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Back to School?


So, my thirtieth high school reunion just passed.   I wasn’t there.  I was invited, sort of, but I let the occasion pass by without my presence. 

The invitation issue is because of my internet nom de plume.  If you google my real name, you won’t find me, and that’s what the reunion committee tried to do.  Fortunately, one of the few people that I do keep up with from high school knows my internet alias and she invited me to the festivities. 

I thought about it for a minute or two.  A plane ticket to Syracuse wouldn’t have been terribly expensive and I’ve got vacation time to burn and I could always stay with my sister or on a friend’s couch.  There are a handful of people from that era in my life I would like to see and it would be fun to see who had aged well and who hadn’t.

Then I thought about it for another minute and the phrase “Are you out of you’re fucking mind?” started bouncing through my head.  High school was not a fun time for me.  Besides all the issues at home, I was treated horribly by the people I went to school with.  I was bullied, teased, dismissed, and generally a persona non grata while I was there.  It would be like a Dachau survivor attending a reunion with the concentration camp guards.

Yes, there were a few people who didn’t treat me like a kick ball.  There were even a few people I considered friends.  As I perused the guest list, though, I could see that most of them weren’t attending.  There were a couple people going that I wanted to see, but we’re in contact via social media and I can arrange to see them any time.  So, why on earth would I want to go to this thing?

A friend of mine suggested I do the Hollywood thing and go with a stripper on my arm to impress the folks who made my teen life hell.  Ten years ago, when I knew a few strippers, I might have done it.  Fifteen years ago, when I managed a strip club, I’d have packed a car full of strippers.  No, actually, I wouldn’t have.  I’d have felt like some sleazy Jason Lee trying to impress people with half naked women and bad fashion choices.

No, it’s better that I didn’t go.  It’s not that I have a bad life that would have failed to impress people.  I’m quite happy in my life.  It’s just that I have neither need nor reason to try to impress them.  I also have no need for them to try to impress me.  I hope they’re all living happy lives doing whatever pleases them most.  Well, most of them anyway.  There are a few I hope are living in squalor or prison or Utica.

I also didn’t feel like listening to their reminisces about all the fun they had in high school.  I wasn’t part of that fun unless I was the target of it.  That great beer party out by the dam where so-and-so got naked?  Yeah, I wasn’t invited.  That time you knocked that one geek’s books to the floor and kept kicking them out of his reach?  Yeah, I was that geek.  Thanks, but no thanks.

I can’t say I wasn’t tempted.  There’s a part of me that wants to show the people I went to high school with that I’m not the loser they thought I was.  I suppose that’s a thought we all have.


One of the arrangers of the reunion has been putting up pictures.  She tagged a friend of mine and I followed the links.  Looking at the pics, I have to say I’m glad I didn’t go.  I think there were two people there that I would have really wanted to catch up with and one of them I talk to on Facebook all the time.  The rest were people that either ignored me or tormented me all through the high school years.

It’s interesting to me that I’ve given this the amount of thought that I have.  I thought I was beyond caring about high school at all, but I guess those formative years stick with you forever.  A lot of what I did after high school was a direct response to what happened in high school.  A lot of who I’ve become has its basis in who I was and how I was treated in high school.  I still have issues (well hidden these days, to be sure) because of incidents that happened in high school, though it’s unlikely that the perpetrators of these incidents would even remember them.  I remember them, and that’s enough for me.

It’s certainly something to think about.  A pshrink would have a field day with me, I’m sure. 


After writing the above, I was contacted by one of my former classmates who I hadn’t heard from in years.  It was, to be sure, a pleasant surprise.  It certainly makes me feel better.  Weird, huh?


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