Feelings hurt in high school linger long after graduation

DEAR ABBY: I loved the letter from “Ready for the Reunion” (July 31), who wondered why some people in her high school graduating class didn’t respond to the notice of the reunion. Some of us would like to completely forget high school and everything associated with it.

I missed my 10th, 20th, 30th and 40th year reunions. I did consider going to the last one, but then I started reading my former classmates’ posts on the reunion website. It seems everyone is retired, wealthy, has numerous grandchildren, at least one retirement home in an exotic locale and spends their time relaxing and jetting around (or so they say). I’m still working, not wealthy, not particularly successful and have moved from my home state to the backwoods of middle America. Basically, I have a boring life, so I have nothing to brag about. I didn’t go.

I’m still in contact with the important people in my life from high school and just don’t need the aggravation of attending a reunion. — STAYING HOME

DEAR STAYING: Thank you for your input. I received a large number of responses to that letter, many of which were emotionally charged:

DEAR ABBY: My class just had its 45th reunion. I live 20 miles away, but have never attended one and I never will.

My best friend and I were bullied, insulted and excluded by our high school peers. After 45 years, we are still close friends. Neither of us has any desire to see any of those people ever again.

High school was a miserable experience for us, and we couldn’t wait to graduate and go off to college. Why would we want to socialize with them now? We forgave them long ago, but have no desire to relive those days. People need to realize that sometimes we move on and don’t need to revisit the past. CAROL IN GEORGIA

DEAR ABBY: My high school experience was traumatic to the point that it put me in therapy. People who look forward to these things look back on their high school days with fondness. I’m guessing that’s because they weren’t picked on for being fat, not coming from a rich family or being a minority.

I would rather walk barefoot across broken glass than spend another minute with my high school class. I ignore the invitations because my mother taught me if I can’t say anything nice, I should say nothing at all. RAY IN SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.

DEAR ABBY: Successful turnouts often occur as a result of personal outreach from the committee. A personalized note, phone call or other kind of targeted communication (”Dear Susie, we’d love to see you again. Please come.”) will make a difference to an alum. FORMER REUNION PLANNER IN WASHINGTON

DEAR ABBY: Of the 280 missing students, for a quarter of them to be deceased would be par for the course. “Ready” should create a Facebook Groups page for her high school graduating class. Ours is very popular 35 percent of our former classmates are already part of it. PETER IN NAPLES, FLA.

DEAR ABBY: It is possible that many of the graduates never received the invitation. Email contact information, phone numbers and addresses change often. I didn’t receive anything about my 10-year reunion, but a few of my friends said they did. I can’t respond to an invitation I didn’t receive. ROD IN OMAHA

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Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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