Monday, July 09, 2007

High School Revisited

Ever have the feeling that time is passing by much faster than is strictly necessary? Yeah, me too. Despite all my efforts to ignore it, hoping that doing so would make it go away, I am faced with the horrifying reality that during the last month or so twenty years have passed.

Sure, I've had a vague awareness that the years have been sliding by. Usually this awareness occurs when Son expresses his horror that I grew up in the Dark Ages before DVDs and, gasp, IPods or when he asks, in all seriousness, if I came across the plains via covered wagon. But rarely does anyone shove that reality in front of me and insist that I accept it. Rarely. But it does happen.

Like recently when it came to my attention that my graduating high school class is holding a reunion next month. I brought up the subject with Hubs, simply to demonstrate that due to circumstances beyond my control, I'm now officially very, very old. Missing the point entirely (as he does) he asked, "So are we going?"

"Um, no."

"Why not?"

"Well, I'd love too, really I would. But I have pressing, not to mention less painful plans that evening and I'm afraid I simply can't change them."

"Like what?"

"I thought I'd start the evening by pouring hot tar down my ear canals then finish up by pulling out my toenails with pliers."

"Not my good pliers, though, right?"

"Yes, your good pliers. So you see, it's just not going to be possible to make the reunion."

"Oh come on. Why not go?"

"Look, do you remember high school? At all?"

"It couldn't have been that bad."

"No. No it wasn't. It was much worse."

"Really? Were you, like, openly mocked? Shunned? Shoved in a locker?"

"Well, no. I was invisible. I was ignored. It's hard to shove an invisible person in a locker, especially while you're ignoring them."

So, no. When I first heard about it, I wasn't terribly excited by the prospect of the high school reunion. High School may have been fun for some but for me? Not so much. Until recently, I remember my high school experience as something akin to being required to attend a party every day, but being forced to stay in the corner, bound and gagged by insecurity and pathological shyness, limited to nothing more than lonely observation.

But then I started to remember other things. There were people who were kind. There were people I enjoyed talking to and being with. There are people I still think about and I wonder what ever happened to them. There were good times. Maybe it would be fun to see some of those people again. And maybe the last twenty years have taught me something. (Not a lot, obviously, but maybe something.) Those cool "visible" people who never realized I was there? Maybe they weren't nearly as secure or cool as I once believed. Maybe they were mere mortals, after all. Well, not Jed, naturally, but everyone else.

Maybe it would be fun to go to the reunion after all.

Does perspective come with age?



Ajoy said...

AHHHHHH! You nailed the H.S. reunion perfectly! I'm going to have to link back to this :)

Laura A. said...

What are you doing leaving comments on this blog, ajoy?! You're supposed to be my friend! And you didn't tell me about this blog--I had to trawl through my high school reunion message board to find out that Stacey is as witty and funny and, let's face it, twisted as I am!


Tillie said...

Good words.