These days, my Facebook notifications are a healthy mix of strangers’ birthdays, people having kids, and engagement announcement after engagement announcement after engagement announcement. But a week ago, I got a healthy dose of reality all up in my notie center: an invitation to my ten-year high school reunion.
Realizing you’ve been out of high school for ten years is a slap in the fucking face. Face it: You’ve officially been out of high school longer than you were in high school and college combined. Try the word “decade” on for size. It ain’t fun.
Now, I’ve already made it blatantly clear to all of my friends that “I’m only going if you’re going,” because frankly, if I don’t keep in touch with you now, we’re straight up never going to be friends. If my squad isn’t rolling deep, I’m not wasting my hard-earned money to hang out with a buncha throwbacks.
After running the logistics of this thing through my head, I started scrolling through the list of invitees. It got me thinking, “What kind of wild cards am I going to encounter at this shindig?”
1. The Hot Girl Who Got Ugly
It almost looks like she became a hoarder, developed a meth problem, or had quadruplets. I mean, this girl was the same girl who made it move for you when you were slow dancing to “Iris” by Goo Goo Dolls. This was the girl who didn’t get voted Homecoming queen because she was too hot and all the other girls resented her. This was the girl who dated the upperclassman lax star until he went to college.
And now? Not even a blip on the radar. Her skin is weird and leathery, her style hasn’t changed since 2004, and her career aspirations seemingly have taken on the same trajectory as her looks. Sure, she’s probably nicer now that she can’t skate by on being hot anymore, but oh, how the mighty have fallen.
The Play: Give her the cold shoulder like she did to you in high school.
2. The Ugly Girl Who Got Hot
“Oh, what up, girl I once did a group project with and ignored the hell out of? Let me holler at you.” To be fair, this girl was never “ugly” per se, but let’s just say she wasn’t turning any heads as she walked up the football stadium’s bleachers. She maybe had glasses, bad skin, and a haircut that was clearly done by her mom in-house. But today, she’s a classic She’s All That story come to life.
Unfortunately, she’s probably dating a really nice guy who saw the good in her before she became a soft nine while you’re still the single asshole who couldn’t see anything outside of her braces. You live and you learn, though.
The Play: Be cordial but not pervy. She knows why you’re talking to her more now than you did ten years ago.
3. The Person Who Thinks You’re Best Friends
“Oh, man! Long time no see, bro! It’s so great to touch base with you again!”
No no no no no no no. You didn’t like him in high school and you don’t like him now. His personality still floats between “overbearing” and “try-hard,” and now he probably is never included in anyone’s group chats. He’s Paul Rudd in I Love You, Man but without, you know, being as cool as Paul Rudd. He may spew things like, “It’s so great to have the crew back together again!” and “The boys are back in town!” but don’t get stuck in his web of overly optimistic smiles.
The Play: Avoid exchanging numbers with this dude at all costs. If you do, you’ll either end up in his wedding or as the godfather of his first kid.
4. Your Ex
SHOWTIME. Whether you like to admit it, every relationship ends with a winner and a loser. People who say differently are just having a hard time admitting to themselves that they came out the loser. Your ten-year reunion? The perfect opportunity to show who’s boss. Still a struggling mid-management man-child without a steady girlfriend? Proper preparation prevents poor performance. You need to take some wedding season diet-esque measures to ensure you’re styling. You gotta Romy and Michele this shit.
The Play: Clean yourself up prior to the reunion and be nicer than you’ve ever been before. Only losers are still upset that their high school girlfriend cheated on them with a dude named Brock underneath the bleachers during their soccer game.
5. The Guy Who Can’t Let Go
You know, David Wooderson. He’s probably been hanging out at every high school football game since you left for college ten years ago. Shit, he may even have an illegitimate child that he’s breeding to be the next star QB1. No matter how you slice it, it’s going to be hard to watch. He was once the cock of the walk and now he’s slumming it trying to take The Hot Girl Who Got Ugly home with him.
The Play: Be nice to him and reminisce about his glory days. He knows his life sucks now. He knows.
6. The Person You’ve Never Seen Before
Wild card. Like, you’re not even sure this dude is from your hometown, let alone graduated in the same class as you. But shit, it takes brass balls to show up to an event like this if you’re not supposed to be in attendance, so roll with it. Yeah, he’s probably pacing around, swirling his drink, and wearing a vintage bowling shirt, so why bother causing a scene by pointing him out to your friends? He’s not hurting anyone. Yet.
The Play: Keep your head on a swivel and maintain a buddy system with your bros. This guy has “thrill kill” written all over him..
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