This weekend, freshly minted adults will have awkward high school reunions all across America. We asked you for your reunion horror stories, and picked four of the best. This one comes from Andrew.
I ate shrooms for my five-year reunion. Which at first sounds terrible, but is actually perfect. My high school had its reunions in the daytime—since the night reunions were getting out of hand. The school's in Brooklyn: imagine MTV's Jersey Shore in a high school, that's where I went.
So we get there at 10 a.m., and me and two buddies decide to start eating caps immediately. Awkward does not begin to describe this scene. But there are endless trays of ice-cold beer, and it's a beautiful spring day, so everybody starts getting seriously lit. Most people probably hadn't had breakfast. But, with the shrooms, we're impervious to the effects of alcohol. So while the girls are quickly losing their shit, and two of the guys have to be physically separated from the visiting lacrosse team bench, we are the picture of dignified cool until you look at our pupils under the shades.
The right amount of shrooms and I can talk to anybody, so the reunion is actually the perfect setting, endless people to talk to. I have a twenty-minute conversation with my college guidance counselor about hot dogs, which we were eating at the time—in addition to the bottomless cold beer they had trays of hot dogs—which ended with him telling me how GREAT I seemed to be doing. I'm pretty sure my Spanish teacher would have gone home with me.
This is back in 2000, so every over-achiever from my class has a start-up, or works for a start-up, and they're handing out business cards saying they're CEO, or COO, or CFO. I don't even know what these letters mean. I'm working freelance for a corporate video company. And I'm watching these guys handing out their cards, turning people green with envy, and I swear, the mushrooms made me see through the whole thing. I was asking them questions, genuinely interested, like "what do you do? No, I still don't understand, how do you make money?" And they're getting all squirmy and walking away. (I think more stock pickers should eat mushrooms when evaluating companies.) Of course, by early afternoon everybody's a mess, except for us, who are all three fresh as daises—heros even, leading the charge to the bars. But before we left, I had the presence of mind to look around and to see the whole scene with perfect clarity, and to say to myself, this has been fun, but I will NEVER attend one of these again, this is unnatural, and I never did, never even a college reunion. It's not even a question for me.
Sad footnote, one of the friends I ate mushrooms with—in fact, the man who procured the generous sack—died a little over a year later in the North Tower on 9/11. I think there's a lesson in that, but damned if I know what. Eat more mushrooms, maybe.