Attending your spouse’s high school reunion can be a daunting experience. You’re faced with lots of people you don’t know, in a situation that can be high stress, depending on how your spouse felt about high school. Insecurities can easily re-emerge when you come face to face with past.
Luckily, my husband had a good high school experience, so he didn’t have the same anxieties at the Atlantic High School 30th reunion that I’ve seen others go through. But if your spouse is a little neous about facing those ghosts of hallways past, here are a few survival tips.
1. Do some advance research. These days, most classes set up a Facebook page or a website for their reunion. I had already asked my husband about some of his old friends who had posted comments on his wall and learned some of their backstories. Closer to the reunion, he shared the class website with me so I had the opportunity to learn more names. The advance research helps when you’re presented with a bunch of new faces.
2. Mingle on your own. Don’t spend the whole reunion glued to your spouse’s side. Walk around, get some drinks, give him or her time to catch up and get in the zone. (Of course, this goes out the window if you see them throw you a “help, get me out of here” look).
3. Look your best, but don’t get neurotic about it. Like it or not, reunions are prime places for some judge-y behavior. Everyone is checking everyone else out – and the people with them aren’t immune. Head it off at the pass by looking good, without overdoing it. And remember your spouse is the star of this show. Give him or her feedback on their outfit if they ask for it, but keep your own insecurities to yourself (this isn’t the time to whine about your pants making you look fat).
4. Talk to other spouses. Feeling left out of the jokes? Chances are some of the other spouses are in the same boat. Seek them out and start some bonding of your own. After all, you may end up seeing them decade after decade.
5. Man the camera. My husband loves to take photos, but I took the camera away from him so he could socialize and took some snaps. Walking around with a camera is a great ice-breaker too.
6. Be a cheerleader. A high school reunion isn’t the place to voice all your dirty laundry with your spouse. Even if some things they do drive you nuts on a daily basis, keep it to yourself – especially if he or she encounters any teasing from classmates. Present a united front.
7. Don’t drink too much. Let your spouse be the one to cut loose. A night or two as the designated driver won’t hurt – and will allow your husband or wife a chance to blow off steam with old friends.
Do you have any more tips or fun stories about going to a reunion? Share them in the comments.