the total number of food groups recognized in this state. I think Texans are allergic to vegetables. ;O) Cool observations about intimidation. That's a good feeling to be free from.

6/04/2006 9:56 PM

 
Anonymous Adam and Lisa said...

I personally don't plan to go to my "I've peaked and I'm kidding myself" party. I have no real roots anywhere and anyone I care enough about to see ever again, I have kept in touch with.

We will go to Lisa's so she can show me off, but she has roots. Montanan roots that are pronounced "ruts."

I love you daring. Glad you had a good trip. Congrats on the house.

6/04/2006 10:17 PM

 
Blogger Heather said...

It was fun to hear your experience at your reunion. I've recently been contemplating whether or not I want to go to my 10 year in 2007. I think it would be fun, but I'm not sure if it's worth the travel and money to get in. Will my old friends be there? Anyway, good to hear your experience!

6/04/2006 10:17 PM

 
Blogger Amber said...

My 10 year is also supposed to be this year.I've heard nothing of it though. Not that I'd likely attend. Sounds like a blast (dripping sarcasm...) I feel like I keep in touch with the people I really wanted to anyway.

6/04/2006 10:43 PM

 
Blogger Kelly said...

You are brave.
I just had my reunion too but I totally did not go.
I didn't want to witness the idiotic booze fest that was sure to ensue.
Plus no one that I thought was cool was going anyway.

"You smell like beef and cheese".
Tyson and I say that line a lot.
To our kids.

6/04/2006 11:54 PM

 
Blogger Carrien said...

Man, I grew up in small town Alberta. Just going back to visit my family once in a while is a freaking highschool reunion. I can't get from one end of the mall to the other without running into 20 people I used to know. I did not bother going back to my reunion, it's way to depressing. I'm not the type to laugh at people when they screw up their lives, so it's depressing for me. THe people I was close to I am still close to, the people I hardly knew, well, I don't know them at all now.

6/05/2006 1:06 AM

 
Blogger Jeana said...

Jeans to high school...what else would you wear? Pantsuits makes me think of polyester, like the ones Charlie's Angels wore.

My 10 year reunion peaked out when I won the award for most kids. Good times.

6/05/2006 3:51 AM

 
Blogger Chris said...

You are so funny.

I haven't been to any of my reunions. I have my twentieth coming...ack, how did that happen.

6/05/2006 5:08 AM

 
Anonymous shannon @ rocks in my dryer said...

*cheering wildly* Good for you for being comfortable in your own skin! And jeans. My 10th reunion was a real disappointment--I think most people's are. I realized none of those people had changed, which made me wonder....have I not changed either?

6/05/2006 5:12 AM

 
Blogger Nettie said...

Reunions get better as more time passes. People thankfully start to grow up and no longer need to posture for social standing as they get older. Of course, they may be serving the same food at your 50th reunion, just "aged" beef and "aged" cheese!

6/05/2006 5:13 AM

 
Blogger Lynn said...

Who wore anything but jeans to school?? That's all anyone wore to our school.

I havent' gone to a single class reunion, like everyone else has said, I already keep in touch with the ones I want to see.

6/05/2006 6:16 AM

 
Anonymous Caryn said...

I haven't attended my high school reunions either. It stinks that yours was so generic, especially after the people at the website promised a memorable, unique, well attended reunion. And the costs? Wow!

She thought it was brave to wear jeans to school every day? So glad I didn't go to that high school! Of course, when I was in middle school there was a girl who always looked down at my shoes every single day and told me they didn't match what I was wearing. Pretty hard to make them match, considering I was wearing tennis shoes! Yeah, I'm not much for dressing up either.

6/05/2006 6:44 AM

 
Blogger FrogLegs said...

LOL! Well.. at least your 10 yr reunion wasn't in a bar... *sigh*

And, I must add as texan, I'm not allergic to veggies- I'm allergic cheese, LOL!

I knew we were close in age, but just a year, funny stuff :)

6/05/2006 6:53 AM

 
Blogger jessica said...

Beef and Cheese Buffet $120
Coke $3
Finding out you're no longer intimidated by the "in crowd" Priceless

So I'd say the reunion was a success, no? Glad things went "well"!

6/05/2006 7:25 AM

 
Blogger ABC Momma said...

Before our 10th reunion, we had to complete a questionnaire about what we have accomplished since high school. I was surprised at the number of comments like mine--I love being a mom. The most surprising one was from our class president who said "coming out" was his accomplishment.

Can't wait for the 20th!

6/05/2006 7:43 AM

 
Anonymous californiazenmom said...

My favorite part of my reunion was discovering that the biggest screw-up ever was a stockbroker and the "most likely to be stockbroker" people were headed for prison.

You get a "Brave Young Mom" award just for GOING to your reunion!

6/05/2006 9:03 AM

 
Anonymous misha said...

Surely someone has told you that you look like Jennifer Garner? :)

6/05/2006 9:31 AM

 
Blogger davidsons said...

My ten year reunioun is this year too, am I going? Heck, no!!

You are way more braver than I am.

6/05/2006 9:40 AM

 
Blogger The Flip Flop Mamma! said...

Yikes! My reunion is this fall! Now I'm all freaked out!

6/05/2006 10:31 AM

 
Blogger Squishy Burrito said...

Although there was no hope that I would be attending the reunion festivities of "the Lancers", you have confirmed my decision to stay home.

6/05/2006 12:35 PM

 
Blogger Stephanie said...

Sounds fun!

You crack me up.

6/05/2006 1:06 PM

 
Blogger Margaret said...

A couple of years ago I was on a road trip with friends and was walking through the casino part of a hotel in Vegas at 1 in the morning, and passed by a girl from my graduating class. I recognized her, she did NOT recognize me, and we chatted for a minute. It was a little weird. I really look pretty different from when I was in high school (then-really short hair and baggy clothes, now-long hair and clothes that fit, for example :) ), but I am DEFINITELY still NOT the "hanging out at 1am in a casino" type, so it was funny to have that flashback / reunion right then. And it was especially weird to realize later that it was the 10-years-TO-THE-DAY anniversary of our high school graduation. Craziness!

And I feel you on the intimidation thing. Insecurity is SO rampant in high school that it's nice to be able to SEE the change in self-perception and confidence by having an experience like that. YOu know - "look how far we've come!"

6/05/2006 1:11 PM

 
Blogger No Cool Story said...

That was great.

I believe all you had to do was announce that you were the World Famous "Daring YOUNG Mom" and everyone (anyone who’s cool enough to know) would have just drool at the opportunity to get to talk to you.

Really.

6/05/2006 2:00 PM

 
Anonymous yuka R said...

my 2 cents to those who have even the smallest desire to go to their reunion: Go. I think it can put closure on a lot of things that you kind of forget about (or have supresed) until they come to haunt you just about 10 years later- maybe that's why they have them at 10? I don't know.

A couple of weeks before my 10th a friend of mine kept entering my dreams-someone I had not thought of in years. a week later he drowned in a freak accident and I did not go back for the funeral or the reunion and I wish i would have if just to have had a proper goodbye. I left right after highschool like a bat out of hell and never said some proper goodbyes. you never know who will not make it to the 20th. so go, even if it is just for closure- that is an important thing.

6/05/2006 2:32 PM

 
Anonymous pj said...

We've got our 20 year reunion coming up. Ugh! I already see most of the people I want to see, but I guess it will be fun to see everyone else.

6/05/2006 3:26 PM

 
Blogger smartmama said...

i skipped mine-- glad to know i missed beef and cheese

6/05/2006 4:43 PM

 
Blogger Tess said...

My 10 year is next year, and I cannot WAIT! Because I have so much more self-confidence now, and no longer am I intimidated by cool people. Also, because a lot of my classmates that never spoke to me in school come up to my mom (who works in the local bank) all the time and ask how I'm doing. So that just shows that I wasn't completely invisible.

6/05/2006 6:17 PM

 
Blogger Maine Mom said...

3 years ago I brought my 3 month old infant with me to my reunion...how cool am I? It was actually fun to have some of the guys come up and coo over my baby, and talk about their own babies. It also gave me an excuse to leave early :-)

6/05/2006 6:36 PM

 
Blogger Susan said...

I went to my fifteenth reunion a few years back and had the completely unexpected experience of having the Most Popular Girl in our class tell me how much she envied me because I was married and had children and all she had was her career as a television producer.

And the really wierd part was that I'm certain she meant it.

(Oh, and? My 20th reunion is supposed to be this fall, but my class is so lame that we can't even HIRE someone to organize our reunion, so we're not having one. Whoo hoo! That's school spirit!)

6/05/2006 8:57 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

High school reunions always remind me of the Uncle Rico types of this world... *shudder*...

I haven't been home for any appreciable amount of time in almost 6 years and I've long since lost contact with just about everyone. Sadly, I really don't care about that, either...

6/05/2006 10:52 PM

 
Blogger Cheerio's on my butt? said...

Sounds like a rockin party! Beef and cheese. right on! Ha! Loved this post!

6/06/2006 5:07 AM

 
Anonymous Heidi said...

All right, Adam. I live in Montana and I want you to know we aren't hicks. Maybe we don't say "roots" that rhyme with "boots", but 'round these parts, it certainly doesn't come out like "ruts." Try rhyming it with "foot" (because, of course, the plural of "foot" is "feet" which makes it all so very confusing).

6/06/2006 8:13 AM

 
Blogger Antique Mommy said...

She was wearing a matching PANTsuit! HA! Nothing good can come of that. A funny post that dredged up a lot of reunion angst of my own (I'll not go to my 30 year which is next year)

6/06/2006 9:47 AM

 
Blogger emlouisa said...

Yes, I have a new picture.

So it is bad to wear jeans everyday? Man, that girl would have thought I dressed badly too.

In January I went back to my hometown for a funeral. I saw a bunch of kids i knew from high school when we went to a local eating establishment and felt the same way! Back then I felt so intimidated! This time I thought, Wow! It is 9 years later and you are still sitting in the same booth with the same friends with that same "I'm better than you" look in your eyes. It was then that I realized that I didn't care. I have a great life. Everything I wanted and more.

6/06/2006 12:45 PM

 
Blogger Thoroughly Mormon Millie said...

Reunions are so over-rated. I loved the "I've peaked and I'm kidding myself" comment.

The difference between pantsuit girl and every other girl in that high school was a very unhealthy dose of insecurity and meanness. She's probably drunk herself into a perpetual stupor somewhere. KILL! KILL THE PAIN!!

Sounds like you and I would have been denim friends. I wore nothing else (and my George Washington with sunglasses sweatshirt made more than the occasional appearance).

6/06/2006 1:40 PM

 
Anonymous wrigley said...

you're such a brave soul for attending your reunion. i can't say the same for myself. i steer clear of such high school get-togethers. my friendships weren't that deep in high school and i was far from popular. by the way, that's some weird group who did your reunion planning. gave me an idea...

6/07/2006 11:56 PM

 
Anonymous Heather from One Woman's World said...

Seriously nerve-wracking to think of going to a H.S. reunion. I think I would honestly know like 2 people. Strange how something so big at the time could fade into near-nothing in my current life.

6/09/2006 9:46 AM

 

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