Thinking of you lovely, fresh-faced high school seniors, gearing up for the big grad. The dresses, the tuxes, the dances, the dogwoods...the dates. Yes, it is that time of year and it is your time to shine. Enjoy yourself; you deserve it. Try not to kill yourself too; your parents deserve that.
I'm also thinking of us oldies, perhaps not as fresh-faced and nearing a different definition of "senior" but gearing up this season just the same. Gearing up for the high school reunion.
While my big 20 was almost two years ago, there is a new crop of reunioners heading to the gyms and tanning salons in a town near you. Right now. 38+-year olds hoping to wow their former classmates and crushes with their narrow waists and broad accomplishments. My advice to them: do it, go 2.0 or go home! You do want to look and feel your best when you see your old friends and flames but here is something else I'll share: it won't really matter in the end because in no time, you'll feel like you're with the people that know you best. Like your family, except that they won't hold things against you or make you feel guilty. But I digress.
However weird and nervous I felt at the start of my 20-year high school reunion, the most unexpected thing happened, I felt home. I felt like I had walked through the front door of a home I had built 20 years earlier, and although slightly embarrassed by the shag rug and velvet "paintings", I was relieved to see that my favorite chair and big comfy couch were right where I'd left them. I sunk into my old friends like they were cushions that knew my shape and form. My high school friends were memory foam and they felt damn good.
There are many reasons why this lovely old home and its contents took me by surprise. I may have built it 20 years ago, but I was no craftsman; some of the floors were slanting and I had written on some of the walls and thrown up in the toilet more times than was reasonable. I didn't always make the right colour choices or install things correctly. I had hung cheap drapes in a few of the rooms. I broke some of the dishes, on purpose.
But this house didn't care. Not one bit. It knew I wasn't perfect. It wasn't perfect either. It also hadn't actually noticed some of that lame stuff I had done. We had both aged and we had both grown into ourselves. My old friends are the people that will always know me best not only because we began the building of our future selves together but also because we spent many years with just each other's foundations and learned to love them, cracks and all.
When we signed each other's yearbooks at the end of that June, 1988, most of us knew we might never see each other again, and some of those people I probably never will. But if you get a chance, even at the ripe old age of 38, find the key under the mat and let yourself in. Go home.
Congrats, Class of 2010.
the Class of '88
Remember this one?
|Naked Eyes - Always Something There to Remind Me .mp3|
|Found at bee mp3 search engine|