"Get away from our mango tree!"
Ryan so succinctly summarized my entire high school experience a couple of weeks ago in our very first batch reunion (10 years later). Hey, I am first to admit and explain why (which I did to some people there early in the evening): the boys didn't like me because I'm gay-ish (then), and the gays didn't like me for the same reason. That left me stuck in the middle of... well, nowhere. The batch had the requisite cliques -- from the "farm", to what I call the "rainbow contingent"; from ACoFiArGo to Moezsh -- and what I did then was flit from one group to the other.
Which is why I was quite hesitant to attend the reunion when it was announced a couple of months ago, single-handedly (it seems) organized by Paul, who I just knew then as one of the basketball jocks. A jock-organized reunion is baaad. I saw myself getting crucified all over again.
Which is also why I decided to go for it in the end (and come early all by myself). I figured if things start going downhill for me, I can always get out early before most of the attendees even start arriving. Besides, I've developed a thicker skin by now. College, working in customer service, and saving the world one malware at a time gave me enough shit. And yet I'm still alive, am I not?
I ended up staying until 2am. I was proud to say I was not the first to leave and that I reconnected with old faces and met new ones (i.e., those that I never got the chance to know during those four years). Like I said on my tweets during the event (yes, I live-tweeted), there have been a couple of realizations on my part. Including the fact that some of my crushes are still crushable, some became new crushables (they bloomed!), and some I still don't know. *sigh* Or never gave them a chance. Which is kinda sad.
When a small group of us had a mini-reunion last year, I wrote how detached I was/am with the very people I was soon shaking hands and catching up with the minute I walked in the pool area. A couple of... "incidents" brought the nightmarish stuff back. A couple of people are still jerks, after all. And the crowd start grouping themselves to their old cliques, it is kinda deja vu.
But seeing "cool" moments -- like our former COCC officer taking pictures of the rainbow contingent without the fear of push-ups afterward -- still proves just how much everyone has changed for the better after ten years. After all, who would've thought I'd grow several inches taller and start drinking beer? Apparently a lot of them were also a bit surprised with those facts.