Last week I received something rather unexpected in the mail.
For such a bright surprise, it was clothed in a fairly dull envelope – almost leading me to believe that I was being offered a subscription to Newsweek at a New Low Rate. Or that my congressman was writing to encourage me to do something.
So of course I was about to throw it out.
But for some reason I didn't, and I'm glad I restratined that flick of my wrist.
What this turned out to be was an invitation to a school reunion. Now, I went to my high-school reunion – and for me, the outing was a disappointment. I found fault with people's attude toward me…it seemed that their behavior was lacking a particular element…the quality of fawning seemed to be missing. Frankly, I was disgusted.
The invite to my college reunion I did not dignify with an answer. My years were those of people running across campus in togas, so you can understnad if my collegiate memories are scarred. (Oddly enough, when I was in high-school I was lucky enough to witness the streaker phenomenon first hand…how far do I have to look back before I can recall a person walking to class wearing a pair of pants?)
No – what I held in my hand was an invitation to a grammer school/junior high school reunion. How terribly bizarre! Does such a thing really exist? The person throwing this soiree – why the deuce would he want to see any of us again?
I was kind of a pathetic figure at school: when I was ten, I was convinced that I was awful to look at, and stupid as well. I had reached my adult height. Which meant that I had also attained an adult's weight. The two jibed, but all I could hear were my tiny schoolmates complaining to each other when their wee frames fleshed out to over 90 pounds.
I felt big, messy and clumsy. But I was a good student. This lead to my two nicknames: "Jolly Green Giant" and "Dudley" (for Dudley Do-Right).
I did have friends, however. Whatever unhappiness I felt was completely of my own doing. I was terribly self-conscious, true, but that came from observing the other children, and seeing how different I was from them. The only insults I received were from myself.
Except for that incident with Susan.
She didn't invite me to her party. When I asked her why I couldn't attend (I did things like that), she answered that they didn't have enough chairs. At the time it seemed to make perfect sense.