Glory Days Revisited

There’s a line in Ocean’s 11 (Clooney, not Sinatra) where Rusty, played by Brad Pitt, is giving Linus, played by Matt Damon, some last minute instructions on how to play his con on Terry Benedict, played by Andy Garcia. It goes something like this:

Don’t use seven words when four will do. Don’t shift your weight, look always at your mark but don’t stare, be specific but not memorable, be funny but don’t make him laugh. He’s got to like you then forget you the moment you’ve left his side.

This sums up much of my high school existence (though I hope I made at least a few people laugh). I had a lot of friends and ran with what I suppose would be considered the “cool” crowd. I went to all the parties, played all the sports, and was generally well liked by most, at least as far as I know. However, I never did anything truly memorable, was never the most outgoing or outspoken, and was never an overflowing fountain of self-confidence. And that was fine with me. Sure, there were the usual moments of teen angst, Eddie Vedder was at his teeth-grinding best in those days, and but for the most part I enjoyed high school. For the most part. I bring all this up not as some sort of reverse egomani-ism, but because this past Saturday was my 10 year high school reunion.

I’ve kept in touch with a few of my classmates, but many I either hadn’t seen at all or at least not very often. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect. Have we all gotten past silly high school/early 20’s rifts and grudges? Am I going to have anything in common with many of them any more? I didn’t know. I was a little nervous before we headed out for dinner. I don’t know why exactly, and at any rate it was completely unfounded. It was actually a very fun evening.

Some had met at a park in the afternoon for a kid friendly get together and then in the evening the grown-ups gathered for dinner. It was a lot of fun to catch up with friends I hadn’t seen in several years and to see what’s changed and what hasn’t. We all agreed Gina looked the most different. We met each other’s spouses and girlfriends and boyfriends, talked and laughed a lot about old times, and what our plans are for the future. After dinner the party rolled on down the street to another venue for more chit-chat and laughs. I wasn’t a drinker in high school, or college, but prodded by some the other fellas I figured, “What’s one night?” Well, if you’ve been alcohol free for 28 years, one night is a heckuva lot. I didn’t drink much…just enough to jump up on a table, rip off my shirt, and scream “I claim this land for Spain!” at the top of my lungs. Not my finest moment. But still better than when they actually got me off the table and were leading me out of the bar (the manager kicked us out for some reason) and I kicked some random guy in the groin…ok, none of that really happened, but I thought I was starting to sound stale (starting?). Anyway, we did hit up a bar until about 2AM and, despite Jason’s best efforts, I remain as dry as the Sahara desert. After the bar closed down, most of the gang headed out to Denny’s because Danny wanted pancakes. My evening however was ending. I said my good-byes, exchanged some phone numbers, and headed home.

Reunions are strange events. On the one hand you’re getting together with people you havn’t seen in many years who you may not have that much in common with anymore. At the same time, you’ve got a history of several years where you spent almost every day with them. So it’s similtaneously different and the same. That’s about the best way I can explain it. Hopefully, all of us can get together again before the next decade goes by.

Left to right: Bruce, Ben, Jason, Heather, Chris (back row), Danno (front row), Aimee, Gina, Robin (back row), Jen, Tina (back row), Me (front row), Danny, Louren

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10 thoughts on “Glory Days Revisited

  1. J Crew

    You had me going there for a second. That was hilarious. I am glad you had a good time and I can’t wait to hear more/

  2. Call Me June...

    2006 marks the 20th anniversary of my RVC graduation you young thing! Apparently no one in my class felt compelled to reunite–at least I hope they didn’t, hmmmmm! Glad you had a good time and didn’t really embarrass our clan! Mutual history, regardless of how fondly we remember it, certainly does create a bond!

  3. Call Me June...

    Too bad you don’t live close enough to borrow David’s glasses. I sure he would have been happy to loan them to you!

  4. kludge

    Patricia and I skipped our reunion. I was a little upset at the time, but don’t feel like anything huge was missed.

    Most people I hung with in high school are the sort of people I would cross the street to aviod if I saw them for the first time in public.

  5. Anonymous

    ’twas a wonderful night. In the words of Aimee Price, “It was magical”. That is what she said, of course, when she made her typical grandious exit. I hardly recognized YOU after so long. I think it might have been the loss of hair ;0

    love ya, Heather (your bff in high school)

  6. Anna

    wow ten years is a long time, glad you had a good time, and way to uphold the family tradition of staying dry to the bone!!

  7. RJ-77

    Ando,

    I’m not sure you felt this way but I’ll explain how I felt at my reunion. My thought went like this, ‘I already see everybody from high school I want to see.’ What do you think ’bout that?

  8. Ando

    That definitely went through my head. But there actually were people that I hadn’t seen or talked to in a while that I wanted to. Plus is was fun to have everyone there at once. I might talk to some of them individualy, but to have us all in the same place was cool. Actually, I was a little surprised that the next day I was kind of wishing we were all still hanging out.

  9. Emberli

    Matt and I had our 10 year on the same night. We went to Healdsburg where there was one elementary and one Junior High and Highschool, so I went to school with most of them since Kindergarten. In some ways it seemed like it had been so long since I had seen them, and in other ways it felt like it could have been the day after graduation. Matt and I and my cousin and her husband, I think were the only sober people there. Ours offered free beer, champagne, and wine. I got so many drinks spilled on my feet. What a weird experience!!

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