Going to an all-girls high school, one becomes very close to one’s immediate circle of friends and by and large, the girls I see all the time are the girls I met in grades 8 and 9. My 2 closest friends in the world I met day 1 grade 8 in home room. I was looking forward to seeing a lot of the other people I’d been friendly with in high school but had lost touch with.
There were some 91 women in the room on Saturday night. They fell into people I saw all the time, people I haven’t seen since the round of 21st’s and people I hadn’t seen since graduation 10 years ago.
I learnt a few things on Saturday night:
Firstly - People don’t change. The faces walking through the door – many of them I hadn’t seen in 10 years but I still instantly recognised them. Names on the other hand were too much for me. Thank god for name tags.
Secondly - You can’t escape cliques and hierarchies, groups and labels in high school, but all of it is total bullshit. Friendships form in high school through the most random, non-selective circumstances. You find people and stick with them for 5 years, whether you really have anything in common with them or not. You’re all growing up, becoming people, so you grow with each other and learn to work with clashing personalities – because they’re your ‘friends’. You decide who are the ‘cool girls’, who are the ‘popular girls’ who are the ‘losers’ and it sticks for 5 years. The reality is, you could just have easily fallen into any other group and meeting people after 10 years, when (almost) all of the high school labelling crap has fallen away, you realise how not scary the cool girls are, how much fun the loser girls are and that you are and probably always were, a bunch of nice people who can get along like a house on fire.
I didn’t have a bad conversation, I didn’t experience any bitchiness. I had a great time catching up with girls I never, ever see but have ‘a history’ with. Many of them I’d barely spoken to in high school but at the Fox Hotel, with a little bit of social lubricant we were great friends.
Whilst I had only done ‘the usual’ uni / move out of home / live overseas / get drunk / boys / jobs for the last 10 years, some people have done some very cool stuff. Aside from marriage and babies, one person is going for their helicopter licence, one tried out for masterchef, one is a teacher in Russia, another is a teacher in a scary metal-detector school in the US - the list continues.
I didn’t get drunk until around 11:30, when my alcohol consumption for the previous 6 hours suddenly hit me. By then I had sore feet, my dress was feeling much too constricting and I’d stopped remembering conversations. I had, however, had a great night and I’m so glad I went.