Thursday, July 27, 2006


Can one be nostalgic for something one has never experienced? In my case the answer is “yes,” and I’m referring to Lileks’ post about his high school reunion. It may simply be the fact that Lileks is an excellent writer…he can make an interesting read out of a mundane trip to Target, after all. But his reunion narrative is excellent. And Lou had her high school reunion a couple of weekends ago; I enjoyed her posts (both of ‘em!) a lot, too.

I haven’t gone to any of my high school reunions. I was stationed in Beautiful-Sinop-By-The-Sea when my first (ten year) reunion was held. I corresponded with the reunion organizer and let her know that, no, I wouldn’t be attending…I was busy keeping the world safe for democracy and the American Way in far-off Turkey. Ditto for the 20-year reunion, except this time I was keeping the world safe in a far better location: RAF Uxbridge in the London borough of Hillingdon. I never heard from those folks again after the 20th reunion work-ups.

Not that I would have had much in common with my classmates, anyway. I transferred in to North (Torrance) High School during my senior year, and, as a result, didn’t know that many people or have many friends. As a matter of fact, my whole high school experience wasn’t all that good…I was the perennial outsider, what with having attended five different schools (two in suburban Washington, D.C. [Maryland], and three in California [San Jose, Culver City, and Torrance]) during my four years of high school. I don’t remember the names of the two guys I ran with during my senior year, but I DO remember the names of the girl friends: there was a Laurie (Lori?), a Pam, and one of the first serious crushes of my young life, Roxanne. But, ah…that was a much different day and age. Pre-birth control pill, ergo, pre-sexual revolution. More like the last gasp of the repressive ‘50s rather than the famed libertarian, sex-and-drugs-and-rock ‘n’ roll ‘60s we all like to remember (or wish to remember). Life was different, then.

Still and even, I am nostalgic for those reunions I never attended. As a matter of fact, I’ve always harbored a quiet envy for those who grew up in a single place and formed life-long relationships that date back to grade school. That’s an experience one simply cannot replicate, and one that’s sadly lacking in my life. On the proverbial other hand, I had (relatively) unique experiences as a young transient in life. Most days I’m of the opinion that I wouldn’t trade the life of a military brat for a stay-at-home childhood and adolescence. But then I’ll read something like Lileks’ reunion post and I have second thoughts. But…it is what it is, nu? For better or worse.

1 comment:

  1. I have a high school reunion next weekend as a matter of fact. Last one was 5 years ago and a bunch of people said, this was fun let's not wait another 10 to do it again. So, for the next week I'll be dealing with fixing various fashion emergencies on my person, and getting "stuff together" for the picnic on the Sunday which is the part of the weekend I arranged.


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