“A Guide to Attending Your Twenty-Year Elementary School Reunion Like the Single, Childfree, Badass Bitch that You Are,” by Christina Berchini

Aug 24th, 2016 | By | Category: Nonfiction, Prose

On Healing the Spirit:

Breathe. You’ve been jolted. Your heart palpitations and sudden flashbacks to the worst six years of your life are perfectly appropriate responses. After all, you’ve just received a class reunion invitation from a peer whose personality rivaled that of the clown called ‘It.’

Step away from the e-vite. Whether or not this is the first recorded attempt at an elementary school reunion since the founding of the Boston Latin School is irrelevant.

Call your spiritual healer and schedule as many sessions as you can uncomfortably afford between now and the event; schedule at least one session for the week that follows (you’ll need it). Take out a personal loan if you have to. Those bitch-ass healers don’t run cheap.

Stop worrying about how the adults formerly known as the Children of the Corn found your personal email address. It’s not fucking 1996 anymore. Welcome to the World Wide Web 2.0, mother fuckers.

On Social Media Participation:

Request to join the private Reunion Committee Madness, 1996! Facebook group listed on the e-vite and RSVP posthaste.

While you wait for acceptance into the group (ha- if you’re accepted at all, because you’ll soon find that very little has changed since the sixth grade, #sorrynotsorry), update your profile picture, relationship status, location, and job title. If your stats are already up-to-date, pad them. “In a relationship” sounds a fuck-ton more stable than “It’s complicated.” “Chicago”exudes metropolis, much more than “Elmwood Park” ever will. “Director of Executive Accounts” appears less plebeian than “Account Director to the Executive.” “Higher Education Affiliate” comes across as (slightly) less pathetic than “Graduate Student.” You get the picture.

It’s not like you have kids, so you’ll have to post a picture of the Pacific Ocean, or Aegean Sea, or your gourmet dinner, or your Border Collie, or that picture of you standing with your BPA-free water bottle on the edge of a goddamned cliff, or anything else that screams “Happiest. Life. EVER!”

Hyphenate your last name with something made up. Delete confused comments from friends and family. You really can’t trust them to give you the support you need during these dark times.

Remember: Neither honesty nor humility is the point to any of this shit, okay? Tommy Figarello spent most of 7th grade and all of 8th reminding you that you will never get laid in this lifetime, and this is your opportunity to prove that fuckface wrong.

Facebook-stalk the class of 1996 and study their profiles, I mean really study that shit, and especially the ones belonging to your former archenemies. Note the details. The Lulu Lemon yoga pants. The Kardashian-esque high heels. The Botox injections. These uppity bitches will absolutely top themselves at this reunion. Your job is to beat them at their own game. Your goal is two-parts gently pornographic, one-part respectable.

On Preparation:

Spray tan your pasty ass until you out-glow John Boehner and possibly Donald Trump.

Buy Microdermabrasion sessions on Groupon. Schedule as many appointments as you can safely squeeze in between now and the reunion.

Two words: Juviderm injections.

Obtain a gym membership. Use it. You saw Carla Mangione’s profile picture, and she manages to look like that after three fucking kids, and you just know, your ass just KNOWS she’s gonna be there. Just look at Maria Kang, for shit’s sake. What’syour excuse, bitches?

(You have no excuse and especially because you don’t have fucking kids).

Waist-training should thus commence, forthwith. You can find a steel boned corset for cheap on eBay.

Rent a luxury car for the evening. Your 2005 Saturn ain’t cuttin’ it this time.

Upon Arrival:

Hang out near (but not too near) the cash bar. Pretend to preoccupy yourself with texts and voicemails. Occasionally speak into your phone (whether or not someone is on the other end is irrelevant).

Try not to be too concerned (or insulted) when people recognize you, even though you are now two decades older and know how to dress and comb your hair. Just because they recognize you doesn’t mean they’re going to call you the same names they did two decades ago. At least not to your face. And especially if you’ve fixed your teeth since then. (You’ve fixed that godawful smile since then, yes?)

If by chance someone attempts conversation with you, highlight your recent achievements. Use the term “passive income” as often as possible. Offer your business card.

If you’re a grad student, there’s no way (in hell) you have passive income, and you probably never will. Instead, you’ll want to quote Chomsky as often as you can get away with. Nietzsche works, too. You get the picture. They’ll get the picture. And when your former classmates ask you who “Gnome Chompsky” is, rest assured, you have demonstrated your superiority once and for all. Raise your glass of house white. Extend your pinky finger. Drive the point home. Wink if you have to. Philosophical knowledge > passive income any day of the week.

If all else fails, get drunk and feel up your childhood enemy’s husband (or wife). Let the chips fall where they may.


Defenestration-Generic Female 01Christina Berchini is a university professor, author, and researcher. In order to escape that life, she writes a lot of fiction, which sometimes feels a little too non-fictiony if she thinks about it hard enough. She is also the creator of www.heycollegekid.com, where she gives advice and tough love to college students. Whether or not they listen to her is another story altogether. Her essays have been published in Five 2 One Magazine, SUCCESS.com, the Huffington Post, and other venues.

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