Tuesday, June 24, 2014

1984, Just Like it Was Yesterday


1984
Twenty years ago this summer I went to my 10 year high school reunion. Moving beyond the excessive air intake in realizing just how incredibly old I now am, I can say, with fondness, that it was a most wonderfully dull evening.

Which is not to say, at all, that I didn't have a good time. I did, I loved the whole experience, and was, I believe, one of the very last to leave. It was just that in 10 years nothing had changed. I arrived optimistic, and had done my part in cutting my hair, but found immediately that the same groups of friends had found each other (perhaps they had never left each other). The theatre geeks still sitting with the theatre geeks, cheerleaders with yell leaders, math nerds with math nerds, as it goes. I had really hoped that the girl who walked silently from class to class, outscoring the rest of our cumulative ACT score, might have found a seat with the girls who drove fast cars and scared me on Friday nights. She did not. In fact everything was so solidly 1984 that my high school friend, the one who had a knack for talking me into situations which often resulted in a trip to the vice-principal's office, almost got me kicked out of the reunion. Her refusal to pay for the $80 ticket, and borrowing my name tag to legitimize herself to the organizers, landed me a 30 minute time out and a lecture by the head of the event company. His words eerily evoking the spirit of Dr. Nichols, "Don't let your friends talk you into bad decisions, follow your own compass", and there I was, right back where I started ten years prior.
1994

When 20 happened I was two weeks away from giving birth to two children, and two months past measuring full term in the mid-section. I was enormous; transportation would have required a flatbed truck and very large straps to hold me down for 500 miles. Not knowing if one of my fellow graduates had chosen a career in obstetrics and unsure about delivering two children in the middle of my high school reunion I chose to stay home.

This past weekend was 30 years. The busyness of this life kept me from visiting that one, the timing coming right at the end of the school year, right as we rolled into summer (although I must note that my girth and ability to wedge into a commercial airline seat was no longer a relevant factor in my travel plans).  I followed the planning on Facebook: casual bar get together Friday night,  spouses claiming boredom being ditched, big event Saturday, cocktail dresses or pants, lunch at Taco Via every single day (disclosure: I have never loved Taco Via nor did I have any idea that everyone else did. I would have been at Winstead's but that is another story).

Sunday morning, iPad and hot tea in hand, I settled in on the back deck to check out the antics of those I had loved so much so long ago.

Who were these people? I recognized about 3% of the faces appearing before me. Hadn't these 600 plus people been the reason the sun rose and set every day? Why didn't I know every single one of them? Why didn't I know any of them? Did my brain shut down after the ten year reunion? Were all of the early 80's lost to me? 

Wait, Jeff you stand there by Paul, and then Joey, you move in next to them.  Becky, you stand next to Laura, and then Sarah and Sarah, you two together over there. Can we get Kathy and Brooke together please with Colby and Steve?  Karen, you go to the left, with Lisa and Amy and Brian, you move over there by Charles and Chris. Wait a minute, where is Margaret? Nobody move…say cheese!

Maybe at 10 years we got it all right, somethings should never change. Raiders we shall always be, as long as we stay frozen in time and stand next to those we stood next to 30 years ago, even if they talk us into trouble. I'll see you all in ten years, and don't cut your hair.
 
My wonderful grade school friend Jim and I have a date to attend 40 together. He's wearing Granimals and I'm going with gauchos. We may not fit in but at least we will know who we are, or were, in 1978.

No picture from the 2004 era, not enough room on the page.

4 comments:

Dave Claflin said...

Very nicely done. I echo your sentiments, but wish you could have joined your class for their 30th. I know it wasn't the same without you. Alas, Brad and Kris could not attend either.

Dave Claflin said...

Nicely done. I echo your sentiments, but wish you could have attended last weekend. I know you were missed!

Christy said...

Nicely put! I attended the 20 yr 8mos pregnant but Im still local to KC and only had one waiting to escape. I too found myself questioning who all these people were and where my head was in high school or where my head has been all these years! I think I prefer to live with the memories of what I thought the world was back then, rather than to accept the realities of my failing memory. Sounds like they all had fun and I am enjoying the rehash on FB. Good enough for me!

Christy said...

Nicely put! I attended the 20 yr 8mos pregnant but Im still local to KC and only had one waiting to escape. I too found myself questioning who all these people were and where my head was in high school or where my head has been all these years! I think I prefer to live with the memories of what I thought the world was back then, rather than to accept the realities of my failing memory. Sounds like they all had fun and I am enjoying the rehash on FB. Good enough for me!

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails