This year for my high school reunion, I will have to show some good acting and improvisation skills. I have to pretend that I don't know how many kids Katie has, even though I know that it's been exactly a week since her youngest took his first steps. Would it freak her out that though I have not seen her in 15 years, I think her son totally looks more like her than her husband (who I don't know personally)?
Would it be weird if I asked Jamie what she thought of the new restaurant she checked in at yesterday though the last time I saw her was in home room? I will have to pretend that I have no clue about Jane's impending divorce or the convoluted reason for it, even though her daily "Dear Diary" posts have invaded my news feed every day. As a pre-millennial, I admittedly don't have all my acronyms down: 'LOL', 'BRB', 'ROFL', but I know that her posts are 'TMI.'
I am actually thankful for Facebook because once you hit the 15 year reunion mark, if it weren't for Facebook, I would likely have the awkward "what's your name again?" with some. Because of facebook, I've been experiencing Tom's hairline recede to a point of no return, John's 1/3 life crisis that includes hipster skinny jeans, Nancy go from earning title of prom queen to earning paychecks at Dairy Queen and Yolanda's weight loss. I know Yolanda likes to take the 6 am Zumba class because she's "a morning person, and God helps those who get up early." Wait, so what happens to those who sleep in? Bad breath? Bad commuting karma?
I have to say I have been a tirelessly supportive cyber friend with all those thumbs up I have given my former classmates. In person, who knows if we'll even exchange words. I know which classmates went off the deep end, so thanks Facebook, for knowing to avoid the girl who enters her cat into superhero costume-themed competitions. Sorry, your cat just wasn't the cutest. #sorrynotsorry. I know who those notorious #humblebraggers are... "I never expected to be president of my own company at ONLY 32." To some extent, I suppose bragging is somewhat central to high school reunions, though. It's not as if someone asks you what you've been up to for the past decade and a half and you can respond "not much." What would be fun is to make something completely absurd up a la Romy and Michelle's high school reunion ("We invented post-its"), like saying that I invented the Snuggie. But unfortunately, Smartphones would take the fun out of that real quick.
I am grateful for the wisdom time has afforded me. After all, eating lunch in the high school bathroom stall probably wasn't the most hygienic thing to do. It's a good thing I got over my shyness. I am actually grateful for those moments because 'the bad' makes 'the good' feel all the more remarkable. I have to admit each time I get a Candy Crush invitation from Jacob, who seemed to have taken an AP class in bullying, I have to smile and think Facebook can be a messenger of poetic justice.
So, are high school reunions pointless? No. Is the real-life version of #tbt #fbf worthy of a real-life like? Maybe. Facebook is what we choose to put out to the World. We can carefully craft our status updates or have "keyboard courage." We can take 30 selfies before we get a post-able one. And while we know what people do, where they live, and who they live with, there are real-life surprises meeting face to face that no Facebook algorithm could predict. Now, if only I had a real-life "block" button handy for my high school reunion. I guess there's liquor for that.