Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pre-Reunion Thoughts

I'm flying out to my high school reunion this weekend: #25. On grad night 1983 I borrowed my friend's spanky new Trans Am, put on my spanky new nearly-adult clothes, then drove out to pick up the lovely girl who agreed to ride wi' me. The banquet was held in a church basement. We arrived to a parking lot filled with rented Firebirds. But ours was black. With a Screaming Chicken on the hood. Like this guy's.

It's funny: I disdained Knight Rider as the entertainment of simpletons. But one look at my grad photo reveals a kid unwittingly aping the 'Hoff, with just a scraggly dash of Selleckian lip-shrubbery.

Here is Toronto's CHUM FM Top 100 for 1983, a list that depressed me at the time. Michael Jackson, Duran Duran, all those songs from Flashdance, Taco ... you got any cheese to go with this? Of course I possessed no shame in playing my own favorites from this list: John "Cougar" Mellencamp, RUSH, Loverboy, Police and my dearly-beloved Talking Heads. And I did like the spare, throwback delivery of the Stray Cats. (Say did anyone else notice what an oddity Jackson Browne's entry was for that year?) My female friend requested we play Toto IV in the car's tape deck that night. Who was I to refuse? The reflex to please became so deeply ingrained I still turn up the radio when "Africa" comes on. Truth be told, though, when it came to music I was already nostalgic for 1979.

Alright, nuffadat. The airplane leaves tonight. Time to turn and face the strange.


Scott said...

You're a braver man than me, Mr. Reimer :)

Running into old classmates is always a flood of mixed emotions for me. It seems that Hamilton people age well -- everyone I've encountered in years since is down-to-earth, sincere and funny -- but I start getting nervous when they begin to gush about the glory days with nostalgic excitement.

I don't share it. At all. But I don't know how to say so without raining on their parade. My old friend Josh never gets this: "You seemed happy enough," he says. I tell him the key word is "seemed." Maybe I should've joined the goths -- they were more honest!

So yeah, high school reflections aren't my thing -- I'm too busy working on my happiness now (thankfully with some success) -- but I do enjoy seeing what we've all turned into.

And, just for the record, I still crank up the radio for "Africa" -- that song is cheesetastic!

Have a great trip!

DarkoV said...

Oh the plentitude of dredged up stories you will hopefully be posting in the very near future!

Hope you're packed to the gills with chum, because no one bites faster and harder on self-immolating stories than High School folks 25 years after the deeds were allegedly done.

The tremot. The quake(s). the settling of the silt.

Joel said...

I went to my 1st high school reunion a couple years ago (I guess you're a couple re-unions up on me.

I had a lot of mixed feelings walking in, but they all evaporated as soon as i saw everyone again, and then it was just like old times.

Whisky Prajer said...

The fun began even before I boarded the plane. The event calls for "business casual" attire; since I've been pleasantly stuck in "Dilbert Casual" mode for the last 10 years, I was foraging deep in the closet and pulling out some very dusty clothes indeed. My younger daughter walked in on my mirror-gazing, rolled her eyes and turned to walk out.

"What?" I asked.

"Dad -- are you trying to look like the new and improved Aladdin?"

So I sat down and stayed silent while my daughters and wife rescued me from my poorer instincts.

DarkoV said...

Although I'd usually defer to your spouse and daughter's sartorial tastes, if, 25 years out of high school, I still had pecs that required AladdinWare to effectively display....well I'd be shaving the chest hairs, oiling up the musculature, and primming what need to be primmed and then head off to the Reunion.

Your daughter and spouse? Well, they're women! They wouldn't necessarily understand what the male ego has to go through at these reunions.

Aladdin Ho!

Whisky Prajer said...

I think the key word in my daughter's observation is "trying." I wouldn't want anyone confusing this young man's BMI (or good humor) with my own.

cs said...

Ok, so that explains the vest.

Whisky Prajer said...

It also explains the presence of a shirt.