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Galloping Grandma: High school Diss-union
I recently got a note from my old pal Lawanda. We have been chums since eighth grade gym class, when the gym teacher accused us of setting fire to the girl’s bathroom. She said we were throwing lit cigarettes in the wastebaskets, but how would she know, she wasn’t there.
Anyway, Lawanda said she had just undergone the most soul-crushing, ego-destroying event known to man, second only to trying on a cheap bathing suit in a Wal-Mart dressing room. She went to a high school reunion. Due to social networking, there are fewer of them these days. It is now possible to ruin reputations, snub inferiors, and just make people miserable without leaving home or even getting dressed.
By our 10th reunion, Lawanda had graduated from charm school and I was shooting out kids like a Pez dispenser. The kids who were so cool in high school that they wouldn’t speak to you were even cooler now. They still wouldn’t speak to us, even if our hair was on fire. We were still so uncool, we had to sit with the Chess Club and the A/V Club.
By our 20th, any hopes that the cool kids would suddenly recognize us as human beings and say hello were soon dashed. We sat with the old band director and a couple of kids who had worked in the lunchroom.
I sailed into our 30th in my Nolan Miller big shoulders and frizzy hair. Mavis Murch came from the big city dressed like someone’s pet horse. We figured she was inching around Chicago on her back, just as in high school. Some things never change, but a lot of the girls, cool included, were turning into their mothers and a lot of the guys were starting to look moth-eaten. This time we sat with a couple of guys from the Debate Society and a guy from the Dance Club.
By the 40th, the big news was that the president of the class behind us had become a really famous serial killer and gone to jail. The president of our class had run off with his secretary, the company money and his wife’s dog. This time, we sat with what remained of the Physics Club.
If you can survive to your 50th and aren’t dead by your 60th, you will notice a few changes. The reunion will probably be in the banquet room at Denny’s or at the Senior Center in the back end of the Exxon station.
Lawanda said I would be pleased to know that the cutest girl in the senior class was now an old crone who had so many facelifts her face was now on the top of her head. And the prom king weighs 300 pounds and has hearing aids so big that they could have located the Titanic.
But it doesn’t matter because we know our place. We’ll take our lunch trays and go sit at the loser table with the remains of the Stamp Club and Norval Schwump, who didn’t go to our high school but comes to all of our reunions anyway. We are happy there. It is our home. Sometimes it takes a lifetime to appreciate where you belong.