I actually quoted Dokken in my yearbook. Dokken. What a tool.

My 20-year high-school reunion is coming up next month, and I simply can’t suppress the urge to say “Whoopdeefreakindoo!”

I keep waiting to feel bubbling up within me some desire to attend this event, but, so far, when I imagine waking up on the Sunday morning after it takes place, I have no premonition of regret about having skipped it.

See, here’s the thing: I hated high school. When adults would say, “Enjoy it! These are the best years of your life!,” I could only assume that life was really gonna suck after graduation. (I am very happy to report that each of the 20 years I’ve lived since graduating high school have been better than any of the four I spent there.)

Admittedly, a big part of why my high school experience sucked was the fact that I looked like a short, skinny, mulleted bobblehead doll. I mean, look at that picture. Sweet Jesus. Let’s just say that the ladies weren’t exactly lining up for dates. (I remember telling Wonder Woman years ago that I had been the second smallest kid in my high school until my junior year. She said she knew I must be telling her the truth about that, because I knew there was one kid smaller than me.)

To be fair, I did have a lot of close friends who were female. Developed some serious crushes on a few of them, too. Unfortunately, when you look like Farmer Ted, teenage girls don’t want to date you; they want you to be their cute, harmless-as-a-puppy-dog guy friend who can serve as an emotional tampon while they cry to you about how the jerk-off hockey player they hooked up with at that party last weekend hasn’t given them the time of day since.

But I’m not bitter.

Of course, it didn’t help that, throughout much of my high-school years, my parents were going through an ugly separation and divorce—which, at the time, I saw as a bit of a blessing, because having my father move out meant that there was one less person in the house with whom I had to argue on a daily basis. Still, that’s a pretty bleak silver lining in a fairly large, extremely dark cloud.

It also didn’t help that I almost flunked out of school on more than one occasion. (When I was 31, I was diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, and that diagnosis was made, in part, by report cards and teachers’ comments dating back to elementary school. Back then, they didn’t diagnose ADD; they called you lazy and said you didn’t apply yourself.)

One week before my senior year started, I enlisted in the army, with my departure set for one month after graduation. I was one of maybe three guys in my entire graduating class who, instead of going off to college, entered the military. I knew that I hated school, I knew that I would have flunked out of college, and, regardless, I just wanted to get the fuck out of Dodge.

I spent four months in Alabama for basic training and military-police school. During that short time, I grew two inches and gained 26 pounds. When I got out of the army, I went to college, made Dean’s list every semester and graduated with honors.

So, no, I don’t for a moment miss high school.

Most of the people with whom I was truly close during high school, I have remained friends with since—and before we all had kids and enormous mortgages that we couldn’t afford and lives that were completely unmanageable, we actually saw each other once in a while.

As for the more distant acquaintances—well, can’t we all just agree that Facebook eliminates the need for a high school reunion? It’s the perfect compromise. People whom you’ve forgotten about come out of the woodwork, but are kept at a safe distance. Pictures allow you to see how well or how poorly they’ve aged. Don’t really wanna reconnect with a particular person? Just click “Ignore” on that “Friend” request, my brotha. (“The user will not be notified.” Perfect!)

On the other hand, attending the reunion would mean a night out of the house without the kids, surrounded by adults—and alcohol. Hmmm. Maybe I’ll go. If nothing else, it’ll give me something to blog about.

[UPDATE: No, I didn’t go. And I don’t regret it.]

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12 Comments

  1. Posted October 5, 2008 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    I wouldn’t bother going to a reunion if they held one in my school. As you say I’m in touch with the one’s I want to be, and for the others there is always facebook.

    Mind you, if i’d had a haircut like that I might be tempted to go back just so people didn’t ever think I’d kept it. Hang on…oh crap I did have a haircut like that!

    Boy the 80’s sucked for style.

  2. Posted October 6, 2008 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    “Boy the 80’s sucked for style.”

    Ain’t that the truth, dude.

  3. Deke
    Posted October 6, 2008 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Come on now. Mullets were cool and back then everyone thought so except for our parents who knew better. I think it was an inside joke amongst the parents. “Boy are those kids gonna look back and be embarrassed.” Its all a hazing process.

    As for the High School reunion. Its only been twenty years and since 40 is the new 30, I don’t think there will be that much changed. 30 year reunion would be good, then you can go back and see who got really fat and who got divorced etc. It will make it more interesting (unless your the person who got fat, divorced and lost your hair). If you are single this is a no brainer. You must attend and find a conquest. I really don’t feel like going myself. Mostly due to lack of motivation to trek all the way there. But like you said adults and alcohol.

    Oh and DOKKEN RULES!

  4. Posted October 6, 2008 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Well said, Deke. I believe you hit all the salient points.

    But … are we going?

  5. Deke
    Posted October 6, 2008 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    who knows.. game time decision .. if I do I think I’m leaving the wife at home. I know a few who are attending but still really can’t get excited about it..

  6. Posted October 6, 2008 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Keep me posted. Pretty sure I’ll be flying solo if I go, so we could go together and tell everyone we’re gay and married.

  7. Jeff
    Posted October 7, 2008 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    just went to wife’s 20 yr reunion. shoulda stayed home.

    plus, if you want a night out from the kids with WW, do you really want it spent in a poorly decorated high school gym or local rec center, surrounded by half-drunk strangers after eating some below-mediocre appetizers?

  8. Posted October 9, 2008 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    LOL! Okay, that does it: you just changed my mind. I ain’t goin’ to mine either.

    But seriously, I didn’t hate high school as much as it sounds like you did, but I didn’t really love it either. What’s the point of the 20-year reunion anyway? I can see a point to a 40-year — looking at who makes it that long — but the 20-year is purely designed for neener-neener effect, as in “Ha! You’re a newspaper reporter? Well, I’m a surgeon. So, what does reporter pay, like $10/hour??”

  9. Posted October 9, 2008 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Wow-o-wow can I relate to all of this – except mine was through the experiences of a girl. Thanks for reminding me I’m not alone in feeling the same exact way.

    For the record, I skipped mine – and didn’t regret it at all.

  10. Posted October 12, 2008 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Jeff: True … though mine’s scheduled to take place at a pretty nice hotel on the Charles River in Boston … and it’s open bar for the first hour.

    Karen: Dead on about the neener-neener thing … and I’m in no position to be neener-neenering, so not much in that for me.

    Jennifer: Happy to remind you that you’re not alone. I think there are plenty of us out here who didn’t peak in high school … and that’s a good thing, as far as I’m concerned!

  11. Posted March 24, 2011 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    Nice pic mate. 😉
    World War 2´s most recent blog post: World War 2My Profile

  12. Posted April 3, 2011 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Did you use Photoshop in your yearbook picture? Just kidding! 😀

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