Kickin’ It Old School

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.

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9 responses to “Kickin’ It Old School

  1. Well I never. Really this is going a stretch. Are you going to go? I wouldn't recognize anyone for 8th grade. You know they must be scattered around the globe.

  2. Aubrey, it is elementary my dear, your fellow students can not wait to see you again. Go, and show Susan what she missed.
    Personally, I would tremendously enjoy seeing my childhood colleagues much more than high school or college. I remember their faces and names fondly and clearly…

  3. I'd rather go to see my old teachers if any are still alive. The "friends" I could do without. My only friend from elementary school died two years ago from Huntingtons Chlorea, the rest I can do without.
    High School is the same too. Only have about 2 friends from high school that I still care for and I'm already maintaining contact with them, don't need to spend a lot of dough to go to a party where I'm not going to have fun.
    (sorry, bitter about my school years can you tell?)

  4. How sad about your friend. Losing your sole connection doesn't seem right, or fair.
    There are several Jr. High/HS teachers that I would love to meet again. Students – not so much. I'll go to this party not so much to have fun, but to be amused.
    I maintain no contacts, really, but I remain sentimental. Yes. I'll be going.
    I hope your bitterness has sweetened – just a little?

  5. I went to a K-12 school, so any reunion would be with all the same kids. It was fun to compare the senior class composite with our kindergarten pics.
    That said, I keep in touch with the ones I want to and my mom keeps me posted on everyone else.
    I probably got snubbed from many parties and was too clueless to realize it, but that was okay.

  6. I like looking at the old pics…but that's about it. I don't really wanna see anyone either. Living next to my old school is really starting to make me anxious to move to Montana. or somewhere. I'm not really all that bitter, I just prefer to leave the past where it belongs, and it's kind of hard when it's staring you in the face every day….ugh. Have fun at your party though, I have no doubt you will be the most fabulous one there and they will all be secretly or not-so secretly jealous.

  7. Hi, Aubrey!You said it so well!That insecure self torture we impose on ourselves so often while young. What a waste of time and energy!But, it's only with some maturity (ok, it took me 49 years) could I shed that self conscious, inadequate feeling. Pffffft. Ah well. To live is to learn and to grow and I suppose I will continue learning until I die! (of course I will….to stop learning IS to die!)Lovely post! When is the reunion? I can't wait to hear about it!

  8. The reunion was last Saturday: it was quite nice. Everyone is married. Their accomplishments varied, from white-collar crime (he wasn't at the party, but he's in the photo – can you find him?) to a Professor of Literature at Stanford University (this did not surprise me one bit).
    Quite amusing!

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