Saturday, December 5, 2009
Do You Ever Get Over High School?
There are a few people I would like to meet again. Teddy, our valdedictorian, who was the English teacher's son, and a cool dude. [Okay, yes I admit to a bit of a crush.] Michelle, the daughter of a local rabbi, who was the best friend a girl could have during junior and senior year. A boy whose last name was Ott -- he took me on my first real date. We both worked at the local library and with his first paycheck he took me to a Japanese restaurant in the next town. His father, an editor for Sports Illustrated, chaffeured us in a Mercedes Benz. It was elegant.
But I question if we ever really get over high school? Those adolescent years full of turmoil and angst, to put it kindly. Why else would we freak out about the possibility of a reunion? For most of us, high school was not a musical. It was an endurance race, filled with enough fears to make a monk reconsider his vows.
I did go to one high school reunion that was fun -- probably because it wasn't mine. My husband grew up in a farming community in Oregon. When he was notified about his 25th reunion, he wanted to go even though we were living in Alaska. The reunion was held in his original hometown. Like me, he had been a bit on the chubby side and was everyone's friend, and no one's "boyfriend". His entire class was 99 students, almost divided 50-50 by gender; and they had lost more than half of the boys to the Viet Nam war. About 1/3 of the rest succumbed to drugs and were either in rehab or prison.
Many of the students had stayed in the area, taking over their parents' home. They saw each other on a regular basis, went camping, skiing and on golf trips together. Together they had invested in Willamette Valley Vineyards and made it a success. And my husband? Well, he has beautiful wavy white hair and was the hit of the party. Me? I enjoyed the envious looks of all those long-ago girls who "just wanted to be friends".