A milestone event with the prerequisite of either great success or an engagement ring is the half-anticipated mostly-dreaded masquerade of what have you accomplished since Senior year superlatives, aka your 10 year High School reunion. I recently attended my very own 10-year, and while it took copious amounts of alcohol to endure, I had a really jovial time scanning the room and recognizing the powerful archetypes.
A la Commedia Dell’Arte masks, there are some distinct and colorful High School Reunion masks that one should prepare for prior to putting on that “I tried to not try looking good for this” outfit.
The Archetypes of your 10-Year High School Reunion
Arlecchino | Childlike & Amorous | The class president stock character, who has to like everyone with genuine sincerity, and have a full-blown interest in everyone’s dull trajectory since high school (even if the person in question has done nothing but get married right out of college). Our Arlecchino must be witty, jovial, and amorous. He should also have light blue eyes for deep soul penetration.
Brighella | The Villain Who Will Do Anything For Money | The chick you never talked to in High School because her plastic smile and pristine complexion repelled your inner bullshit-radar. She is currently married to another poster-child of happy & suppressed, and they have a one-year old who is already potty trained.
Il Capitano| Bold & Swaggering | This is that dude who now works at a swanky law firm in the nearest major city. He was likely the class secretary, or a replacement for Vice President when the former one dropped out to pursue alternative “pleasures” of music and mania. He also does lots of Cross-Fit.
Il Dottore | The Doctor & The Learned | The genius loner who won the PI “π” contest for most numbers recited. He eats all of the hors d’oeuvres off the reunion tables, and mills around making ambient eye-contact. He probably has the cure for Cancer in his hands — if only he’d talk.
Pantalone | Rich & Retired | This is the homemaker with 3 kids. There’s always one (or fifteen, if you grew up in the suburbs). She makes you want to resuscitate her into making big moves, but then you realize you should likely focus on your own future & stop projecting your laziness onto others.
Pulcinella | The Cruel Bachelor | The too-many-drugs-since-graduation-guy. The one who asks you if you can speak to animals, because he can, and is doing it right now. Like, right now. On a different frequency.
Scarramuccia | Robin Hood | This is the stray husband of that quiet chick who you never really talked to, but was in most of your classes. Homeboy came along to support his lady, but just looks like the coat check.
Inamorato | The Lover | The still-single guy looking for love in all the recyclable places.
Inamorata | The Lover, the female counterpart | The drunk wife of the dude from 5th period History Class. She loves you, and all of the people you’re talking to, because she got her hubby to buy 10 too many drink tickets to support the $3000 deficit your class president is in for coordinating this event without the help of a professional.
Columbina | Harlequin | The chick who can’t control the volume of her voice. And also self-diagnoses herself with diseases mid-sentence. “Sorry, I’m epileptic. I spend most of my week working with inner-city youth, so you’re in LA now?” She shares her frustrations openly about the amazing one-night-stand who just won’t text her back. And when you suggest that perhaps it’s because he’s not great with technology, she reveals he’s a tech guy!
La Ruffiana | The Village Gossip | The sly gossip who has so much to say about everyone’s new life, ridiculous outfit, and average-looking husband. While she’s toxic, she provides a nice reprieve from the same-old High School Reunion prompts.
Cantarina & Ballerina | The Musical Act | The couple that stayed together since High School — living proof that true love exists, or that people are in fact dumb enough to never grow up. And they haven’t aged a day. How do they do that?
There are also many minor characters — like the actress who has had a full resume of featured extra roles, that girl who is the only one who dances when the music changes, and of course the odd couple that you didn’t realize even knew each other, but is currently married and living in Baltimore.
Ultimately, the 10-year Reunion is really a test of your willpower to finish out the most traumatic decade of your life. Because come your 30s, these stock characters will have grown children running amuck carrying out their parents’ legacy, and you have to be ready to hire, fire, or marry them off to one of your own offsprings.
Can’t wait for the 20-year!