At the last high school reunion I attended, I saw a woman I thought I recognized, but I wasn’t sure. I said to her, “Excuse me, you look like Helen Green.” She said, “Yeah, well you look like crap in blue.”
The 29th and 30th of this month, I’ll be hanging out with friends for our 40th high school reunion. WHAT?? 40th?? That can’t be possible! That would mean that I’m getting older, and I know that’s not the case. There must be a huge mistake and I’m going to look into it, immediately!
Amazingly, as we all grow older and I see pictures on Facebook, everyone looks pretty much the same as they did in 1974. And they are really good people. I just don’t like the fact that they will discover I lived up to the label they pinned on me of “The guy most likely to have 73 jobs before he’s 50”.
Seriously, none of us have really changed all that much. The last time I went to one, I ran into a guy who used to be a stoner and a bully in school. He had more weed in him that night than Willie Nelson on a tour bus. He looked at my name tag and said, “Jerry Mabbott; did I beat the crap out of you in high school?” I said “No”. He replied, “Well, if I did, I’m sorry”. Then he staggered off to apologize to the next classmate.
On the plus side, class reunions give us a chance to re-visit life at 17 or 18, or in the bully’s case, 27. It’s a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends and reminisce about our youth, talk about teachers and other notable people that helped shape our lives. The the only negative is that we re-visit life at 17 or 18.
Let’s face it. We thought we knew it all, but we had barely learned about life. How else could I possibly think that driving 100 miles per hour through town was a good idea? Yeah, I really did – and on a fairly regular basis. I was an idiot and, as I said, nothing has really changed.
It almost seems like it was decades ago. I think about Billy Joel’s hit, “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant”, where the most popular couple in high school made the tragic mistake of getting married right after graduation. You’re not supposed to start on your first divorce until your early 20’s. Everyone knows that. Otherwise, how will you reconcile having five ex’es before 50?
That many divorces is only acceptable if you’re in showbiz or taking lots of meds for the mentally ill. Nothing needs to be explained in either case. It makes perfect sense. Remember the “drama people”, who were labeled the weirdos in school? They’re the ones we now revere as the famous rich people. Don’t kid yourself, they’re still as strange as ever. They’ve just found a permanent vehicle to act out their craziness.
Can you picture Robin Williams in high school? I’m guessing he got beaten worse than a piñata. The things we find entertaining now are not quite the same when we were much younger.
Still, in the grand scheme of things, I would re-live my high school days in a heartbeat. I had a blast, and I know I will at the reunion. This time, however, I’m going to steer clear of Helen Green.
See you tomorrow.
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