Where everybody knows your naa-a-ame (duh duh duh), and they’re always glad you caa-a-ame (duh duh DUH)…
Potentially sad, potentially heart-warming: I’m looking forward to my ten year high school reunion (which isn’t until next year, thank you). Started ferreting through some Facebook profiles of HS buddies, and saw some photos of people I haven’t talked to in (you guessed it) 9.5 years. Would just be nice to catch up with them, see how life is going… and hopefully make a few of them eat a healthy serving of humble pie.
See, I went to high school with a TON of people who carried themselves around like big fish in our relatively small pond, and made fun of all those who didn’t carry themselves at all but just were the fish they were. Then, these big fish people went out into bigger ponds, found out just how big they weren’t, and ended up right back in our small pond (or maybe the next small pond down the highway).
Be honest: you know a few of these people from your own pond, and are a little empathetic to my small yet satisfying possibility to feed them their own sack of crap. It may make me a slightly worse person, but for some of these people, it’s worth it. WORTH IT.
But on the whole, I loved my high school experience, and there were a lot of people that have gone on and done some awesome things & become awesome people (or always were awesome & just didn’t know it). I didn’t get to go to my five-year reunion (my sister’s 21st b-day in Las Vegas kept me away), and ten years is a long time for people to make progress towards being awesome. I’m looking forward to catching up with the awesome ones.
Here’s a small, somewhat confidential list of folks I can’t wait to catch up with due to Awesomeness Past, or for Awesomeness Perceived (meaning I think they’ve probably become awesome by now, based on things I’ve heard / read / seen on Skinemax).
Emily W. – Was Awesome, probably still is, but I can probably appreciate it to an even greater level now. She was my first ‘girlfriend’, at age 8. Still remember getting caught “making out” in a wee closet in her room. By “making out”, I mean talking about pay-per-view WWF wrestling and trying to kiss each other on the cheek in the dark. Man, did that make Rick’s face turn red…
Jarret B. – This guy was one of my Favorite People… then he found Ecstasy and lost his chess scholarship at UMBC. I haven’t seen him since, but I’m hoping he’ll be there.
Sauceman – Still one of my Favorite People, Sauce was everyone’s cool big brother, even though he was someone else’s pain-in-the-ass little brother. While he never shared my past ‘bad luck’ with the ladies and would never, EVER, be described as a nerd or a geek, somehow he makes a kindred-spirit-sized hole in my brain. Plus he’s the only football team QB I’ve ever gotten to know, which makes me think there’s hope for Nerds to learn from Athletes after all. Haven’t seen him at Breakers in a while, but that’s probably because I haven’t been there in the last two years.
Drew O. – If any circle of my HS friends had a token black guy, Drew was it. In fact, I think he was the token black guy for my entire senior class. Drew was cool back then, and I’ve got a feeling the cat has only gotten cooler. People don’t use the word ‘unflappable’ very often, but that’s my word for Drew. Unflappable. Plus, anybody who spends that much time in Pittsburgh PA has to be a genuinely strong human being. Drew is still probably cooler than I am, but that’s okay; gives me yet another aspirational goal.
Bradley T. – Bradley T. was the QB of life. Brad always knew how to a) make things happen; b) have a good time without upsetting Papa Den or Mama Kim; c) get to know people in a way that was friendly but not deep. He & I actually lived down the hall from each other for a year and a half at college, but never spent nearly enough time hangin’ out. (To sum up why, he & his roommates played EA Sports games on the PS2; my roommates & I played Super Smash Brothers on the N64. Never the twain did meet…) Brad’s still one of my favorite people, but I haven’t talked to him since graduating PSU. All I know is he’s married to a lovely girl named Jen, lives somewhere near the home town, and is undoubtedly still someone you can count on for a good time.
Chrisin H. - This girl was almost in two major car accidents while I was at the wheel, but we survived, graduated, saw each other ONCE while she was at Pitt & I was at PSU, but no sightings since. She moved to North Carolina, works at Duke now & is married (may even have borne wee ones). Definitely miss Christin; hope she’ll come up from Dixie.
Hoover – Ahh, Hoover. Hoov. Hoov was the Sauceman of the basketball team (even though Sauceman also played b-ball; Hoov had a good 4″ on Sauce). Hoov was a tall, gangly, scrawny mo’fo with some bad habits that, rumor has it, got worse. Taught me a lot about humility – not that he was humble, but rather, he proved that being a little boastful and/or over-confident was sometimes a REALLY bad idea. We had English & Physics teachers that gave him hard times, but he brought them on himself. Constantly had a little bit of a pompous air about him – probably had mostly to do with bad family situations. His stepdad Clifford (CLIFFORD!) was ~45-50 years older than us and was obsessed only with his cat and with keeping Hoov from upsetting Candy, Hoov’s mom. Real Dad wasn’t in the picture much, but when he was, made Hoov feel less than good about himself, and then tried to make up for it with golf clubs & Volkswagens. I felt for Hoover, and on more than one occasion got to see who he really was – and who he was wasn’t all that bad, so I counted him among my friends. He still made jokes at my expense more often than I would’ve liked, but at least he was funny. (Hoov, if you’re reading & don’t like the details, let me know & I’ll strike it from the record. Then, you owe me at least two beers.)
JEN FRIKKIN’ MARTIN – This girl… well, this girl was one of the original Skanks (I’m picturing the photo we took of her holding a bucket of Coronas & ready to get into Danny’s hot tub), until something went awry & she stopped returning our calls. There were comments made & disagreements had, but apologies & restitutions were also delivered, so I’m not sure why we still don’t get to count on ever seeing her when we’re back home. As far as I know, she’s still not married but living with a guy, and helping to take care of his two daughters. She’s certainly got more on her plate than the rest of us, but I no longer agree that this means we can’t relate to her. So I hope we all get to catch up with her there, if not before. (Jen, sweetie, if you’re reading, CALL US over the holidays… you are missed, dear.)
That’ll about do it for now. If I see even two of the above people at the reunion, it will be completely worth the price of the flight. Hell, if even writing this post reunites me with any one of them before the reunion, that’d be the bee’s knees.
Thus ends this extra-special glimpse into my past.