I got invited to a school reunion. No big deal, right?
It was my 20th high school reunion. 2-0. TWENTY!
How can this be? How can it be 20 years since I finished school?
Have you ever seen the film Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion?
I honestly think it is one of the most under-sold films of all time. It is of the same ilk as Clueless or Mean Girls and I used to watch it all the time.
I still love it.
Without giving the plot totally away (because you must go and watch it), Romy and Michelle get invited to their ten year high school reunion and they get themselves into such a tizz because they don’t have good jobs and boyfriends and they worry what the people, who were mean to them at school, will think of them.
They go to extraordinary lengths to re-invent themselves for the reunion.
As soon as I’d finished wailing that it has been 20 years since finishing school, I started to think about my school days. I am sure I didn’t hate every day at school. I do remember going on a trip to London which was brilliant and the odd good day but I don’t look back on my school days fondly.
I hated every single moment of most of my time there.
I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin. I didn’t have the confidence to stick up for myself and know my self worth.
It wasn’t all on my shoulders though. Some people were really, really mean.
I was tall with big boobs which did not look good in a bulky blazer. I was called fat-even when I wasn’t fat. When I was overweight (probably due to the fact I starved myself all day at school-wrecking my metabolism thinking people wouldn’t call me fat it they didn’t see me eat), I remember losing loads of weight at Weight Watchers but stopped going after some boys from my year saw me coming out of the weigh-in class. I can still feel the shame I felt that evening.
I feel like I spent the whole five years trying and failing to get people to like me or at least not be mean to me.
Hindsight is a brilliant thing but it would be so great to have the self-worth I have now and the life experience and go back and tell them what I really think.
Unsurprisingly I will not be attending the school reunion.
When Facebook first started to get big around ten years ago, I could not believe that many of the people who were so nasty to me, tried to make friends with me but this is the problem with bullying. The words of a bully are forgotten by them in a second but they can be carried around by their victim for life.
I am friends on Facebook with a handful of people from school. People who were actually nice to me and, who I think if I saw them in the street they would say hello. I messaged one friend and said I would rather poke my eye out with a sharp stick than see anyone from school. She agreed and, I am sure she would not mind to be quoted. She said:
“I’d rather my spleen removed than make chit chat with the majority of our year – best years of your life my arse!”
I could not have put it better myself.
So I really hope the majority of my ex-classmates have to make up stories that they invented post-its because you really, really deserve it.
Even 20 years doesn’t dull the feelings I felt at school and how they made me feel.
I went on to have an amazing time at sixth form college and university thank goodness so my whole education was not marred by mean girls (and boys).
I am just so glad that times have changed and I am happy in my own skin now. I will fight tooth and nail for my children to not experience what I did.
Best years of your life, my arse.