This weekend was my 10 year high school reunion… and gasp… I was single. I won’t lie, I was having some pretty conflicted feelings leading up to this event. On one hand, I am truly loving being single right now. I feel like I have finally figured out how to do single “right” and I am having way more fun than is probably responsible.
On the other hand, how could I not feel awkward that a 10 whole years had passed and here I am, STILL single… I was dreading being the cliché — the girl with the amazing job and life who everyone trades small, pity smiles about because she just can’t seem to meet the right guy. And heavens knows I couldn’t very well tell everyone, “Hey, ya’ll don’t feel bad for me… I’m making out with people left and right – I’m doing just fine.” Somehow, I didn’t think my classmates with their 3 kids and mortgages would be able to appreciate my current lifestyle…
But even after weeks of vacillating feelings, the idea of not attending never even crossed my mind. I loved high school and I was excited about the idea of spending a night with my fellow cheerleaders and my favorite football guys. And besides, boyfriend aside, my life is going freaking fantastically. While I may not have pumped out a little baby or three just yet, I certainly have plenty of things to be proud of!
So I decided I would just embrace my singleness and go. And you know what? I had a freaking blast. As it turns out, being single at your high school reunion can actually be amazing if you do it right! And since it went so swimmingly for me, I thought I’d pass along what I learned.
Here’s how to be single and awesome at your 10 year reunion.
- Remember you aren’t alone. Prior to the event, I had a couple of fun Facebook updates about being single at my reunion, each of which got a whole lotta love. As I read through everyone’s comments I was quickly reminded that I would absolutely not be the only one in this boat. Of course no one plans to be single at their reunion, but it happens — to even the most awesome of us.
- Set the stage. These aforementioned Facebook updates also served another (unintentional) purpose – they gave my fellow attendees a heads up on my relationship status. No need to ask me if I am “seeing anyone special” – I’m not. And not only did this help me avoid being asked that annoying question, it lead to a whole bunch of people telling me they loved my Facebook status and that I am hilarious. Soooo I’m single but funny… I’ll take it.
- Go with a group of friends (and at least one other single, preferably). We had a lovely little pre-game at the bar across the street so that we could roll up as a group. No one likes the feeling of walking in alone so don’t do that to yourself.
- Keep in mind that even the happily married and coupled may not have their significant others with them. In fact, I was a little shocked at how few people actually brought dates. I would say that maybe 40 percent of the people there had dates and the vast majority of these people had married or were dating someone from our high school.
- Wear something fabulous. This is really just my rule for life but realistically, you probably look a lot better than those ladies who started pumping out kids at 22 and you should flaunt it. I’m never a fan of trying too hard, but I may have gotten a a tiny bit of satisfaction knowing that my leather jacket cost more than those moms and dads will likely spend on their wardrobe all year. Perks of limited responsibility!
- Talk to the marrieds. No really. It’s hilarious. I can’t tell you how many of them told me they were living vicariously through me.. It’s truly such a good reminder that the grass is always greener on the other side. There was one particular conversation that I’ve had a hard time shaking. One of my favorite guys of all time was telling me about how the summer we all hung out (back in 2006) was one of the best of his life and how everything changed for him after that (he now has 2 kids and a wife preggers wit a 3rd). The idea that THAT summer where we all just got drunk and ran around Encinitas was one of the best of his life made me so, so sad. I’ve had a million and two other experiences that have topped that and I plan to have many more! I am positive married life is lovely, but there is no doubt that many of my more settled classmates expressed at least a smidge of jealousy for my lifestyle, and that didn’t feel bad.
- Feel grateful that you don’t have to worry if you significant other is having fun or what others think of him/her. One thing I underestimated was how many people there I actually wanted to talk to. I was literally running around trying to talk to every single person and having entirely too much fun reminiscing and catching up. I can’t imagine any second of that would have been fun for someone who hadn’t gone to high school with us.
- Flirt a little. Sure, I never really thought anyone in our grade was particularly good looking or interesting (and that certainly hasn’t changed) but it’s definitely entertaining to flirt with people you’ve known for forever. Also entertaining to see which guys whose girlfriends didn’t make it had NO problem being inappropriate. So much for being grown ups.
- Take in the compliments.If you are one of the “few” singles at the event you are likely going to get a lot of attention … so yaay, you get to soak it all up. I loved the guys who were like, “I just don’t understand how a girl like you is single?? How does that happen?? Ohh stop sir… ok ok go on.
- Have somewhere to go after. After you’ve enjoyed the awesomeness of connecting with old friends, what could be better than getting to go and have some great (albeit likely irresponsible) sex. You survived being single at your reunion. You earned it.
So there you have it. That’s how I not only made it through, but enjoyed, being single at my 10 year reunion. I think it comes down to this – I am truly (for the first time in my life!) so happy being single right now, and I am not going to let little things like 10 year reunions or Mr. Not Quite Right’s recent engagement, deter me from said happiness. I could have let these things bring me down, and I could have got caught up on what I thought people might think or how I “should” feel, but I was able to catch myself and just have fun.
All in all, my reunion was a great night that reminded me how much I loved high school and how lucky I am to be where I am now. So should you find yourself in a similar place (single and debating on whether to attend) you can rest assure that I recommend you go. If you opt to skip it rather than deal with the stigma of being single, you’ll be depriving yourself of a quality night and likely an ego boost :)