It doesn’t seem possible it’s been 30 (GULP!) YEARS! since I and a hundred+ others made our exit from high school. C’mon! How can this be? I remember my PARENTS (and they were totally ancient then) planning their 25th reunion, from the same high school I might add. This can’t possibly be happening to me, to us, my classmates of yore.
I hear myself using the phrase ‘back in the day’ a lot lately. I don’t like that, no, sir. I don’t like that one bit! Excuse me a moment, “Hey, you kids! Get outta my yard!” Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah, Thirty Years High School Reunion.
I have to say that I really loved school. It was small and, as mentioned, we only had a little over a hundred in our graduating class. The even cooler part was I’d known most of those people since kindergarten. I remember my first day very well. My big brother walked me to the door of Mrs. Lacey’s classroom before heading off to his own homeroom. See, Mom, we didn’t ALWAYS fight. As I stepped into the door I saw one of my best friends, a boy named Tom. What a relief! His mom had been my baby sitter for the past couple years. Tom was also the only boy out of the three at the sitter who managed to escape being chased down, pinned to the ground, and kissed by yours truly. I was a bit boy crazy even as a five-year-old apparently.
Luckily, Tom did not spring to his feet and run when he saw me coming that time. I went over to where he sat on the floor playing with some rubber animals in a toy box. I distinctly remember the giraffe for some reason. Oddly, my only other clear memory of kindergarten also involves a boy I kissed. This was Gregory. I wonder if he remembers? We sealed our love with a kiss behind the mobile bookcase just prior to heading to the playground for recess. Ah, Gregory, where are you now? Sadly, Gregory and his family moved away and we didn’t make it to 1984 together.
Apparently I wasn’t too heartbroken as I found my next boyfriend, David, quickly enough. In the grand scheme of things it was looking pretty good for David and I. We were ‘an item’ from First to Third grade and then again in Fifth. Fourth grade took me temporarily away from my known friends and into the realm of strangers. Back then there were two elementary schools and I was given the option of spending that year in the other one. Best decision I ever made as an exiting third grader! I made some pretty awesome new friends! If they are reading this they know who they are. (Sherry, Jay, DeRue)
The building I know as the middle school was the high school back in my parents’ day. I tried to be athletic during those four years. I joined the girls’ softball team. I remember playing basketball on a four person team, David (yes, THAT same David), Ted, Ruth and I. I gave tennis a shot. I head-butted Rob off the top off a pile of snow while playing “King Of The Mountain” during recess and got in trouble for calling him an a-hole. Oops! These were also the days that saw the most hideous school picture ever known to man. Let’s not even go beyond that confession. Middle school saw me leave behind my dear David for ‘the new kid’, Steve.
I began my freshman year of high school in September 1979. Monty Python’s “Life of Brian” premiered that year, The Knack’s, “My Sharrona” was topping the charts, and President Carter was attacked by a rabbit while on a canoe trip in Plains, Georgia. Of course, all I can envision now is the killer rabbit from Monty Python’s “Quest for the Holy Grail”. I was, still am, a big Monty Python fan. It cost 15 cents to mail a First Class letter and gas was a whopping 86 cents per gallon. It was during this period I had it pounded into my head to turn off the light when you leave a room, “There’s an energy crisis going on, you know?” Um, okay, Dad, whatever you say.
I wasn’t popular in high school, but I don’t think I was scorned either. I was weird. I was kinda proud of my weirdness. I was goth before goth was goth, I guess you could say. I wore black, a lot! My fingernails were painted black. Black eyeliner was about the only make-up I ever wore. My friends were into punk rock. My friends were nerds. My friends were football players and cheerleaders. I only recently learned I was considered a bit of nerd, too. I’m still not sure how I feel about that label. I read a lot, but I was by no means uber smart, though my IQ said otherwise, which my guidance counselor was quick to point out to me. Hell, I barely passed basic algebra. I was just me and if me wasn’t good enough for others to be around, I took no offense.
Before I knew it, it was 1984 and I was donning a dress, high heels and a white cap and gown. What happened? When did I suddenly become a senior? What was I going to do with my life now? I had no plans for college. My only plan was a trip to England later than year. Pomp and Circumstance played, we did our walk, we got our diplomas and we threw our caps into the air. WWwwweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
Then BAM!!! here we are, thirty years later! I swear to God I don’t remember that much time passing and they say it only gets worse. I really don’t even want to think about how fast the next thirty years are going to go by. How is it possible my ‘baby’ is 21 when I JUST graduated from high school??
At a previous reunion, maybe it was our 10th, a classmate that I considered more of an acquaintance than a friend came up to me and said something very profound, something that brings a tear to my eye when I think about it. She told me how much she admired me in high school. I was stunned and must have looked as much. She went on to explain how she always thought it was so cool how I didn’t do what everyone else was doing back then, that I was true to myself and who I was. She said she never had the nerve to do that. Wow, and this was from one of the Popular Girls! WHA??
In just over two weeks we’ll all be gathering again to do some catching up. There are people I am looking forward to seeing and others maybe not quite so much. There are those I wish could be there, who won’t be. We’re getting a tour of the middle school this time around which will be awesome. Sadly, we’ve already lost some of our classmates, but we will carry on in their memory and honor them with stories in some small way.
Thirty years, sheesh. Unbelievable!