Today's blog title comes from Grosse Pointe Blank, one of my favorite movies, and it seemed especially appropriate for today's post about my recently concluded 20-year high school reunion.
I went to a very small private school, and so there were only 48 people in my graduating class. About a dozen came to the reunion. I recognized almost everyone instantly. My classmates have aged well. As one of my classmates joked, in five years, we will all look a little worse, and then in 10 years, we will look better again, thanks to the magic of cosmetic surgery.
Even though Facebook has largely removed much of the mystery of school reunions, which I imagine was once their primary draw, I was very happy to see all of these people in person. I heard fascinating stories about my classmates opening restaurants, serving in the military, appearing on reality TV shows, having children, getting married, getting divorced, and getting married again. I also heard about one of my old teachers, whom I long suspected might be immortal, cheating death time and time again in the last 20 years.
I know that the 20-year reunion is supposed to be one of those milestones in life, sort of like losing your virginity or watching the pilot episode of Lost for the first time, but it didn't really feel like it. It just felt like a group of old friends getting together and looking back on a ridiculous time in our lives, because what is high school other than the ridiculous time in your life to which all the other ridiculous times in your life are compared? Plus, I used to wear these kick-ass big-framed glasses that you often see in mug shots of someone who's been charged with something really creepy, so it was awesome seeing the old pictures.
People often say that they wish they knew in high school what they know, and yes, that is a tempting proposition. For one, I might have a had a little more success with the ladies. And by "a little more," I mean, of course, "any." But that, of course, would be cheating. Any good lesson in life is worth learning painfully.
That said, if I could talk to the 1991 version of myself, I would tell him the following things:
1. Do not be alarmed by the fact that two of the stars of the movie Predator will become governors.
2. Your beloved Cleveland Indians will blow Game 7 of the 1997 World Series despite holding the lead in the bottom of the 9th inning. The team they lose to doesn't exist yet. Enjoy that one.
3. You're not getting any taller. Or better looking. Start being funny and start writing.
4. On one occasion, your Spidey sense is going to buzz so loudly that you're going to think you're insane. Ignore it at your peril. Let me know how that works out for you.
5. You will owe all your success in writing to an animated pig-bear-puppy hybrid.
So, on this Sunday afternoon, I take a sip of my Diet Pepsi and pour a little on the floor in honor of my fellow members of the Class of 1991.