Because she hasn’t seen most of her former classmates in nearly a decade, Dana Ryan has broken out her yearbook to remind herself of the specific reasons each and every one of them is deeply and irreparably flawed ahead of her 10-year reunion next week.
“Imagine showing up to this and harboring the wrong grudges against the wrong people,” Ryan says. “That would be totally embarrassing and inaccurate.”
Currently, Ryan is in her fourth hour of drinking alone and refreshing her memory to the specific, petty ways in which she loathes the acquaintances of her past.
“Danny Barthow—he’s the one who would absent-mindedly pop his own zits while taking a test,” Ryan says, while running her finger along his senior year photo. “Oh, look at me, now I’m getting all nostalgic!”
Ryan is determined not to put her foot in her mouth during the reunion. She wouldn’t be caught dead whispering, “I know you lied about losing your virginity to Mike Cahill” into the wrong girl’s ear, so she’s coming to the Roosevelt H.S. class of 2007 reunion fully prepared.
To jog her memory, Dana flips through the Clubs section of her senior yearbook. “Susan Haybrook—worst allergies ever, just constantly hacking and sniffling,” Ryan says of her generally harmless A.P. Euro classmate who’s now happily married. “Like, get some fucking Claritin and let me learn about the tenants of Calvinism, you know?’
Dana’s preparedness stems from a commitment to stay connected to her hometown community.
“It’s been a while, but I don’t want my former peers to see me as this aloof girl who moved to New York and got too good for her roots,” the 28-year-old digital media manager explains. “I’m still me. And also Mandy Hoffman needs to know that I know that she perioded her khaki pants in freshman year homeroom.”
That said, Ryan is certainly not the same girl she was back in high school. She’s grown from a judgmental teenage girl into a beautiful, judgmental adult woman with an encyclopedic knowledge of others’ ultimately harmless personal and physical flaws.
“Paula McKay clearly had never kissed anyone but always wanted to talk about sex with me,” Ryan says, pouring herself a third glass of Merlot. “Ooooh, I don’t remember that kid’s name but he definitely had a stutter and Hayley Donahue gave him a hand job anyway.”
“Ugh, Julia Brennan—she was just like, too perfect. Like, everyone liked her and she was really good at track and went to Yale and is now an immigration lawyer,” Ryan laments. “Just like, DO LESS.”
Despite Ryan’s Olympic preparation, there remains no word on whether any other graduates of Roosevelt High School’s class of 2007 are doing the same. Either way, one thing’s for sure—Ryan’s totally going to assert her dominance at this reunion as though it mattered.