July 24, 2015

The High School Reunion Apology Form

This weekend, I’m attending my 20-year high school reunion. I want to have a good time, I want to enjoy the company of my friends and classmates and their politely obliging spouses. I want to drink wine and hear mid-90s grunge rock and reminisce about our big-haired years.

But first, I want to apologize.

I have a complicated relationship with my teenage self. She was a skinny, often infuriating person who simultaneous knew everything and nothing about life. 

I sometimes miss my long hair, but not the hair spray.
The people I’m going to see this weekend might not have liked her very much. Or perhaps they remember her fondly and are disappointed in me. Either way, I feel tempted to introduce myself with an apology. Or 5 of them.

It’s ridiculous, really.

Just because I’m different than I was 20 years ago, doesn’t mean I was wrong then or now. It just means I used to be a teenager, and now I’m an adult.

For any other reunion attendees who are tempted to lead with an apology, I’ve put together a handy form:

The best thing about the Apology Form is that it's short. If fits on an index card and takes less than 5 minutes. You can answer these questions, get them out of the way, and then you don’t have to talk or think about these things anymore. You can clear the way for better questions.

What has been your greatest adventure of the past 20 years? Whom and what do you love right now? What makes you irrationally happy? What is important to you? What's challenging you right now? Now that you really know yourself, what are your dreams for the future?

These are the conversations worth traveling for. There are dozens more of them that I hope to discover this weekend. The answers don’t fit neatly onto a card, and they don’t contain apologies. For that, I’m not sorry.

1 comment:

Jim Peters said...

Great post and great writing and thought behind it. Note too that the questions and the conversation will change a lot at 30 (what are your kids doing now?), 40 (where are you going to retire to, and when? How are those grandchildren?), and 50 (who is still alive?)