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(Romy and Michele and) Nora’s High School Reunion - TTFA Premium - Transcript

This is a transcript of a “TTFA Premium” episode entitled, “(Romy and Michele and) Nora’s High School Reunion.” The text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future for accuracy.

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Hello everybody, this is Nora McInerny. This is an episode of our podcast that is available in its entirety over at TTFA Premium. 

TTFA Premium is our subscribers-only feed where we put bonus content, where we put ad-free episodes, where we put some full-length guest interviews. It is a way to financially support our show, and if that is something you are interested in doing and able to do, it is a couple bucks a month, and you can sign up at TTFA dot org slash Premium. That’s TTFA dot org slash Premium. 

Thank you! And enjoy.


Hello Terribles. It's Nora McInerny. I'm in my closet and I am creating this episode for you somewhat spontaneously for my little Premiums. I think that's what we're going to call you. I'm sorry, I'm a Premium. I am a Premium. You're all Premiums. 

I am 38 years old. I'm 38, and I checked the calendar and it is 2021. And I was so shocked, appalled, offended to learn that it has been 20 years since I graduated from high school. Twenty years since I graduated from high school. Which means ... [drumroll]. There was going to be a high school reunion. 

My closest friends from high school are also people that I met in second grade. Erin, Cara, Gene. We ended up going to high school together. We ended up staying friends through college, adulthood, weddings, funerals, all of these things. 

And I was not invited to this high school reunion, OK? I was not invited to the reunion, but Erin was! Erin got an email and she forwards it to our group of friends, and she's like, “See you there!” And I was like, “Will you though, will you? Will you see us there?” The date, I think was for the first weekend in August. She sends this email around like May or June. And I'm like, “First of all, obviously, I'm deeply offended that I wasn't invited.” I also was not super invited to the 10-year. I refuse to take that personally. Just kidding, I can take anything personally. One of my special skills.

We agree that we will go. Erin now lives in Colorado. I live in Arizona. Our other friends still live in Minnesota. And we just think, you know, we're going to make this a weekend. And that's the plan. OK? That's the plan. 

And for months, this is the plan. And we have a text chain about it, and we are excited about it. And we are also … we're trying to hype each other up about it, like, “Oh, will this person be there? Will your crush be there? Will this person be there?” And simultaneously, we are all feeling a little bit anxious. A little bit anxious, kind of a lot a bit anxious.

And I really have a lot of affection for my high school. I have a lot of affection for my high school. We sent our oldest son there. We transferred him in because it's a small school and it is private, but not snobby, nor is it, you know, extremely expensive when compared to the other schools.

And so after 20 years, or even 15 years, I had sort of like, put a lot of Vaseline over the lens and decided, like, no, I loved high school and everything was great. And I understand now why people don't want to go to their high school reunions. I get it. I get why. And I think it's because those versions of us are just trapped in amber, you know? They exist there. And walking those same hallways as a parent, eventually, at that same high school I went to, as a parent, I could feel that version of me. I could feel the version of me who cried in the bathroom because two boys who were not even that good looking, you know, if we're really going to get into it, fellas, would like, call me ugly until I cried. Like would not stop until I cried. And, man, eff those guys. You know, like that version of me is still there. The version of me who like, got her braces off and like suddenly was like, hot s-h-i-t, just like, any sort of teen movie where you change one, of course, physical feature about a girl and suddenly, oh wait no, she's great. And she has a good personality. You know, the version of me who was like, too loud, unkind, had poor impulse control. The version of me who, by the way, had undiagnosed inattentive ADHD and just was struggling, struggling. They all live in those hallways, too. 

And there is something about being in that space, being with people who knew you before, where you are sure they will not be able to see who you are now. And it is, for so many of us, this desperation to be seen as you are or as you hope you are through a fully new lens. You want people to be able to see that you are different than you were 10 years ago or 20 years ago and ... I get that, I get that. 

My dad also went to my high school. So did my siblings, so did my grandfather, very briefly. He was expelled after two weeks for smoking on campus, which, it was like 19, you know, 11, like give the guy a break, OK? I'm pretty sure kids were like, smoking when they came out of the womb at that point in time. But, neither here nor there. I will get justice. I will get my grandfather a posthumous diploma if that's what it takes to restore honor to this family. 

So our high school for that reason has like some importance in our family. And my dad, I remember he went to his high school reunion right before I entered high school. It was his 30-year reunion the summer before I started. And he was jazzed about it. He was jazzed about it. So that when he dropped me off on my first day, he was like, “Oh, wait, see that girl? I think I know her face. Ask her if her dad's name is Greg.” I'm like, Dad, you just dropped me off. I'm not asking this strange girl if her dad's name is Greg, OK? I'm not going to do that. Her dad's name was Greg, her dad did go to high school with my dad. So, before I get into the story of actually going to my high school reunion, I did find a couple pieces of evidence from those years. Evidence.


So here is my freshman year yearbook. Part of the odyssey of preparing for this reunion meant that we revisited ... our source materials, OK. So my friends and I are going through boxes and boxes of things and one of those things is our yearbook. So this is my high school yearbook, which, again, like I pray this has not outlived its usefulness. I think there is something to real life things. I think there's something to paper. And so we're going to read some inscriptions in my yearbook that I think will sum up my freshman year pretty well, OK.

First of all, I can't read kids’ handwriting, OK? [laughs] I think one of the saddest things about my yearbook is that I can remember ... there were a few boys who were juniors when we were freshmen. And we thought they were so beautiful, so handsome. We were obsessed with them. We knew everything about them. We knew who their girlfriends were, obviously, it was a small school, but like they were our celebrities. I could have published a daily US Weekly about these guys. And I remember walking up to them at the last dance of the year and asking them to sign my yearbook. And this guy was a wrestler, and he was so handsome. He looked just like, hmm god, he was just like a beefcake. He was blonde, not my type, but super tan. And also I'd never heard him talk, I'd never once heard him speak. And he wrote this: 

“Nora, you appear to be very intelligent, funny and friendly. I have noticed that you are very outspoken. I hope you enjoyed your freshman year.”

[laughs] Those are three observations. He tried so hard. Reading this, I'm so embarrassed that I gave this dude, and I'm so proud of him for being a cool popular boy who wrote three whole sentences. I read those sentences, I absorbed them. I was like, “I appear to be intelligent, funny and friendly? He's noticed that I am outspoken and he hopes I enjoyed my freshman year?!” He loves me. We'll get married. Oh, my God. Where is he now? 

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