About a year and a half ago I was approached by several people in my graduating class from high school if we are having a 10 year reunion. I hadn’t heard anything so to get the ball rolling I created a Facebook group for our class. Over time my friend Janice found ourselves really putting things together. We were warned by several people (not in our class) not to take on that responsibility. But hey, one of the things I do in my job is event planning and I do get a certain high from planning a fabulous party. Janice had just gotten married so she was still milking that party high. We pushed forward.
Peter, Paul, and Mary…. we had no idea what a learning experience this would be!! Main lesson learned? Never again. Not in this lifetime. Not in the next lifetime. Or even in the one after that. Since I plan events I’m used to calling all the shots or making a very small group of people (clients) happy. That’s not how high school reunions go. No, you are asking for feedback from an entire graduating class – it doesn’t matter how big or small. You are aiming to make the majority of them happy. It will consume your time and energy for months and will feel like a shit storm.
Here are a few things I learned along the way of planning my high school reunion.
People want the works, but they don’t want to pay or help plan it. We were literally 4 tickets away from meeting our goal. Yes, just 4 individual tickets or 2 couples away from our goal. Because of this we had to move to plan b and leave our fancy dinner and dancing in a dream. And you will see further on that how feelings about this panned out.
You will never make everyone happy, so don’t waste your time or feelings. I learned this life lesson a long time ago. I knew going into this we weren’t going to be able to satisfy everyone. I was prepared for some backlash.
The first reunion after high school shouldn’t be until year 20. They should take place every 10 years until at the very least 40th year and they you can think about having a reunion every 5 years. But good God this every 5 years right off the bat crap is for the birds!
Those who were “mean girls” in high school (and that term I use for both genders) are still alive and well in their mean girls status of a way of living. I don’t know which saying is more appropriate “old habits die hard” or “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Seriously. Just like the movies. Except they won’t bat an eyelash at coming unless they’re the ones planning it.
On the contrary, those who were the biggest douche bags in high school who you never would think would mature…. Well wait to have your mind completely blown when at least one of them shows up with their shit together, a beautiful family, and…. wait for it…. matured and a truly stand up guy. All hope I lost in humanity was found. The rest I’m sure are still douches big enough to clean a whale’s vagina or at least that’s the feeling I get from their Facebook posts, but I wouldn’t know because they didn’t show up. Shocker.
When you are feeling down and cursing yourself for even giving in when asked to plan your high school reunion, you will see the light. At first it’s a full-blown dramatic waving fist in the air “I’ll show you!!!” and then it will come in the form of thank yous. Thank you for planning the event, thank you for all the time and effort you put into this, thank you for dealing with all the crap thrown at you. It’s those thank yous that soften your heart. It’s those thank yous that make you realize not everyone is ungrateful.
When your original idea doesn’t pan out and you dare voice your disappointment, you will be attacked. How dare you feel disappointed or upset that this big fabulous event you put so much thought, time, and effort into doesn’t come to fruition. I mean why would the loss of a non-refundable deposit and a threat of a lawsuit from the dj make you upset in the first place? Yeah, we didn’t get the memo we couldn’t be mad. Whoopsies.
You will be accused of many things…. allegedly. You are a sneaky, awful, horrible human being who wants to exclude certain people. (Insert any NeNe Leakes facial expression here) Honey, if I was planning on excluding certain people I would have let it be known I was doing so by throwing a fab dinner party in my own dining room. Not in a public place. And I certainly wouldn’t have gone through the pain of creating a group on social media to give the illusion of an event that may or may not be “exclusive.” In the words of Miss Sweet Brown, “ain’t nobody go time for that!” Lawd knows I don’t!
When all was over and done with I have to say our reunion was still a success. So our original idea didn’t pan out like we had hoped, but we still had a reunion. We met at the casino, shared a few drinks, a few laughs, and a couple people even won money. We all had a great time catching up. I personally am thrilled with the turn out and the fun that was had. It warmed my heart to spend time with these people and to keep in touch. We’ve done pretty well for ourselves. However, I still will never be in charge of planning another one! ha ha ha
I’m not a huge fan on disclaimers on personal writings but I feel one is necessary. If you truly know me then you know I’m a big fan of real talk. This is my truth, my experience, through my perspective. This may not be how you experienced it and that’s okay. I don’t mean to offend anyone by sharing my experience in what I think is a true and at times humorous way. This is my personal blog and I hold all discretion to delete any attacking, inappropriate, or comments that reek of shade.