No one has ever claimed that high school reunions are anything but completely awkward. Even if you’re still friends with a few old mates, the whole “So what are you doing with your life?” exchange is a battle of egos and old enemies. Mix in a bit of revenge success and alcohol, and you’ve got a whopper of a night on your hands. Why, oh, why do we do this to ourselves?
One Reddit user, Respect The Box, asked people a very good question:
Beware. The answers may make you avoid your high school reunion—or, if you’re just that kind of person who loves to watch a dumpster fire blaze, they may make you want to sign up for the planning committee (if people even show up). Get ready to cringe!
“My sister, my (now) husband and I were all in the same graduating class. Plus, my husband’s best friend. Best friend’s name is something like “John Smith”. Very common. He was very popular in HS. Super nice guy, stood out in a crowd- if you didn’t know him you certainly knew of him. Even in a massive school. So anyway, the 20 yr reunion rolls around, my sister is the only one who wanted to go. She called right after, very upset. Apparently there was a huge memorial wall for John Smith, who had just died! None of us knew! Awful. My husband was like, huh. But we just saw him? Called him up and was like “Hey dude, are you dead?” No. Not dead. Surprised, but not dead. Anyway it turned out the much less popular other John Smith was the one who died. They made a lovely memorial for the wrong guy, who was forgotten totally. We still run into people to this day who see him and are like “Hey… aren’t you supposed to be dead?!”—underpantsbandit
“Some girl confessed to cheating on her high school sweetheart, thinking enough time had passed it wouldn’t bother him. She thought wrong… Edit: I just realized I spelled school scool Edit 2: Since this was so well received, I’ll add some details here so that they’re all in 1 place. The reunion was 10 years later. The two of them hadn’t seen each other in years, as far as I know they broke up shortly after high school ended. After she broke the news, somewhat nonchalantly as well, the guy flipped out and slapped her, then started screaming at her. She ran away, at which point he broke down and said something about wasting his high school years and left. We still managed to have a good time even after all that though, which was nice. And all you comedians misspelling school and saying Bob isn’t cool, [insert appropriately severe threat here].”—BobMightBeCool
“Someone I knew from school tried to arrange an unofficial reunion as the school weren’t going to do one. He was socially inept so would say and do odd things which people picked up on a lot. But his heart was always in the right place. He went to a lot of effort but very few people responded at all. Those that did mostly made snide comments about the event behind their back, like dissing the location etc. Some made fun of him personally too as he was doing some admittedly odd, OTT organising. Then close to the event he cancels and blows up sending everyone a (justified) message about how they can all go suck eggs and he was just trying to do something nice and wanted to catch up with people. That was received with more snide remarks too. He died unexpectedly just a few months later.”—justjenr
“One guy had made not one but two fortunes and had a net worth of well over $100 million by our twentieth reunion (high speed modem patents in the late 1980s, early investor in broadband. right place at the right time). He’d already retired. On our classmate update bulletin he listed his occupation as “unemployed and unemployable” as a bit of a gag. Some of the well-meaning but clueless types sought him out to offer encouragement and tips on how to find work.”—mastadonbob
“My 10 year reunion killed itself before it happened. Turns out our class president (traditionally in charge of organizing) took a hard turn into a Footloose character after high school. (Edit: originally said she took a hard turn for the Evangelical – several commenters objected to me lumping this brand of crazy into Evangelism, for which I apologize) Highlights of her event planning include: No alcohol allowed, not even BYOB, no music or dancing, plus ones were to be spouses only, the venue was the high school’s soccer field. In Iowa. In August. We were welcome to bring our own chairs. A few people offered to bring beanbags and bocce and similar games. She said no because it would make the reunion “too much like tailgating.” Suggested entertainment was a guided tour of the school, which had undergone zero change since we graduated. Tickets were $60. It was ultimately canceled because out of our class of 300, less than 10 people bought tickets.”—kenjiandco
“Didn’t happen to me, but I had this friend who got someone pregnant back in the day and she kept the kid, they’ve both been great about it, he helps financially but that was the extent of his contribution. She married soon out of highschool and met a great guy who has been the de facto dad. Either way, it’s a day bring your kids if you have them event and someone let slip that my friend is that kids “real”dad. And the kid herd it and it was a f—king sh—tshow. Everyone was trying to figure out who said that, and how could someone spill that secret, etc. In the end my friend pretended he was shocked, and laughed it off as a joke, which honestly i front of the kid was probably a good move.”—Toubabolivian
“A guy came with full Kiss-style make-up on – white face, black shapes around his eyes and black lips. We were too awkward and polite to mention it, so everyone just chatted with him as though it was completely normal to turn up like that.”—fall_on_me
“Someone told me, “You’re not a failure, be yourself!” And so when I went and proudly told them what I was doing these days (working a $9.25/hr job, going back to school, having gotten life together in a rehab and back on track, I was proud!) they all pitied me and one dude tried to give me money. It made me feel bad about my current progress. I hate people.”—Gyrovague_Greyling
“Not so much at but before. Ten year reunion for my largish school (500graduates per year). The plan was for the reunion to take place over Thanksgiving weekend. To help pay for the expense, raffle tickets were sent out to the entire class to sell. The reunion didn’t happen.”—elliotsilvesti
“It’s been a decade since i finished school. I see an old classmate sometimes when he does maintenance work in my apartment block. About a year ago he asked if I was going to the reunion organised by some of our classmates. I said no because i couldn’t think of anything worse and also hadn’t been invited. (Apparently they organised it over Facebook which i dont have.) When i next saw him 6 months later I asked how the reunion was and he exasperatedly explained that it had been a real sh—tshow. The mean girls had started planning it together, fell out and then started each planning their own. So there was about 4 sh—tty tiny awkward parties and everyone was confused.”—bubblegummustard