Wednesday, July 29, 2009

OHS Class of '69

40th high school reunion is coming up - do I type My or Our or My class's ? They are 3 very different things, and it is all very confusing.

I'm going to skip over the whole "where did the time go?" and "how did I/we get so old?" stuff and get right to the nitty gritty - what will I wear?

Actually, that's the easy part of the whole thing. It's the people part that's weirding me out.

TBG is sending me off to The Big Apple alone, and I'm just as glad. We met years after high school was over (so over) and he's not a piece of that action. My date is My True Friend (MTF) and we've run out of ways to say that we can hardly wait. Her aunt's apartment or the hotel I found - it doesn't matter. Staying 3 days or 4 days or maybe even 5 is sounding better and better as the date draws nigh.

Ours was an accomplished class (... and all the children are above average.....) and there are one or two really famous people who'll be attending. I'm not sure that anyone knew back in 1969 whose star would rise or whose would fall. Big Shots went off to college where they were promptly relegated to Little Shot status; they were freshman boys, after all. Pretty girls drank too much and partied too hard and bad things happened. People who flourished just under the radar became household names. We turned into dentists and lawyers and authors and activists and we were right in the middle of the Boomer Generation. Paths had been paved, but there were many roads yet to travel. We were young at the right time, there's no denying it.

I think I'm better now than I was then. Certainly, I'm happier with myself. I've earned every wrinkle and every grey hair and I'm not ashamed to show them to the world. "I am who I am" sounds better today than it did when I was 17. My worries are fewer and my psyche is more peaceful and the things which I allow to intrude on my bliss are unavoidable as opposed to being thrust in my face in the hall after English. This reunion won't be tough; I'm in a good place and.....

And that's when I pause and begin to fret. Yes, fret. I know, I know..... it's been 40 years for crying out loud and what was was and what is is but somehow, for high school, what was still is.

(Did you ever read R.D.Laing's The Politics of Experience ? His rant on my experience of you will leave you with the same kind of headache that my last sentence just provided.)

Anyway, maybe that's the thing about high school. You never really leave it behind. The Cuters compared their college teachers to their high school teachers. Victories on the playing field live just as large today as they did 42 years ago for TBG. SAT scores are remembered and class rank is gloated over and somehow it almost matters just as much today as it did then .

What was still is? Perhaps more than we'd like to admit that it does.

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