Q: My law school reunion is coming up (it’s our tenth) and I’m on the fence about going. I’ve been moderately successful in practice but am now actively trying to dump practicing law entirely, with limited success. While I loath having to be around a bunch of lawyers at an “old-fashioned cocktail reception” and reunion party, I’m fairly curious to know how others did, plus I’d love to catch up with a guy for whom I had a mega crush (I hear he’s single now). Did you go to any of your reunions and, if so, why? If not, why not?
A: Do not go, not under any circumstances.
There are only three types of people who attend reunions, and I hate them all for different reasons: (1) people who want to flaunt themselves because they feel like they were unfairly overlooked by their classmates and/or believe they have improved significantly post-graduation; (2) people whose lives are so uninteresting and uncluttered that they attend everything they receive an invitation to; and (3) people who are phony and annoying and think of themselves as having been friends with everyone, so of course they’re going to be at the reunion!
Seriously, I can’t think of a single good reason to go to a law school reunion. For one thing, I don’t even really like to “catch up” with close friends, because the implication of “catching up” is that you haven’t been making a proper effort to stay in touch in the first place. (Though at least when you “catch up” with a friend, you’re actually interested in hearing the underlying information; whereas, in the reunion context, you’re forced to endure mind-numbing details about the depressing legal career of some guy who sat behind you in Civ Pro that you and your friends nicknamed “Horseface Killah.”)
Not to mention, in the present Facebook era, it’s impossible to avoid people from your past. All it takes is a couple of clicks to reach out to anyone you attended law school with that’s worth your time, so what’s the point of the reunion, then? To hang out with people that you’ve otherwise consciously avoided since the day you graduated?
Also, attending a reunion to have a go at the newly-single guy you had a huge crush on during law school is possibly the worst idea I’ve ever heard. First off, he probably won’t even show up, which will make you feel like a scorned asshole for getting yourself all prettied up in anticipation of seeing him, and then you’ll drink too much white wine and go home with a really short guy with bad breath and clammy hands whose persistent fondness for you during school was incredibly exasperating. Keep in mind, too, that if your crush was into you during law school, he would’ve hooked up with you back then. In the alternative, if the only reason he didn’t hook up with you during law school was because he was in a relationship, then he would’ve found a way to contact and/or hook up with you when that relationship ended. I know I probably sound a little harsh, but I once found myself in a somewhat similar situation with a guy who was in the same section as me when we were 1Ls. My huge crush on him was an open secret the entire year, but he had a long-term girlfriend. He transferred to an Ivy League law school second year, broke up with his girlfriend sometime thereafter and then showed up at an open bar party the night we graduated. I basically threw myself at him, and was rewarded with a tepid kiss goodnight that felt a little like pity (and of course, he never called after that). The whole thing haunts and shames me to this day, and I want to save you from similar miserable missteps.
So do yourself a favor: the day of the reunion, do something you love that will make you feel happy and special, and SKIP IT. Who knows, maybe it will turn out that your crush was hoping you would be there, and he will be so intrigued by your absence that he will look you up straightaway and take you on a proper, non-pitiful date . . . ?
Post image courtesy of Shutterstock.