Sunday, November 19, 2006

I Thought it Would Never Happen To Me

Last week, as I was sitting in my recliner, relaxing after a day at work, my wife handed me a piece of mail that come for me that day. I felt important. I seldom get mail these days, unless you count the solicitation to be the patsy for another credit card company, a special offer of $15,000 off the Chevy of my choice, or one of the endless utility bills. This was hand addressed to me. Personally.

As I gazed expectantly at the return address, I first noticed that it was from my home town of Texas City. As my eyes moved up the lines, I realized that is was from the “Class of ’77 Reunion Committee”. A little jolt of excitement shot through me, a reunion was imminent. Since I had missed more than I had attended over the years, I decided then and there that I was GOING TO GO to this one!

As I greedily opened the letter and glanced over the page that was printed on someone’s inkjet printer, I was arrested by the apparently erroneous information at the top; it said something about the 30th reunion. Thirty years? How can that be? It seems like just a short time ago I was on the yearbook staff snapping pictures of fellow students in the halls and classrooms. Dragging Palmer, going to the Tradewinds Theater to see Smoky and the Bandit, giving Lynrd Skynrd three steps!

I quickly looked at the bottom of the letter to see who was responsible for this mistake. There I saw the familiar names of my classmates and/or their wives who had taken the names of their high school sweethearts. My mind reeled, and I hastily did the math...hmm, 2006 minus 1977 equals 29 plus the May graduation date and the scheduled August 2007 party date...comes to, it can’t be...a full thirty years. THIRTY YEARS!

They weren’t wrong. I was an old geezer, uh, AM and old geezer. My girls chuckled at hearing that grand number bandied about. The oldest graduated two years ago, the print on her graduation program is still barely dry in my estimation. The middle one is yet two years away from that great day in her life. And my youngest thinks The Little Mermaid is a quaint old-time movie.

I am determined to get to this gathering of my old friends and rivals. I may finally accept that I am one of the aging teens drifting through the reality that has become the future. Did I turn out as I had imagined I would? Who knows, I didn’t even have any idea that one day I would be staring down the barrel of a 30 year reunion.

I have heard that the farther out the reunions get, the better they get. It becomes not about how good looking you are, or what your dad does for a living. Reports state that the higher the number, the more it becomes about who you are and who is important to you. I am anxious to reconnect with old classmates and see what they have experienced. And to remember some of the fun we had as young goofballs.


Anonymous said...

Keep on raging - to stop the aging.
Dale Carnegie

Rob V. said...

Sort of reminds me of something Yogi Berra once said while broadcasting a Yankees' game. The other broadcaster noted how the setting sun created a large shadow out in left field. Yogi said: "I once played left field for a while here in Yankee Stadium, and I can tell you from experience -- it gets late early out there."