The first e-mail came in on Tuesday. Followed by another the next day. I assume from this pattern, I will receive daily updates until the actual date: my thirtieth high school reunion. The fact that I graduated from high school the same year that a number of my co-workers were born is a constant source of amusement for them, and I tend to think about 1980 more as a punch line than a reality of my life. The simple math is this: I have been out of high school as long as they have been alive. That means that I have had a lifetime, give or take, to adjust to life outside the hallowed halls of Boulder High School.
But back to this e-mail: It came from a girl, now a woman, who was a cheerleader in junior high and high school. As a matter of fact, my association with this lady goes all the way back to kindergarten, when I played the title role in my class production of "Peter Pan" and she had the pivotal role of Tinkerbell. My interest in donning greet tights to reprise my role is right on par with that of attending my reunion.
I went to my tenth reunion. Not as a registered member of the class of '80, but as the date of my childhood sweetheart and all-around good egg Heidi. She really wanted to go, but not alone. I was flattered and amused at the notion of appearing at such an event without any hoopla or fanfare. It was at a bar just up the hill from the high school, one that I had frequented in my collegiate years, and when we entered there was much fuss and ado about finding me a name tag. I told the people behind the table not to worry, as I wasn't registered. "I'm with her," I said, pointing to my date.
We spent an amusing and periodically awkward evening catching up and explaining to anyone who asked why I wasn't wearing a name tag. I explained that I just happened to be in the neighborhood and I wanted to stop in for a Coca-Cola. How was I to know that there was a reunion going on? What a happy coincidence.
Twenty years later, I have maintained the associations with the people I felt most connected to way back when. I don't spend a lot of time wondering where old what's-his-name ended up. My mother has kept me apprised of those member of my graduating class who made it to the obituary pages of the local paper far too soon. Sometimes I have fits of nostalgia that cause me to look back fondly at those three years I spent trying to enhance the reputation of tuba players across this great land of ours. I confess to having spent some idle moments Googling the some of the names of people with whom I graduated. It was during one of these fits of reverie that I answered a bit of spam that asked me to register for updates for the class of 1980. Since then, I have deflected most of the followups, including the occasional attempts to have my name removed from their lists. Mostly I just press "delete."
Now I face a new onslaught. Who, besides Tinkerbell, will be hounding me with requests to get back together with "the old gang?" Part of me wants to ask them to leave me alone in exchange for information about some of the other hard to find types. I'm sure something can be arranged.