Summer is Reunion Time

by admin on May 25, 2011

I have been a lover of your site since I found it (it has kept me from making several faux pas) but I now ask for some much needed advice.

The time has come for my high school 10 year class reunion and I’m not sure I want to attend. First some background on my high school experience. I went to a very small h.s. and the first couple of years were pretty good; however, when senior year rolled around, I’m not exaggerating when I say that every one of the people I had been friends with since 1st grade ditched me. I was later informed that it was because I chose to go to my part time job instead of parting with them. The parties of my senior class consisted of drinking and seeing how many people one could sleep with in one night (not my scene). I spent my senior year getting great grades, working, and going to a bookstore out of town on the weekend nights if I didn’t work. I didn’t begin to make friends again until my second year at university. I’m a stronger person now than I was then, but I’m still faced with a conundrum.

Our class president who is organizing the class reunion also happens to be one of the friends that ditched me. She contacted me via facebook and asked for my address to send me an invitation for the reunion. I sent her my address thinking that if I decided to go at least I would have the option. Apparently, by doing so, I inadvertently R.S.V.P’d even though I only sent her my address and nothing else. When the invitation arrived in the mail today, already on it was that I had selected that two were attending. Even if I were to go, I’d never force DH to go, and it’s definitely not on his list to meet those that made my h.s. experience hell.

My question is if I decide not to go, how do I tactfully decline the already written in R.S.V.P. as there is no number on the invite to contact? And if I do decide to go and the conversation inevitably steers towards the “awesome senior year” how do I react if I’m asked about my senior year experience? Any advice would be appreciated on how to handle either of the situations and not come off behaving as though I belong in E-Hell.   0523-11

If you decide to not attend, contact the organizer via Facebook and politely decline the invitation.  “I am sorry but I am unable to attend the reunion this year.  Perhaps the next one!”

If you do attend, you are under no obligation to reveal the details of your personal life to anyone you don’t care to.   When asked how your senior year was,  coyly glance with affection at your husband (show that man off!), smile as if hiding a secret and say, “My senior year was positively divine.”     People don’t need to know *which* senior year you are referring to.

{ 67 comments… read them below or add one }

anonymous May 25, 2011 at 7:54 pm

I have to disagree with Sarah Peart: she didn’t RSVP. Someone RSVPing for you, without asking you, does not constitute RSVPing, so she is under no obligation to honor a commitment she never agreed to.

Whether or not she should go for other reasons is up for debate, but she clearly doesn’t want to and doesn’t feel the need to go and show people that she is living a great life (I would agree – there’s no need to go just to prove to them that you turned out great. People you have to prove things to are generally not worth the time it takes to prove whatever it is you want to show)…so I’d say don’t go. Don’t let them push you into going with their false RSVP.

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anonymous May 25, 2011 at 7:59 pm

I agree with the others who say people can change – a lot of the folks I knew and didn’t really care for in high school that are now on my Facebook page turned out to be great people. (I didn’t have a bad high school experience – it was alright. Not great, not terrible). I would feel though that without Facebook I wouldn’t really have the need to go to a reunion to find out if they became better people…there are great people everywhere and you can meet them in lots of different places. I feel no need to make any special effort to see if a particular group of people I once didn’t like turned out to be OK after all.

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sally May 25, 2011 at 9:09 pm

My advice about the high school reunion is if you have any doubt at all, don’t go. I didn’t want to go to mine, was talked into it by friends, and had a bad time. People don’t change. The obnoxious ones were still obnoxious and the nice ones didn’t show up or left early! It was a huge drunk fest that I certainly did not have to travel across the country to participate in–as I had seen at all before TEN YEARS AGO, every friday and saturday night I wasn’t working!

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Mary May 25, 2011 at 9:26 pm

Just so the OP knows, the questions about her senior year are NOT inevitable. I went to my ten year reunion (graduated 18 years ago) and nobody mentioned senior year. We talked about what we have been up to since, jobs, spouses, babies, etc.

If you don’t want to go, send a message through facebook.

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Kimberly May 25, 2011 at 9:39 pm

I had a similar experience – except I was put into a reunion group on FB without my permission. I was in a couple of days before I figured out how to block it. Then I got a “bill” for my ticket since I RSVP yes by “joining” the group.

I scanned in the bill and filed a fraud complaint with FB. I was really Ticked off by the whole thing. 5 years before they kept calling over and over again even after I told them politely no. Then I told them bluntly I never wanted to see them again. Finally I sent the committee a cease and desist letter telling them to NEVER contact me again.

Seriously if you get that pit of the stomach feeling when you think about going – make other arrangements to do something fun with your DH. Living well is the best revenge.

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Andi May 26, 2011 at 10:56 am

High School was such a drag for me (shy, nerdy girl, kind of fugly) and my home life was equally depressing that I was just glad it was over. Didn’t really think about it again until years later when I ran into one of the few friends I had.

Funny thing, it turned out I was such a non-entity that I wasn’t even invited to the fifth and tenth year reunions. I’m not sorry I missed it, because as other commenters pointed out: anyone I cared to talk to I reconnected with through FB. Life is a million times better now, so what would I have to reminisce about?

Send the organizer a polite correction and don’t go if it bothers you that much.

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LS May 26, 2011 at 3:52 pm

“Something suddenly came up.”

Worked for Marcia Brady.

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Ellen CA May 26, 2011 at 5:02 pm

The RSVP mix-up confuses me… My last reunion cost $100 a person, paid in advance.

If the reunion is actually no cost, then by all means stop by for a drink and leave whenever you feel like it. If you are required to pay, then the invitation provides incomplete information and the whole event promises to be very disorganized.

By the way, when my reunion rolled around I was not in a position to pay $200 a couple, had a prior dinner engagement and had stayed touch with very few people after 30 years. Instead we “crashed” the reunion by stopping by late in the evening, after dinner and entertainment, had a drink and socialized for only about an hour. Best reunion ever.

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RP May 27, 2011 at 9:30 am

Question: What country do you live in? In the United States you aren’t supposed to be able to mail anything without a return address (not anymore) so I’m curious as to whether this one slipped through or you just live someplace that doesn’t have that rule.

I agree that people can change but I don’t think it ends up being relevant here. If the OP said she wanted to go but was having second thoughts because of other people that might be there then yes, pointing out that they may have matured since then it is a good point. But it doesn’t sound like the OP wants to go at all. There’s no mention of looking forward to seeing anyone. It sounds like there’s no incentive to go even if all of those former friends weren’t going.

OP: If you don’t want to go, don’t go. You’re under absolutely no obligation to show up. If FB is the only way to contact them to decline then it isn’t rude.

I do think you should clarify that you never RSVP’ed though and here’s why: If the invitation had come with a request to RSVP instead of assuming that already did then you would have to respond to say that you decline anyway. Therefore, the mistake didn’t create more work for you. At worst you’ll have to explain that you shouldn’t already be done as an RSVP instead of just declining it but that’s just a bit more typing.

What I find weirdest about the assumption that you’d RSVP’ed is that they assumed you’d bring your S/O. Why? Even if they thought that sending your address meant that you wanted to come that doesn’t imply your spouse wants to or is even able to. To me that implies that they may have mixed your invite status up with someone who had RSVP’ed like someone suggested earlier.

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RP May 27, 2011 at 10:18 am

I simply see it as I have wonderful friends in my life already and I don’t care what total strangers are like now.

I agree with Bint. Graciousness may require one to not assume that people who bullied you as children or teens are still bullies now but it doesn’t require one to care whether they’ve changed or not.

Where do you think grown-up jerks come from? (karma)

While I agree with with the admin and most other commentors that people can change, some people don’t change and some people change for the worse. That’s why I like January Girl’s idea of having a back-up plan (should the OP decided they do want to go).

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--Lia May 27, 2011 at 12:27 pm

I’ve been reading the comments on this particular story with interest because I have a 35th highschool reunion coming up. My situation is different from the OP’s because my highschool experience wasn’t nearly so horrible. (Though it had its moments.) I’m looking forward to mine. Still, there’s something to be learned from everyone’s thoughts on the matter.

I’m developing a theory. It’s an analogy with weddings. I like to think that there was a time when people wished to share their joy with family and friends by throwing a nice wedding reception after a lovely ceremony. Those family and friends wished to share their joy by buying the young couple meaningful gifts. The two were not connected, or they weren’t supposed to be. The couple entertained according to their means, and the gifts were given according to the means of the givers. At some point, however, something changed. Maybe it had to do with wedding planners or caterers; I don’t know. But it seems like someone hollered “there’s gold in them hills,” and people started seeing how they could cash in on the happy event. We all know how it goes. We’ve seen invitations with price tags on them, brides dropping hints that gifts must be expensive enough.

I wonder if the horrible habit has spread to reunions. The idea is supposed to be that organizers think it’s a lovely idea to bring everyone together to share memories. They do a fair amount of work making arrangements, but they ask for nothing more than thanks. Attendees pay their own way. Or at least, that’s the way it’s supposed to work. Now I’m getting the idea that the organizers are twisting people’s arms to come because there’s money in it. I’m not sure of the details, but it’s the only thing I can think of to explain some of the stories I’ve read here.

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TootsNYC May 29, 2011 at 1:37 pm

Everybody’s gotten all distracted by the reunion aspect, and I think they’ve missed something.

I think that the “2” written on the invitation doesn’t mean they think you HAVE already RSVP’d. They are trying to tell you that there are 2 spots for you, and no more than that.

Often brides will do this in their RSVP cards–they’ll fill in the number blank, so that people can’t write “8” or something.

Or, they’ll use the line, “A total of ___2___ seats have been reserved for you.”

Use whatever means you need to in order to say, “I won’t be attending.” ( You don’t even need to say “maybe next time.” This is not truly a social invitation–not the same way a wedding invite is, or an invitation to a dinner party.)

In fact, it used to be NOT appropriate to put RSVP addresses on the invitation, because it was assumed you’d know. I’m assuming there’s no RSVP card. Is there a return address?
Or, simply write to the school, and ask them to pass the word along.

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Cat May 30, 2011 at 1:25 pm

Reminds me of a line I once heard, “I am sorry, but I don’t remember you. I do remember forgetting you.”

If they ceased to be your friends in high school, what possible point is there in seeing any of them now? A simple case of, “I won’t be attending. Please remove me from your mailing list.”

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Jillybean June 6, 2011 at 9:47 pm

I haven’t gone to any of mine and have never missed them. My 10th was actually cancelled due to lack of interest. It was supposed to be a harbor cruise. My guess is that most of the people felt the same way I did, that they couldn’t think of a group of people they’d least rather be stuck on a boat with for 3 hours than the people that we went to high school with. My 20th is this year, and I’m actually going to be out of town for it. Oh well. The few people I still keep in touch with I don’t need a reunion to see.

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Jillybean June 6, 2011 at 9:47 pm

Oh – that said, OP, if it’s stressing you out, don’t go. You don’t have anything to prove to anyone.

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Ben Thompson July 3, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I have been involved with a few of my high school reunions and an overall rule of thumb I have noticed about people who attend the reunion: If one is basically happy and satisfied with their life (that does not mean they have to be rich and famous), accepts what there life is and who they are, then they come to their high school reunion.
Many people come to the reunion thinking it is just about them (what will people say about them, who will remember them, etc.). They almost think the title of the reunion should be changed to “People in the Class of 19XX who knew or did not know Jane Doe”. It is a reunion of an event – only those people that graduated in that year from that school are invited. If you were invited go to the reunion. You survived high school and are still alive to have memories of it (good or bad).
When the people that were in the battle of D-Day (or other military battle or war) have a reunion do the former soliders ponder “I really did not know anyone on the beaches of Normandy that day” or “That was the worst time of my life” or “No one will remember me” or “Everyone I knew on the beaches of Normandy are dead”???
No, they go to the reunion because they were there. They survived and are still able to talk about it.
Same with high school.
In our high school class there are over 30 dead. I am pretty sure if they were alive most would go to the high school reunion.
And every reunion I have been to has just been lots or laughs, smiles, happiness and people have a good time. (Those very few that did not have fun always sat in the back of the room or against the wall and expected everyone to come greet them. That is not going to happen. Get up and mingle.)

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