I flew back to Phoenix this past weekend for my high school reunion. It wasn’t the official one which would have taken place back in 2007 (had it actually happened) but that would’ve been considerably less interesting since my core friends were all from the year after mine, the class of ’98. I had already spent some time recently with my friends Amy and Annie and never really lost touch with them since high school, but there were a few others that were going to be there, and they were enough of an incentive to make last minute trip out to the heat. Obviously that wasn’t the case for everyone – but clearly I’m much more sentimental than some – ‘exhibit A’ being my all out need to document everything with photos or video.
And I know everyone didn’t have the same experience that I had at this gathering – but I think it’s largely due to the fact that they didn’t convince their specific circle of friends from high school to attend. Whether they lived out of state, or in town – some people that went, didn’t have their old partners in crime – and you NEED them there. Seriously. Otherwise it’s just nice, but not great – or rather, not as great as it could be. How could it be? Compared to the possibility of reconnecting with the people you were once closest to during those insanely uneven years of your life, hanging out with your 4th tier facebook high school friends is hardly a reason to leave the house.
And it doesn’t even take that many. You just need a few, maybe even just that one friend – because damn, you used to be attached at the hip laughing at everyone else to cover your insecurities, and then for whatever reason, at some point you were two completely different people living unconnected lives. So while you’re a different person ten or twelve years later; you remember being that kid and doing the things you did and the thoughts you thought, and laugh at how much insecure bravado you put forth back then – or how much you attempted to disappear, but not really, just enough to wish to be seen.
And although I accept that some people left the evening feeling as though they attended what amounted to an odd mixer – I can hardly give them any sympathy because it was a most unexpected experience to be able to hangout with old close friends while actually making relative new ones out of old acquaintances.
I honestly spent most of the time during the actual reunion, figuring out and practicing with the lens on my camera – so more than half of those photos are practically useless. It’s a good thing too because by the time that our little after party happened – I was warmed up to shoot.
We ended up in a small room in a boutique hotel in downtown Phoenix. The air conditioner unit struggled and on some level, failed miserably. But as the hours went from one, to two, to three am, we all fought hard to stay awake and keep talking and stretch that night as far as it would go. With raw honesty handed back and forth with fistfuls of laughter – how could we give in to exhaustion and sleep? I found my old partner in crime and connected with people I never knew back in high school – but now I wish I had. So while I know it was a completely forgettable evening for many that were there – (insert the perfect ending to this post here.)
Check out the photos: