Time is a funny thing. One day you’re running around your high school, drinking as many Dr. Peppers in one day as you can and eating Hot Cheetos for every meal with little to no consequences. The next day you’re standing in the cereal aisle at the grocery store trying to figure out which type of bran has the most fiber for the lowest price.
Adults really weren’t joking when they said, life comes at you fast. All of this is to say that when you get a chance to go back to one of the places where it all started, to chat with the folks you haven’t seen in a decade, you take it…just don’t expect everyone to show up!
My high school class finally had our 10-year reunion…11 years after graduating (as always, thanks Covid, you’re the worst) and of course, because it couldn’t happen any other way, the Omicron variant made traveling a terrifying minefield, and we had an absolute drencher of a rainstorm that night. If you’ve ever been to LA when it rains, you know that the freeways turn to bumper cars, while most locals stare wistfully at the clouds saying things like, “we really needed this,” or “this is so good for us.”
So, to those of you that showed up: thank you! It was such a treat to catch up with people I hadn’t seen in years, to hear about who got married and who got engaged, who started a sick new job, and who moved to an exciting new city, and to stand by our 7th grade lockers and crush cheap beers and even cheaper wines.
If you know me, or if you know where I went to high school, then you know it was a very small place. Our graduating class only had about a hundred kids in it. So, after six years with half of them and 4 years with the other half, I could probably name you a weird fact about every single kid I went to high school with. That’s why I was a little bit disappointed when every single person didn’t show up.
Of course, that wish was selfish! People have lives and families and kids (that part still freaks me out) and traveling is insane right now – and who really wants to huddle together under a tent on the football field on the coldest night of the year? I guess there’s just a part of me that wanted to see every single one of those familiar faces (even though after a decade, I bet some of them wouldn’t be so familiar any more, but such is life!) and pretend like I was young again and trying to avoid writing that paper for English class on that Sinclair Lewis novel I didn’t read.
I know you can never go back, permanently, but every once in a while, there’s a chance to go back for a little while. Maybe it’s a sound or a smell that takes you back for a minute, or a movie that takes you back for a few hours. And sometimes, when you’re huddled together in a tent, you can go back for an evening, and it’s pretty dang great.