Tuesday, November 30, 2004


High School Sucked

I had my 10-year high school reunion this last weekend.

Now, the Angry Engineer is not one who prefers to dwell on the past (that is, except for occassional regrets about finding a clean, virgin, MkIV Supra Turbo only days after committing to four year's of payments on an Impala SS, and a few select missed romantic opportunities that are irrelevant now). So I wasn't exactly heading into this thing with thoughts of reliving my high school "glory years", because I'm still of the opinion that each year in my life continues to get better than the previous.

Boy, if there was ever a moment that reaffirmed that philosophy, it was Saturday night. The vast majority of the people there were simply 10-year-old versions of their high-school selves. I'd like to think that I've changed since high school - perhaps I'm giving myself too much credit - and I know that I associate with people that have grown and matured since we left the halls of GHHS a decade ago. And for the most part, I've kept in touch with the people that really matter to me. There's some notable exceptions to that, and that was my main motivation for attending. Except for 2 or 3 people, none of the folks on that short list showed up.

Contact most often took the form of a nod and a polite "Hey" or "Hello"; conversations were a futile attempt to cram a decade's worth of events into a 90-second monologue and were extremely limited in detail. Not once did I enter into a discussion about the concerts I've attended, the places that I've rode a mountain bike, the time I've spent under the hoods of cars, the dumb shit I'll never attempt again. How can anyone understand the last 10 years of my life without learning about bleeding all over the place at a Tool concert, bombing down the hellish Amasa Back trail in Moab with a 5000-ft drop just inches to my right, the joy of disassembling a Quadrajet carb in a McDonald's parking lot in Nebraska on a 30-degree day, or thinking I could jump off a roof on my bike? And that doesn't even begin to touch on the really important aspects of my life, like the number of times I had to re-take DiffEQ or get dragged out of Rosebud at the bouncer's insistance. Everyone's got their defenses up, so there's no opportunity for meaningful discussion.

So I'm left with a somewhat empty feeling about the whole experience, but at least I didn't feel the need to relive past football locker-room glory in the men's bathroom, and I can honestly say that more significant things have occurred in my life since graduating other than simply hitting the legal drinking age. Frankly, I'd been happy if I had the opportunity to invite a dozen or so of those folks off the previously-aforementioned Short List Of People I Should Have Kept In Touch With But Didn't and sat down with them for an evening of food and drink.

At least the organizers did a great job of pulling the reunion together on relatively short notice, and the food was quite excellent. Their efforts cannot be faulted.

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