So, umm, my (garbled number) year high school reunion is this summer.
Ok, fine. My 30-year reunion. Happy now?
How is that even remotely possible? I mean, like, I’m still so young…uhhh…ish.
Thirty years post high school? How awesome is that? I sometimes didn’t think I’d reach 30 years old because of that pesky failing kidneys thing. Besides, when you’re a teen, 30 seems like soooo totally old anyway. I just don’t think it ever really occurred to me that I would still be here now, closing in on half a century. Let’s just say, there have never been any long term plans, which probably explains my lack of ambition and vocational direction.
Ahh, the 80s. I wonder if I can pull any newsy, pop culture memories of way back when out of the rusty, old time capsule in my head. Nope, it’s kinda dark and empty in there.
Nahhhh, just kidding, kind of. Hmmm, let’s see…
- I was in eighth grade, walking past the school office, when I first heard President Reagan had been shot. When I got home, the news was on and they must have shown the moment he was shot 501 gazillion times multiplied by infinity.
- Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Prince’s Purple Rain were the most popular albums during high school. The Thriller video was epic. I went to see Prince in concert during my senior year—one of the best concerts everrrr. Bonus—Sheila E opened for him. “She wants to lead a glamorous life…”
- The Soviet Union, aka the USSR, was our mortal enemy. Communism and nuclear annihilation were our greatest threats. I think they were super ticked off that we beat their hockey team during the Olympics. Stupid commies. Anyone see War Games?
- My English teacher, Ms. FlowerChildEarthBiscuit, assigned our class to watch the TV movie The Day After for homework. She was absolutely appalled and horrified that it didn’t scare the bejeebies out of us. Nuclear annihilation and all that, blah, blah, blah. Ho hum. Apathetic? Perhaps, but we’re still here aren’t we? I rest my case.
- How ’bout dem Redskins? Two Super Bowl championships in the 80s. woop woop. What happened to you guys? Hogs come back and teach this team how to play football pleeeezzzzzz.
- Rubik’s Cube, Cabbage Patch craze-y, Pacman, Atari, VHS vs. Beta, designer jeans, parachute pants, Members Only jackets, Vans (shoes), big honkin’ shoulder pads, even bigger hair, Valley Girl talk (oh, gag me), MTV, Madonna, New Wave, Miami Vice, crack cocaine, AIDS…
I guess I do remember a few things. Feel free to add to the list.
The world certainly has changed a bit since then. New countries on the map. Old countries gone. New powers rising, older powers fading. Computers, caller ID, cell phones, internet, hi-def, wifi. Of all the changes, I can say with certainty that I’m glad no one had the ability to record every moment and post our shenanigans online—and that’s really all I have to say about that.
Thankfully and contrary to every story I see on TV, high school was an enjoyable time for me. I was ready to leave when it was over and would never go back, don’t get me wrong, but it was a good time. So many silly moments, good concerts, laughter, movies, games, peppered only by a tinge of teen angst and troubles. It truly disheartens me to hear that these years can be so brutal for some. When I get to spend time with my friends from then, we talk and get along like no years have passed, even though we’ve all gone our separate ways and have different lives.
With all the growing up and presumed maturing and wisdom gaining, here’s a question I have for you: Will I ever feel like an adult? Does that kick in at any particular age? Or, in spite of the increasing amount of signals my body sends, will I perpetually feel like an 18 or 19 year old, 20 tops, in my mind? I have a husband, kids, a house and work. With all those things, I just thought I would somehow feel more, I don’t know, adulty by now.
Maybe it’s good I still feel so young. Even if it’s only in my head. I’m afraid once I start feeling old in my mind, then I’ll become old no matter what my age. Though, it does look as if I might have to start coloring my hair soon.
I look forward to going to my high school reunion. I probably won’t remember even half the stories that are told, but we’ll share smiles and laughter and enjoy our time together. We’ll also likely have the opportunity to share life’s pains and bolster each other up.
So here’s to the memories of my youth. Thank you for shaping and molding me. Thank you for amazing and wonderful and much-loved and loving friends. Thank you for giving me many good things to look back on and sticking with me when I went through the really tough times. You helped me not give up. You pushed me through and I’m sure you’ll come to my rescue again when I need a reminder that life is not always so difficult. Thank you for keeping me young at heart.