You may remember 2004-2006 as the years that Laguna Beach aired on MTV, chronicling the lives of real teens in a casual way. This weekend marks their ten-year high school reunion (in actual real life).
At some point over the weekend Lo Bosworth Instagrammed herself with soulmate Lauren Conrad, the heroes of Laguna Beach, and later The Hills. A decade later, Lauren is known for gluing seashells to shit on Pinterest pretty much around the clock, and Lo is to be celebrated still, for never giving in and just straight up murdering Audrina Patridge. Even though she really seemed like she wanted to.
Did you know that when you remember something, you are actually remembering the last time you remembered it? Memory is a bricolage, a palimpsest. Even moreso when your high school experience is mediated by producers, cameras, shit-stirring wannabes, and off-camera issues. But through it all, friendship remains. Just imagine it! An extremely limited number (3) of our old Laguna pals, awkwardly making conversation, remembering their memories. Coming clean, as it were.
Her caption—"Um, we invented Post-Its. # LBHS10YearReunion"—is exactly the sort of pithy material we're used to getting from Miss Bosworth. (She refers here to the movie Romy & Michele's High School Reunion, which came to theaters in April of 1997, when Lo was a world-wise ten years of age.) Lo continues to be everything good about this world. By comparison, here is a picture from Audrina's Instagram three weeks ago, when she was on vacation:
"Welcome to the land of vitality #chungjung," she writes. Always a fan of vitality, that one. Why, a livelier personality I have yet to find on even the smallest and most niche of cable networks. If our great green world called Earth had a lampshade on its head, the lampshade would turn out to be that lovable scamp Audrina, pictured above on her vacation in the land of vitality. But who's that over there?
Jen Bunney is here! JEN BUNNEY IS HERE! Jen Bunney is hard to explain. I'm not even going to try. I will just say that having Jen Bunney at your party is just as bad and just as great as having no Jen Bunney at your party, and I see no reason that wouldn't be true ten years later. (Even if she brings her giant groom the Teeth.) Here's proof, a picture of Jen with Heidi from last year, looking collected:
The rest of the class of 2004 either does not matter, or failed to attend. Here is what they are up to. It comes with its own handy comparison shot.
@dieterschmitz, the sweetest but least interesting person on the entire show, even Audrina, says: "From senior prom to 10 years later for the first wedding last weekend for Ben. @benjammin2686 @jonathonbernard @stephencolletti @treyphillips lucky to have such great friends my whole life."
Indeed. Especially lucky to have dreamy Stephen Colletti making the same doofy face in both shots, as though no time had passed at all, because for his dumb face it has not: Here's a recent picture of Stephen, which he describes as "my new headshot."
I do see his tween-ass looking face. But I also see somebody else, a bottle of wine, and a giant duck. He was always a dry wit, I suppose. (Even in the bath.) Imagine him, dried off and standing at the double doors, making that one same face... And what if his one-time true love, Kristen Cavallari herself, were to enter wearing the same gown? Why, I'm sure she'd be as inscrutable as ever:
"Selfies are good luck now," a jovial but profound Kristen posits. I think we can all take comfort in the fact, if she's right. And even if she's not, which seems unlikely, at least they're fun! Like this one, of everybody's one-time true love Jason Wahler:
...In which he and his wife, model Ashley Slack, are dressed as quote "Maverick and Goose!! #Betterlatethannever." Truer words, Jason. If Goose had lived, perhaps he and Iceman would have gotten a horrible dog together. I'm glad you are alive but we don't have to stand around talking about it, Jason. Not when just past your shoulder is superstar and whirlwind of nightmare Stephanie Pratt, who woke up being eaten last week:
"We woke up like this," she explains, garnering over thirteen thousand "likes." And through the looking glass we have Stephanie's erstwhile enemy/shadow self, g ood old Heidi Pratt, keepin' it real as usual for Halloween (every day is Halloween when you are Heidi Pratt):
"My pumpkin!" Heidi writes gleefully. Then she takes a slug of wine, grabs that knife, and heads back in. One day that pumpkin will be perfect.
And what of Whitney? Curious and vaguely driven Whitney Port, supportive Serena van der Woodsen to Lauren Conrad's declawed Blair Waldorf on The Hills, didn't go to LBHS. (She went to the Crossroads School for Arts & Sciences in Santa Monica, which Wikipedia tells us is currently building a new science building on the southwestern corner of campus that is scheduled for completion by next summer.) Here is a picture of her just walking somewhere in a coat she made herself from nightshade blossoms and tinkerbell whispers.
Meanwhile, people who are also doing great are Justin:
#punksnotdead #FTWsometimes #oi SpagettiBrains #areyouaspagettibrain?
hair she comes, hair she goes
You know you don't wanna call that your boyfriend. (I still do.) But perhaps the most telling and bittersweet is this (necessary?) update from Kristen:
I didn't go to the Laguna Beach HS reunion this past weekend bc I didn't graduate with that class. I was a year behind everyone else.
— Kristin Cavallari (@KristinCav) December 1, 2014
It says so, so much if you look between the lines. One looks forward to next year's reunion, in which another generation of real-live teens will return to the Laguna from which they came, and reflect on their reflections some more. Who knows? K-Cav has to go, now that she's thrown down the Twitter gauntlet: Just like she wrapped Season Three of Laguna around her finger, and then returned in an evil, haggard form for the lesser, ending seasons of The Hills, so too will her reunion be hotter, raggedy, ready to blow.
"hair she comes," mystic Justin Bobby will remember saying, and we'll remember remembering it. But that's all we know, for now. The rest is still unwritten.