Disclaimer: You literally need to have been a classmate of mine to really follow what comes next. You’ve been warned.
I hope this note finds you all well. I’m truly sorry for missing this particular reunion. I always assumed I would be able to make it out for these milestone ones, but I’m on a big dumb adventure at the moment, the sort of thing I should have done last year so I could strut in to the reunion like an asshole and talk about how great Europe is
“Oh you’ve never been to France? Well let me tell you, blah blah blah *farts*”
Did you think you would feel this way 20 years later? By “this way” I mean, not completely adult, still figuring stuff out, in a lot of ways not different than your 18 year old self? I thought I’d feel older by now. I am starting to look older. My beard is starting to grow out and I think grey is winning the war for dominance over my face. I don’t hate it, it’s sort of cool, actually. My excessive baldness is not cool, but I started losing the hair just out of high school so I am reserved to it.
Real question for you all: Did we have any bullies in our class? I may be looking at our class with rose colored glasses, so correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t remember us having much in the way of bullying. We had assholes, but nothing of the sort of impotent rage fueled meatheads who needed to impose themselves on others just to be shitty (the Scott Fargus’s of the world), the sort that existed just a couple of years ahead of us. Why is that? Or was I just not seeing it? I’m genuinely curious. It’s not like we were a social utopia at all, I just don’t remember VILLIANS.
And in case anyone thinks I’m glowing about how great high school was, of course it was torture. A nightmare made up of testosterone and hormones and slow dances and morning wood bad hair and social pratfalls. I’m just far enough removed now that I can recognize that it’s not any other people’s fault. That’s just what high school is if you are doing it correctly.
As I was growing up, I would have said “I want to move to a different school. Somewhere I would be a fresh face, where no one would remember the incredibly ugly bowl haircut I sported for far too long, or how goofy I was for uh, well, all of school, really. Now that I have been out of school longer than I was in it, I’m happy for the bizarre blessing of being able to know so many of you throughout your own awkward hairdos and fashion choices. There’s a comfort in catching up with someone over Facebook and being able to tell my wife when she asks who I’m talking with “Yeah I’ve known them since I was like, 5.”
On the downside, she also asks me who it is if I’m getting into some sort of political argument (some of these fights I admit, I started). It’s strange to say “Yeah I think he/she is totally wrong and being an idiot but it’s okay, I’ve known them since I was like, 5.”
To those of you who I disagree with politically, please know that if we were face-to-face I would still disagree with you, but we would probably be disagreeing over a beer or two while laughing and giving each other shit. Social media tends to remove a lot of the funnier parts of human interaction, boiling down conversations down to rage-splosions at their worst.
To all of you, I wish you well over the next 20 years and hope that we can continue to keep tabs on one another at a bare minimum. Barring a zombie apocalypse, I’m sure that will not be a problem, so while I am cyber stalking your alumni day parade photos, have a beer for me and stay well.