And I ra-a-an…

My spider sense told me that my 20-year high school reunion was lurking in the shadows. I found a sealed box with what I assume is my collection of high school baubles and ribbons signifiying my my achievement in the field of excellence. When my kids are old enough to appreciate how much of an overachiever I wasam, I will uncork it and let them play the inevitable games with these things. Until then, I have a bigger problem: the invite came today, via email.

Jim,

We are having a reunion in October. Please check out our website so you can decide if you would like to come. I have you down as “undecided”. [Someone] was helping us get your information.

Thank You!

Perhaps I’m a little worn from this weekend’s patriotic fervor, but I noticed there was not even an attempt at a hospitable, saccharine “we hope you can attend.” Just RTFWS. The web site is coy about exactly when and where the gala would occur. It is much easier to find out how much the event costs and which ABA routing number to use when sending the payment.

I inquired. The response was prompt, but as cool as the one above. She revealed the date, but then directed me to the web site. A wave of nostalgia overcame me as I recalled an exchange from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy between Arthur Dent and the guy about to bulldoze his home:

Mr. Prosser: “But the plans were on display …”
Arthur Dent: “On display? I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them.”
Mr. Prosser:“That’s the display department.”
Arthur Dent:“With a torch.”
Mr. Prosser:“Ah, well the lights had probably gone.”
Arthur Dent:“So had the stairs.”
Mr. Prosser:“But look, you found the notice didn’t you?”
Arthur Dent:“Yes, yes I did. It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying ‘Beware of the Leopard.’

My friend Scott and I attended the 10-year reunion together. He flew out from San Jose. I drove up from Austin. Our wives wisely stayed home. Scott and I camped out at his folks’ place in golfer’s paradise before heading out to the shindig which involved a randomly-organized picnic and a semi-formal ceremony.
Both of us felt out of place.

My graduating class was over six hundred people large. As full-time Rock Star/part-time office worker Debbie would say, “Jeebus, that’s huge.” Many of the folks I had hoped to connect with didn’t show up. A disproportionate number of people who I didn’t… um… embrace wholeheartedly back in the mid-80s were in attendance. I would have been happy to overlook this had the programme not been so skewed towards stupid, self-indulgent crap that I loathed during my years there. Rah! Rah! Gooooooooo Team!

I reconnected with a very small handful of people I had hoped to see. We tried keeping in touch, but after six months, the
Classmates.com
phenomena manifested itself: we had very little in common. I’m not sure if it’s going to be much worse because we’re twice as old as when we last spoke. Or, maybe the age smoothes stuff out and, now that we all have some interesting baggage, there’s something to talk about.

Out of curiosity, I checked the current list. Ninety-two have said they’ll attend. Not surprisingly, most are living within a day trip of the greater Houston metroplex. Sixty are “undecided.” (That’s me, on the upper-left coast, bitching that it’s midnight and still 72°F outside.) Fourteen have indicated they will not attend. That leaves over 430 people unaccounted for with a scant two weeks until the registration cutoff. The odds are looking unfavorable …

Should I attend? Vote here.

7/17/2005 Update: The people have spoken! Over 91% of the respondents said “Skip it because you don’t want to look like that Flock of Seagulls guy.”

I’ve decided not to attend because the it’s a hefty trip out. (I don’t have the long hair issue the singer above does.) While my former classmates are partaking in their reunion festivities, I’m going to ride the Unpopulaire

3 thoughts on “And I ra-a-an…

  1. I skipped my 10 year reunion to go to a dance event. I admit there was a tiny bit of morbid curiosity, but the one person from my class that I’ve kept in touch with went and filled me in. My high school class was 400 people, and the school’s strongest movie resemblance is Heathers. I highly doubt I’ll even consider my 20 year.

  2. As noted in my blog, I am on my 20 year reunion “steering committee”. We purposely are not doing any web or outside support for the event set-up and are doing it ourselves, so any calls/emails that come in are answered by someone in the know.

    I went to the 10 year and it was okay. I think the 20 year will be more interesting since people will have mellowed a bit. My class was only about 400 people – one of the smallest 5A schools in Texas at the time – so it is a tighter knit group.

    The “interesting” thing (maybe not the right word, but will do for now) about some of the steering committee discussions is not only tracking down everyone, but figuring out who’s dead. We know of two people so far (the prom queen comitted suicide in her early 20s, one guy died in a car accident), which I thought is actually a low percentage for 400 people over 20 years.

  3. Argh! You just reminded me that it’s 20 years since I finished High School (years 7-10 in this part of Oz – years 11 & 12 are in separate schools known as Colleges) this year. No doubt there are people out there even now trying to organize some sort of reunion<shudder>.

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