Monday, December 04, 2006

The state of the reunion

Last weekend, some friends and I mustered up the courage to attend our ten-year high school reunion. I still don’t exactly understand why this took any courage at all, but somehow just thinking about high school brings all the inherent social anxiety rushing right back at you, and instead of all the good times, you can suddenly only remember the time you watched your date making out with your ex-friend at the Homecoming Dance. But one good thing about getting ready to hang around with former classmates when you’re pushing thirty is that you don’t really have to worry about zits anymore, which works out nicely because you need the extra time to focus on your bald spots.

Everyone knew roughly who would be in attendance at our reunion thanks to eVite, the ubiquitous internet invitation site that lets people post whether or not they plan to attend. My favorite eVite response was from my buddy Gimp, who let everyone in our class know: “I’m coming and I’m available.” Perhaps he’d be better able to capitalize on his availability if his buddies stopped calling him Gimp. But we’ve been friends since the first grade, so at this point, I think we’re all a little embarrassed to ask what his real name is.

Another classmate made the trenchant eVite observation that “10 years ago, they didn't have eVites.” Which got me to thinking, ten years ago I’d never even been on the internet, which means I hadn’t yet received that fateful email from Bill Gates asking me to help him beta test his new email tracking program, a favor for which he was willing to reward me handsomely. I’m still living off the residual income from the first time I forwarded that email to ten friends; I just work because I like complaining and fluorescent light bulbs.

It was almost exactly ten years ago when my college roommate demonstrated the power of the internet when he pulled a folded piece of paper out of his duffel bag and taped it to the inside of his closet door. That paper was a photo printout of Jenny McCarthy, who at that moment was so enthralled with the bubbles floating around at the car wash that she apparently forgot several important pieces of clothing.

“Where did you get that?” I asked him.

“On the internet,” he said.

“They have pictures like THAT on the internet?” I asked, as Ed McMahon burst through the door to give me the giant novelty check accompanying my Most Naïve Question Ever award.

But as I found last Saturday night, even though much can change in ten years (most prominently the collective girth of the class of ’96), much also stays the same. Walking into that room filled with familiar faces that I hadn’t seen in a decade was so surreal that it felt like a dream, a feeling that was exacerbated by the fact that about halfway through the reunion, I realized that I’d shown up wearing only my underwear.

I also discovered that even though a picture is worth a thousand words, a baby picture normally comes accompanied by the thousand words anyway.

After we’d been there for a few minutes, Gimp tapped me on the arm and pointed across the room with his eyes.

“Dude, check out Lawrence over there,” he said. Lawrence was the first kid in our grade to have armpit hair, a fact many of us noticed while he was administering headlocks to us in front of the girls’ gym class. Lawrence brought bullying to a high art form; his armpits were his brushes and our heads were his canvas.

While I’ve been greatly anticipating letting myself get fat and bald after the reunion, it does seem to indicate some degree of justice in the universe to have seen that Lawrence, once again, has a head start on the rest of us.

You can ask Mike Todd to help beta test your new email tracking program online at


  1. Yeah I loved it at our 10 year, when the most evil woman (the prom queen) was way way fat, and all the materialistic cruel bitches in school, were married to very very ugly men with no jobs. hehehehee

    Isn't it lovely when that happens. hehehehe

  2. You're braver than me. Never went to one.

    Liked the Ed McMahon picture you painted for me.

  3. Burfica -- As long as we only revel in the misfortunes of people with really high evil quotients, I think that means we're still the good guys, right? And what about the people who were otherwise nice, but hit us really hard with dodgeballs? I'm still on the fence about them.

    Buster -- You should go early to your next one (the five-year one, if I'm not mistaken) and set up a little science fair display with all your bitchin' pictures. That would be money. You could make a volcano, too.

  4. Lawence told me that I "better make the foul shot" one time. He should go F-off......i update my blog often - why is ain't there a *? -thanks bro.

  5. At my 10th, people got drunk and started making out with former girlfriends and boyfriends... it got UGLY! Of course, I wasn't one of THOSE girls, but it WAS fun to watch!!!

    Burfica, I got a real hoot out of the fatties at my reunion too... then I became one of them and it wasn't so funny any more... I have my 25th coming up in '07 and thankfully am much closer to my high school weight than I was several years back. Would hate to think of folks talking about ME like I talked about THEM! LOL

  6. JP -- I forgot about that. You make it, Ice Man? And you automatically get a * and jump to the top of the blogroll when you update your jimpson. Unless you don't use Blogger, then you get the ol' shafteroo.

    Lauren -- That sounds awesome! Ours was totally lacking debauchery. And congrats on the 25th. I hope you have an awesome time making out with the football players.

  7. Lauren, they can make fun of me all they want. They did all through school. Yeah I'm still chubby, like in school. But hey. I've been married to the SAME GUY for 14 years. And we have awesome jobs, own our own house, cars, 4 wheelers etc. And the evil one's are still in apartments, divorced quite a few times, multiple fathers for their kids, and still losers. hehehehehehe

    I so love natures/gods revenge.