On Memories

Posted by on Jul 29, 2008 in Uncategorized | 1 comment

Last Saturday morning I packed a picnic lunch for the three of us and headed off to a park in the older part of our city.  I’d been to the park before, but many years ago which was why we were converging there with other people on a sticky day in July.  It was an elementary school reunion. 

I know. I know. I graduated from high school eleven years ago, but the class I should’ve been with graduated a year later (credits transferred well and I took some college classes during the summers.  It was more a matter of motivation than intelligence, so don’t think I’m attempting to prove some sort of intellectual superiority…I’ll do that some other way…it was a joke. Lighten up). 

I got the invitation from my parents the week before.  It had been forwarded to their address since it had my maiden name on the postcard and they brought it to me at church.  I’d been looking forward to it all week and (confession) bought a new pair of white capris to wear for the event.  The class page on a social networking site was listed on the invite.  I went to it and checked out some of the people’s profiles and found that many people were doing cool things and many people were living from one bottle to the next.  I think that’s pretty much what you find on those sites, total desperation or near perfection, not because those things are true, but simply because the less intelligent people think partying equals awesomeness and the smarter people know to hide the stuff that’s ugly.  Anyway, I poked around and found myself wanting to go to the reunion, for sure excited about the elementary school one.

When we walked up, it was a bit surreal.  Here were a group of people whose stories’ beginnings feature many of the same high notes and some of the same low ones as mine.  We all used to sit together, face forward and recite our times tables.  There was the kid I convinced to drink paint water.  The girl with whom I made prank calls to day-cares in fourth grade. The girl whose mother made the best ice cream cone cake things.  The boy who was kind of stinky. The boy who everyone had a crush on.  The boy who used to use paper as a fake tooth.  The girl who kept us all together. And it was so great to hear how they are all doing, so great to meet their spouses and their children, so great to hear about the good.  And for a moment, the world just seemed easier again, like it did when we played on the bridge and staged sit ins on the soccer field and measured how awesome we were by how long we could hang upside down. 

As we walked back toward our car, I wished again that I could go to the high school reunion later that night, but now that I think about it, I’m glad I didn’t.  It was like all class reunions, I’m sure…in a bar and no doubt there was drama. I didn’t want any of that.  All of that is why I thought getting out of there early was a good idea.  I’m glad I did.  I wouldn’t change a thing.  

One Comment

  1. Why do I have sympathy for the stinky kid? Or is it really empathy?

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