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Friday, March 27, 2009

40th Reunion

My 40th high school class reunion is drawing near, and I have mixed feelings about the event. Now, don't get me wrong: I love my classmates and I hold our high school days close to my heart. I will attend and have a good time renewing old friendships and reminiscing about the past. We will break bread together and discuss our present lives. Just one thing haunts me though. You see, it's this aging thing that skews the picture of our official once every five year communion. My mind sees classmates as they were circa 1969 while my eyes see the living reality of 2009. In some ways, the pictures do not fit. I, like everyone in the class, have changed dramatically both physically and mentally since graduating, and I can handle that. It's just that I want to remember many things as they were forty years ago without any new perspectives. So, I've decided to make a list that suggests some ways I have remained and/or changed since '69. That way, people can get an idea about what the 2009 me will be before the reunion. Don't go to those old yearbooks, people. Just consider the questions that follow and you will reformulate your own image of who I have become. 1. Why does not only Lawrence Welk sound good on the old PBS Saturday night reruns, but also Porter Wagoner sounds OK too? 2. Why is going out on the town these days comprised of walking through Walmart then parking in Kroger's lot to watch the produce trucks unload? 3. Why do I see the old Brian Wilson's blank face staring at me when I look into the bathroom mirror? 4. Why do my friends and I talk about knee problems and recent ailments instead of hot chicks, sports feats, and new guitars? 5. Why do I go to a concert and hate bright flashing lights, ear-splitting PA systems, and large crowds of screaming people? 6. Why do those damned commercials on television have to be so much louder and so much sillier than the occasional program I watch? 7. Why did the Watusi, the Jerk, the Fly, the Mashed Potatoes, and the Jitter Bug give way to the "Who Can Grind Their Booty More Ways Than a Waring Blender?" gyrations? 8. Why will I always prefer the mini-skirt, Beatle boots, and long hair look to the lingerie, gold, and tattoo "bi-atch" fashion statement? 9. Why do I wish I still saw the boy with the hot car and the cool girl squeezed in next to him instead of seeing the girl with the hot car and the cool girl squeezed in next to her? 10. Why can't I find one radio station that still calls my music "the oldies"? 11. Why does my beer always have to be so light that it tastes like someone refilled half the bottle with tap water? 12. Why does my car have to be named Camry, Corolla, Probe (ugh), or Accord instead of MUSTANG, THUNDER BIRD, SUPER SPORT, or CHARGER? 13. Why do six hours sleep and a good dream feel as good as a fantastic party? 14. Why do I have 2,468 channels on my cable and I can't find anything to watch except forty year old reruns and the Nature Channel? 15. Why can't anyone entertain me like Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Jimmy Durante, Bob Hope, Ed Sullivan, Groucho Marks, Red Skelton, Dina Shore, Louis Armstrong, or Johnny Carson? 16. Why do I think Marilyn Monroe, Bridgette Bardot, and Sophia Loren are still in every man's dreams? 17. Why does my mind keep writing large checks that my 58 year-old body can't cash? 18. Why do all the older people become my best friends? I bet you can answer many of these questions for me. Let's just say that the questions I have written only reveal part of my story. There is much more to my life than this... at least, I think there is. Well, maybe....
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