My Old School

We had our 28th reunion Saturday. Actually, it was the class of ’82’s 30th. They combined it with the classes of 1983 and 1984. We’re at that strange age now where some of us still look young, some of us look our age (44-49), and some of us… Well, more of us will look like the last group at the next reunion.

With each reunion I attend, high school gets further and further in the rear view mirror. All the major drama of our high school years now looks pretty stupid. And naturally, across three decades, we’ve all changed. We look like our parents. In ten years, we’ll look like our grandparents.

In the past, I’d show up at reunions and people would spot me before I’d even get my name tag on. This was the first time people had to squint. “You kinda look like your Facebook photo.”

When I was in high school, I was the quiet kid, never fought, never caused trouble. (Nita will be shocked to read that I was the “quiet kid.”) I was also pretty sheltered. Now I’m comparing notes on divorces and telling one lady that, yes, the second marriage is almost always better than the first.

There was one gent who was pretty bizarre in high school. Some of this was chemically induced. Some of it was just “being different.” He moved to Australia and returned to America for the first time in years. And meeting him after last seeing him in 1987 or 88, much of high school all came home and made sense. (And the really cool mutant cross between Aussie and Midwest accents.) He was probably the funniest, warmest guy at the reunion. I told several people, “Matt brings out the worst in all of us. I like that about him.”

One guy I played ball with in Little League. Over a couple of beers, we reminisced about how good he was and how bad I was. I recalled an incident where I tried to steal second without realizing there was someone on second base. (I though the guy on third had scored already! Honest!) He said it doesn’t matter. We weren’t good enough for the majors, saving the Yankees about $10 million a year a piece. I understood that, but I relayed how about ten years ago, I watched an MLB game (The Rangers, I think, but it might have been Tampa Bay.) where a runner on first did the exact same thing. I told my friend I sat there screaming at the screen “You get paid $3 million a year! I was twelve years old and sucked in Little League! What the hell’s your excuse!”

I told some cross country buds that I’d started running after a brief 28 year recovery time. Both my friends were varsity runners and told me tales of bad knees and back surgeries. I said I knew these are problems at our age, but I’ve just slimmed down from Damn! through fluffy to husky.

We’ve gotten older and wiser along with fatter (or thinner), grayer, and craggier. Can’t wait to see what we look like with AARP cards.

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