Monday, November 26, 2012

20 Years Later NMHS 1992

1992. It's been twenty years. Some days it feels like forever ago and some days I can't believe it was so long ago. But it is what it is and "what it is" happens to be twenty years since I graduated high school.

It's been the twenty year mark for many of my newer friends, not from my little town in Bergen County, NJ. I have Long Islanders, some from Pennsylvania, South Jersey (which might as well be another state), and even a handful from Connecticut. I don't know how to really describe my town except to say that many of the people I graduated with, I'd started out with not even in kindergarten but at Brookside Nursery School. Brookside was just the place to go in town I guess. It's no longer there, in it's old familiar spot on River Road. It's two residential homes. Sometimes when I drive by I try to look between them to see if the old treehouse is still there. I think it is!

That's a lot of years to be with the same people. We had two elementary schools that went from K-3 when we were there. They've moved the grades around a few times since prior to me starting and since I have graduated. But back then it was K-3, 4-7 and 8-12. Both elementary schools fed into one middle and one high school so we got to know the kids from the other side of town by the time we were going into fourth grade. Now I think the elementary schools are K-5 so it's less time with all the people they'll eventually graduate with. I didn't necessarily think it was a great idea have eighth graders with seniors but the rest of it was fine. I always liked meeting new people- still do. So it was exciting to get with all these new kids for fourth grade on up.

I never really had a clique in school. And while there were definitely "sub-groups", I feel like there was nothing set in stone with who hung out with whom. People sort of over-lapped and could move from group to group because we only had a class of approximately one hundred and thirty students at any given time. We had some come, some leave, move, go to private school, and some even came back at some point. Everyone had their FRIENDS, but I feel like everyone was still pretty friendly with everyone else.

My best friend in my grade was Ann Marie. I mostly hung out with her but somehow I ended up in a group with Kerry, Lisa, Jen P (class of 91), and maybe a few other people but I have "mom brain" now and can't really remember. We were all in the Ski Club together, at least for one year. But I always had a job, since I was thirteen, so I had work friends from other towns. This Jewish girl joined T.A.R.G.E.T. at St. Joe's (Catholic) church so I had friends from there, older and from other towns. I had boyfriends who were older and from other towns. I just never wanted to be pinned down. It started in fifth grade when I was sort of part of a group. I'd see people turning on each other or talking about each other and I didn't want it to end up being me as the odd one out. So I just kind of did my own thing. It worked for me. I found it easy to just be friends with everyone minus the drama. The only downside was, well, not being part of a group. I have friends now who talk about their "group" from growing up- the group they're still friends with today, still tight knit and sharing 30+ years of memories. In that aspect I guess I'm a little wistful of those kinds of relationships but I would much rather be on the periphery of drama than in the thick of it. I did the same in college and I can say with almost 100% certainty that I never really had falling outs with people having to do with group drama.

I was on the reunion planning committee for the ten year reunion. We were all around twenty-eight years old and I felt like I was on of like five people not married or in a serious relationship yet. It was kind of weird for me. I was living a totally different life than most of my high school peers. I was online dating like it was a job, I was traveling all over the country for business, I had a roommate, a shore house, and I just wasn't "settled" in any way. It was different though in the way that there was no Facebook. I really hadn't seen anyone in ten years. I'd lived down in central jersey until 2001 and my ten year reunion was in 2002. I'd only been back in Bergen County for a year. It was really cool to reconnect and see everyone but since there was no Facebook, nothing really stuck, at least for me.

This time it was different. It was...cozier? The majority of the class has been on Facebook for some time now. So it wasn't so much small talk because we already know the basics. So we could have more interesting conversations. Not even just in MY class but people from my high school in general, people I didn't know that well in school or just didn't really like, yet getting to know them "virtually" has been really nice. Some people I didn't know were funny- are. Some are my political allies, some I've been shocked at how racist, sexist, and ignorant they are, and some have become some of the most fascinating, charitable, kind people I've ever encountered. I definitely think Facebook has enhanced the reunion experience in a positive way for the most part. I'd never pick up a phone to talk to people I knew way back when, but it's fun to share photos, laughs, memories, and whatever else on a more consistent basis than just waiting for once a decade.

It was great to see everyone. We had it at Sanzari's New Bridge Inn. I'd been there for dinner once but a very long time ago. I didn't even know they had an upstairs party room. It was awesome. It has it's own bathrooms, which are clean and nice. The food was really great. The bar was big and the bartenders were quick with orders. They have an ipod hook-up so we didn't even need a DJ. They were easy to deal with, awesome on price, and just very accommodating- complimentary valet and a coat check. Basically you get the perks of a reception hall without the reception hall pricing. We would totally do it there again.

The only thing I wish is that we had more time. Four hours wasn't enough. Next time we will have to negotiate for five. I feel like I blinked and it was over. Granted, I did have like six drinks (you know how I love Malibu) which almost never happens. But trying to talk to everyone was a huge task. I'd start talking to one person and get swept away to talk to someone else. I wish Heather (who looks exactly like she did in high school), Ryan, Rich, Andrew, Maria, and anyone else not on Facebook will get an account so they can see pictures and be part of our little group on there. Everyone looked great too! As a group, I certainly don't think we looked like we graduated twenty years ago! Jen W, Anne, Kathy, Ron, Preeti, Aaron, Brian B, Donna, Kelly, Nicole V, Marie & Michelle- wished we could've caught up more. Megha- I'm so glad you made it from so far away. We just needed more time. Marlo- I'm glad B could entertain Doug and it's always good to see you. Judy- thanks for being a reader and being so complimentary. Melissa- we probably could've talked the whole night, as usual. Devon- I feel like I saw you walk in and out and that was it. But I know I can count on you for good FB discussions. Justin- it was great to see you and Stacy. Next time you're by my house, just ring the bell. Cris- it was great sitting with you and I love your wife. Dan B- didn't know you were coming but I'm so glad you did! Suzanne- it was great to have a few minutes in the beginning to chat. Marisa, Karen M and Jen C- next time we need more "planning sessions" just to get together for the laughs. Nesoff- we did it. And it was awesome. I loved our late night chats and always just picking up where we left off. Can't wait to do it again! I know I probably left people out but I'm doing this off the top of my head. If I think of more stuff, I'll come back and edit.

This whole post actually came about from an unlikely source. I say "unlikely" because I just didn't expect to have an avid blog reader that's a guy from my graduating class. Actually, a guy I started out with in kindergarten with, then graduated with, is more accurate. So Joey- here's your shout-out. We were talking and he told me he reads all my stuff and loves it. I was so flattered. Not because I'm not confident in my writing (haha), but because I write a lot about kid stuff, review, and not for a particular audience but I just got the feeling it was more of a mom-reader thing. I don't write about sports or anything typically "guy" so it's nice to know I have a wider appeal than I thought. Thanks Joey. I'm glad we did get some time to catch up. Hopefully it won't be another five-ten years for the next time. I'm always happy to see you and your big smile.

It's over. It's sort of like the day after Christmas or your wedding. It was so much planning, then the night just flies by and you wished you could even remember it all.

Thank you those who came and the whole class of 1992!!

1 comment:

  1. You're so fabulous!! Awesome post, I'm right on the same page with you as usual. :)