Iron Laws of High School Reunions

Dan Drezner recently attended his 20th high school reunion and offers several interesting observations. Among them:

1) Physically and emotionally, the men will have changed much more than the women. This is mostly physiology — boys mature later, and are the ones who go bald. Plus, if they’re very, very lucky, the men will also meet someone who can dress them better than when they were in high school.

3) That person you had a crush on in tenth grade? They’re still going to look good twenty years later.

6) There will always be at least one woman who has given birth to many children in recent years but look like they could do a guest-hosting stint on E!’s Wild On series.

Having attended my own 10th and 20th reunions, I would offer a corollary to the above: There will be at least one woman who was hot in high school but no longer is but nonetheless thinks she still is. Ditto the reverse–ugly ducklings who emerged as swans but lack awareness of same. Women, much more than men, still define themselves by who they were in high school. Possible exceptions include men who were star athletes or otherwise peaked as teenagers.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Dave Schuler says:

    I continue to hope that I didn’t peak as a teenager. Or as a 20-something. Or 30-something. Or in my forties. Or…

  2. Mark says:

    There will also be at least one person everyone considered a loser destined to end up working minimum wage jobs for the rest of his life who shows up as a multi-millionaire…

  3. John Burgess says:

    All of the above, plus:

    The people who were assholes are still assholes;
    The nice people are still nice people

    I’ve also noted (and I’m past my 40th reunion) that reunions lead to marriages. Some of those fall apart quickly; most seem to last.