High School Reunion: Letter from my 18-Year Old Self

By Ashley Robinson

My 10-year high school reunion is next month, and it’s given me a good opportunity to reflect on how I have changed over the past decade … and get motivated to lose some weight. Yeesh!

In preparation of this momentous occasion, I have written a letter from “18-year old Ashley” and then have written a response from “28-year old Ashley” to demonstrate changing priorities and attitudes. Let’s just say, I’m hoping people will find me less angsty and more confident. (And don’t call me Kimmie Gibbler.)

I was clearly inspired by this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFGAQrEUaeU, but I do remember at some point during my senior year, writing something along the lines of the below letter in my journal.  I remember plotting what the reunion would be like with my friend Tara as we sat in my room complaining about our moms, how none of the boys we liked liked us back, and how life was going to be extremely better once we were out of Visalia.

Here goes …

June 2002
Dear Ashley S. Robinson,

I hope you are doing well in 2012. We probably still don’t have flying cars, I bet, right? Also, have you figured out how to do your hair? Would love to know.

Here is a list of demands I would like to see accomplished at the 10-year reunion. Please make sure they come to life.

  • Arrive in a stretch limo. Everyone will be outside by the red carpet and see you pull up. It will be awesome.
  • Wear a dress like Jessica Rabbit. Mom doesn’t let me wear stuff like that now, and I hope one day to be able to have a body like that. Now I am just flat-chested and skinny.
  • Make sure to bring either Paul Walker or James Marsden as your date. Or both.
  • Make sure to bring your Oscar to show off to everyone. And your Emmy and your Tony.
  • Make sure all the guys you have ever been in love with AND the guys who made fun of you are insanely jealous and regret they never paid more attention to “Kimmie Gibbler.”
  • Drink lots of expensive champagne and tell everyone what you really thought of them. And then they will run to the bathroom and cry, like what you did a couple of times during the last six years (includes high school and junior high).
  • Make sure to leave the reunion in a helicopter after dancing an awesome routine in front of everyone.
  • If they are giving out titles, be sure to get the title of “Homecoming Queen.”

Have fun in the sun, get laid in the shade.

Ashley S. Robinson


July 2012
Hey Ashley –

First of all, I’m not addressing you by your whole name. It’s presumptuous in informal writing. You will get the hang of writing like you how you speak, but stay away from that in your college essays. It’s going to get in the way of a decent GPA; I know from experience.

And, nope, no flying cars. But we do have mini-sized computers that we carry around as phones, so that’s pretty cool. And, yea, I kind of have figured out how to do my hair. But I won’t ruin the surprise.

Here are the answers to your “demands.”

  • I am not arriving in a “stretch” limo. Again, it’s presumptuous, and frankly, the best thing I could do is show up with the few friends I have managed to keep in contact with over the past ten years. It was a lot harder than you could have imagined.
  • I will not be wearing anything remotely like what that cartoon character wore, for a number of reasons. One, the reunion will be at the Elk’s Lodge and everyone will be eating tri-tip. Secondly, honey, I still don’t have a body like Jessica Rabbit.
  • So, I am sure this will be hard for you to take, but Paul Walker really hasn’t done much in the last 10 years. He’s made like four “Fast & the Furious” movies, which were lame, and sadly, no sequels to “The Skulls.” Total disappointment. My date will actually be my husband, which considering you never had a boyfriend in high school and became suuuuper awkward around the boys you liked/who might have liked you, I think it’s a pretty good replacement. Also, good call on James Marsden. He is still handsome, and successful.
  • Sadly, no Oscar just yet. I have not given up hope yet. If Al Gore can win one, so can I.
  • I agree, being called Kimmie Gibbler by the guys you had crushes on (not actually in love with, btw) in high school kind of sucked. Also, being called a femi-nazi, loser, lesbian, dork, school girl, book worm, and cheeseball was not really that fun either, particularly when that was the opposite reaction you were looking for. Just because you were enthusiastic, goofy, and confident shouldn’t have meant teasing/bullying. However, you have clearly moved on with your life, so I won’t let that get in the way of being friendly to people (and then I’ll make them regret they were ever mean, MWHAHAHA!).
  • I still do have high expectations for champagne, but I’m not planning to make anyone cry. (Although, no guarantees it won’t happen.) I understand that at the end of high school you were pretty disappointed you were never asked to go to Winter Formal at a football game, never voted president of anything, and never got a solo for the choir show, but, it was character building, and you’ve used that ambition to do enriching things.
  • Clearly, you have watched “Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion” one too many times. That’s not going to happen. (However, it would still be cool if it did.)
  • And you betcha on the “Homecoming Queen” title. Ten years later, and I’m still really bitter about not getting nominated.

Also, you probably shouldn’t have signed “have fun in the sun, get laid in the shade” in everyone’s yearbook. You didn’t even know what that meant at the time. Ugh.


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  1. Alanna says

    Ashley! I love this! My HS reunion is this coming weekend so I’ve also been doing a lot of reflecting back to my 18 year old self. Sometimes it feels like it was yesterday and other times a lifetime ago. =)

  2. Laura Braden says

    And it’s super hard to believe that someone as amazing as you was ever unsure of herself!! Clearly too big for the town you were born into. 🙂

  3. Ashley Robinson says

    Well, most people still thought of me as the girl with the back brace, orthopedic shoes, braces, frizzy hair, and playing the trombone. it was hard to shake that persona for a while. 🙂

  4. Laura Braden says

    Ha! All that means is that you’re getting better with age – nothing sadder than peaking in high school.

  5. Chantel Elder says

    I love this!

    High School was so.. well high school. You played trombone?! I played trumpet with braces and totally went to band camp. Twice. I knew we were kindred!

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