The Top Five Strangest Things that Happened at My Five Year High School Reunion
Most of these events happened towards the end of the evening, at which point I was extremely intoxicated. They are being recalled to the best of my ability, but I could easily be leaving things out because I don’t remember and/or embellishing them because it all seemed so much bigger in my mind at the time. If you find any of these stories untrue or are upset by them, you can message me via whatever and I will take down whatever has offended you.
1. A boy I went on a couple dates with during the second semester of my senior year came up to me and apologized. “This is the reason I came here tonight,” he said. “I wanted to say I’m sorry for being so awkward with that whole thing senior year. I really gave it my all, I put too much thought into it. I still think about it sometimes, and I just wanted to tell you in person.” This was a nice boy, a cute boy, a boy who paid for my round trip ticket on the R5 and walked me down South Street, a boy who shared a plate of fries with me at Minella’s after my very last Inkwell and drove me home and pulled into my driveway, a boy who never kissed me. The reason it didn’t work out was because I had my heart set on someone else, which I wished I just told him in 2006 and should have told him that night instead of making him wonder.
2. A girl I’ve known since the second grade told me that she thought I was really cool. We were friends at New Eagle Elementary, but didn’t talk that much throughout the rest of our time as students in the same school. She told me, again, with a glass of wine in her hand, that she thought I was really cool. “I follow everything you do on the Internet!” she said. I was extremely flattered but at the same time did not know what to say. Luckily I had about nine drinks in me and simply thanked her, trying to wave it off. “My parents just moved to your neighborhood,” she said. “No way!” I said. “We should hang out when you’re in the city!” “No,” she declined immediately. “I couldn’t. You’re too cool.” This justified my silly dream to become an Internet personality. I told her to stop it, and that wasn’t true, and we exchanged phone numbers. Her good friend was standing next to her, and I said, “Hey, I remember your first day as the new girl at Valley Forge Middle School. Your locker was next to mine, and you were wearing a tye-dyed t-shirt.” She told me I was the first kid who was genuinely nice to her.
3. A boy who I never spoke to in high school but had an English class or two with at Penn State sought me out almost as soon as I got there. He is responsible for my first broken wine glass (there was another later in the evening). The first thing he asked me was “are you still writing?” Which I answered with a shrug. He told me that I had to, and that the nonfiction piece I wrote about Matt Wanetik that was published in Penn State’s litmag was one of his favorite pieces he read as that year’s nonfiction editor. We talked about having non-writer boyfriends and girlfriends, and agreed that they are important to have for a sense of balance, among other reasons.
4. I’m not sure when I started crying or how long it lasted for, but I started thinking about how badly I wished Matt Wanetik was there. Over Thanksgiving, I had broken out the home videos and watched a few clips from my 14th birthday party. Two of the girls who were at that party, who I don’t keep in touch with anymore but are two of the nicest girls I’ve ever known, came up to me immediately and asked me what was wrong. I told them I was crying about Matt, and asked one if she remembered 5th grade and our imaginary boyfriends and the notes we used to pass back and forth in Mrs. Hewittit’s class and how I hated how “Mrs. Allison Wanetik” sounded but if I really wanted to, I could keep me own last name. She remembered. I found Matt’s best friends and hugged them tightly, cried into their shoulders. They told me Matt wouldn’t want me to cry, he’d want me to be having fun. I drunkenly agreed and I think this is where I broke my second wine glass. The next morning I sent both of them Facebook messages and apologized, hoping I didn’t bring them down.
5. Two friends had slept over. In the morning, we gathered in my bed and passed around the bottle of Advil and giggled for about two hours, recalling the weirdest moments, the highlights, the bizarre interactions. We couldn’t believe who was in law school, who was engaged, who looked better than ever (bravo!). However, we did not know where one of our friends ended up. We called and called, no answer. I wrote on the event wall asking if anyone knew where she was, which had us laughing so hard my abs hurt. We met up with a few more friends for brunch. “Did you see our Missing Friend making out with That Boy by the bar?” one asked. Um, no. “Yeah, they left the Field House together after like, twenty minutes.” We found her safe and sound.
I was wondering where the following people were: Evan Wattles, Michaeleen Colgan, Shirley Pan, Reggie Pierce, Julia Ries, Julie Watson and Brittany Lee, Scott McCallum, Kristin Toler, Wesley Dunkel, and our resident Stoga celebrity, Mark Herzlich, who has yet to respond to any of my tweets.
I was happiest to see: Robyn Liebman, Natalie Zucchino, Asa Curry, Perry Wang, Sarah Edelson, Adam Blitzer, Jen Satzman.
There was one person I saw but could not remember the name of. That person, I later found out, was Greg Nestle. There was also one high school crush confession. The person is now following his dreams as a rapper. I couldn’t stop smiling about any of it.
One more thing. There is someone who has been jokingly stalking me online since 2005-ish. They have followed me from virgostarr to amsterdam_n to hydeparkblvd. We have had one email interaction and the only clue ever given was that they sat behind me in Mr. Smith’s 10th grade American Literature class. This person goes by the name of “The Giraffe” and writes me hilariously weird comments on my blogs from time to time. This is your time to come forward, Giraffe. Who the hell are you?