Sunday, May 23, 2004

If I didn't like them then, why would I like them now?

For the third time this month, I have received notification of my upcoming 20th high school reunion. I say "notification" when I really should say "request for money and confirmation of my presence" at the reunion. I don't plan to give them either one.

I say "them", but I really should clarify that "them" is the group of eternally happy people that obviously never picked up on the fact that most people in high school, at least my high school, were just fucking miserable with themselves, with the school, with their rivals, and mostly with life. The "them" have joined forces to create a reunion committee and they have made it their life's work this past few months to track each and every one of the 1984 alumni down, like it or not.

The "notifications" started out nice enough. The initial postal invitation was chirpy, newsy, chock full of sweet, gushing open invitations to come join them, and indicate my response on a (really crappy, yeah I looked) webpage that had been set up to record people's initial comments and RSVP.

The second "notification" was a little less chirpy, a little more to the point, full of deadline dates, locations, hotel information, lists of missing alumni, but still ended on a nice note.

This last notification could not, by the broadest criteria, be classified as either chirpy or gushing. It was downright dour. It even had a list, I shit you not, of questions and answers . . . a kind of FAQ for the reluctant attendees. Truth is stranger than fiction, folks, I couldn't make this horseshit up:

Q: What if I haven't been successful since high school?A: You would be surprised how we have all matured, come anyway

Q: I don't look like I used to. I'm (fat, bald, wrinkled, fill in the blank)A: Join the club! Besides, you still have 80 days until reunion! Plenty of time to rectify that!

The only thing sadder than the thought that people are still worried about rejection from their high school classmates is the thought that there is a group of them out there that feels sure that the only possible reason that you wouldn't want to come to the reunion is because you are a fat, bald, wrinkled loser. Evidently, it never entered their mind that there is simply nothing that draws some of us back or even piques our interest in the kids that we suffered through adolescence with.

I still have contact with the people I cared about. The friends that I no longer see, I don't care to see. The ones that I didn't like then I could care less where they are now.

It's a Catch 22 really. If I don't go, then the attendees will cluck fretfully and assure each other it is because I am probably a "fat, bald, wrinkled loser". If I did go, then I would have to endure a painful night with a smile pasted on my face, just praying for the blessed relief of the conclusion of the night.

Think what they will, I am not going.

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