The Feared,Loved,Avoided & Unforgettable 10 Year Reunion

It’s come and gone.
The official marker of growing old: The Ten Year High School Reunion. And my acceptance and partaking of said event is inevitably my acceptance of that truth.

And while I was all kinds of excited and fearless about the whole thing, I still didn’t know what to expect. You might remember I made a 7 minute long satire about it on my depression themed mixtape and now classic, The Zoloft Files. I recently shared that track on Facebook to see if any of those preconceived thoughts and ideas were shared by my peers. I made references to school drug dealers becoming judges, promiscuous girls becoming international real estate tycoons, Teachers being richer than me, former crushes thinking I’m gay, and feeling inadequate in comparison to my former classmates’ stellar accomplishments. I even made a reference to the movie Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion – which was my only real idea of what the whole experience is like. This of course, was all satire like I said. My true notions and expectations had more to do with curiosity than nervousness or any self-conscious misconceptions. I was actually happy to have people have a new picture to take of me and remember me by than that awful yearbook picture. I wanted to see what legacy I left and image I had imprinted. Plus, I really couldn’t care about what these people thought anyway. There were no old bullies, no unrequited loves. There were a few long-lost friends….That was my biggest motivation. But all in all, I don’t think any of us cared per se, and maybe that’s what gave it such an easy-going vibe and cool undertone.

Saturday night was the rites of passage for us late 20’s-ers, and the embracing of the end of our youthful adulthood. Most of us are just finding ourselves, and there was a shared understanding of such. Much to my surprise, everyone spent a great deal of the time reminiscing and not asking each other what we all do for a living now, or how many kids we all have. Those with kids happily volunteered that info…some came pregnant.

One of my 3 favorite teachers of all time was there, Mr. Hannah. That made my night. He was one of the first people who I spoke to. Glad that happened. He remembered my name. How cool is that after 13 years??! I didn’t get to tell him that he’s one of my favorite teachers, but I think I did a few years back, so my conscience can rest a little. I really have to thank the conspirators behind him being there, Pablo, Matt and Shirley. And then I have to thank Shirley and Matt again for doing the job that I couldn’t. See, at one point, I took it upon myself, along with Sydney and Kayla to attempt to lead the charge in organizing this reunion. To this I laugh now, but it was a noble idea. We wanted to have it in the gym of the school itself. Now I see, that that may have killed the intimacy of it all.

I missed alot of folks who couldn’t make it; Cassandra – the girl who put me on to the wonders of using spoken word as a tool of expression for all of that confusing teen crap going on, Molly – the girl who really made me see I had talent, Ashante – my across-the-street-neighbor and coolest dude I knew who wasn’t in my immediate group of friends, Liby – the prettiest, coolest chic ever, Miranda – just my favorite person because she was one of a kind, Erica – my laugh out loud buddy, Rebecca – my blonde-haired, snarky partner in nerdiness, Kaleeba – my sassy sometimes-friend, Jazzie -Hope you had a good reason, Mike – where the hell were you?, Julie – WTF?, Brenda – I just wanted to see what the pretty Goth chic looked like now, Mark – the other coolest kid, and Jessica – My Freakin’ BEST FRIEND in high school for cryin out loud!! She just sucks!

I have a penchant for naming names. But I’m an honest guy, I blog, and you only live once. I like to paint clear pictures so you feel like you’re with me. This did get me in trouble however…see, a few days before posting that 1o year reunion track on Facebook, I posted up another 7 minute long track that I made on my first mixtape where I autobiographically summarized some of my experiences in high school and named names of my fellow classmates and some situations. Boy did I hear it from them! Maritza kept asking why I called her flaky, My homegirls Gina and Thalia asked why I put Gina on blast about some old high school drama, and the worst offense, my boy Dave kept mentioning that I called him a “lame” back then.

For these things I apologize. Sorta…

But none of this can compare to the meanest instance; speaking to my Supposed Prom date that night and hearing her tell me that I told her upon seeing her, that if I knew she was going to look as good as she did, that I would have taken her. What an ASSHOLE! Who says shit like that?? That doesn’t even sound like me – let alone 17-year-old me. Who was I to say something like that? I was welfare-braces guy who couldn’t get a girl back then except for the random horny chics. I had to have been joking. She was just sensitive. Yeah…that’s it.

In either case, I apologize sweetheart. And I owe you a prom night.

Yet some things never change. Our class produced so many couples; Plenty of high school sweethearts, a few high school sweetheart babies (shout out to baby Mason!). Everyone still looked relatively Young, a couple of fat-faces. It was really interesting to see the dynamics, how some of us would make it a point to speak to everyone (I see you Kristel!), and how some of us just did the cordial hellos and stuck to our same crews and cliques from back in the days. It was like old times. Some people came in with a fellow classmate and talked mainly to them the whole time. Our school was kinda racially sectioned off in some ways, as I imagine most schools are. It’s a relativity thing. In our time there, the population was largely Hispanic and Asian with sprinkles of Black and White kids. The Blacks and Latins tended to mix the most although there were always separate groups within that mix. The White and Asian students tended to be more homogenous. But everyone was cool with each other. I always tried to mix as much as possible. I found everyone interesting. But I knew I didn’t truly belong to any group.

My reputation was in tact tho. Everyone asked me about my music and the status of my career. I forgot that I was pretty damn popular, not in a cool-kid way, but in a ‘that kid is cool’ way. I can live with that. Anthony told me that I battled Juelz Santana on the corner where everyone used to chill outside of school before he was known and I killed him! I don’t even remember that! Even if it isn’t true, I was gassed! A bunch of people mentioned how they listened to my 10 year reunion track. That was Dope. Mission accomplished.

I know I could have spoken to some people more, but I tried. Small talk is not really my thing. I like flow. Shout out to Michelle for being super cool, Sylvia called me out because she keeps it so real! Anatoly was the life of the party, I told Jessica that she was the heart of the party. Shirley was beautiful, Suheidy – I won’t forget! Shout out to Angela for coming all the way from the Midwest to be there, both Dannys and everyone else who I can’t remember to name.

I stood in the middle most of the time, and looked around. We are the class of 2000. We changed the game. We caused the paradigm shift, as I was telling Shamari and Khalil on the way back, from the idea of being at a certain place by 30. We made 30 the new 20. We redefined the notion of having to have a career by 25 and having to be married and on your own by the end of your 20’s. Judging from the few convos that I did have about what people are doing now revealed that we are all works in progress. Most of the unmarried folks my age who I know are either living with roommates or living with family still and finalizing intricate plots to take over the World! It’s no longer about when we get there, but now it’s about HOW we get there and what we do once we’re there.

To close it out, so glad I got to drag Killa to this event and I saw my other longtime friends, Alex and Meriam.  Anthony asked me if it was anything like the song I made – My answer: Not at all. I made new connections, made a few promises, and now we’ll all see what the future holds.

Class of 2000. You look damn good!

1 Comment

  1. Nice synopsis G….. I didn’t go to my high school reunion.

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