On the flipside

Whew! We made it to 2007 in one piece. How 'bout you? We had a great Christmas with lots of videoing and picture-taking and wrapping paper and early mornings and expanding waistlines and awkward extended family moments. Nothing like trying to remember if that cousin of yours is still in college or not, or if your second cousin twice removed is still married to that one lunkhead who's in jail. Or something.

Anyway, we had a great time. And our New Years was more of a subdued affair, which was just fine with us. Yup, we're getting older.

Speaking of getting older, my 20th high school reunion will take place next month. It was supposed to happen last November (class of '86, natch), but the plans fell through. I'm mixed about going. I went to my 10th and that was a pretty interesting event -- for the first 45 minutes everyone was going around hugging and laughing and gabbing about gosh, it's been a long time, hasn't it? and yes, it certainly has and here's photos of my kids and what do you do now? That sort of thing. Everyone was interested in everyone else for those first 45 minutes. But then, wouldn't you know it? Everyone started to migrate back to their respective cliques -- it was high school all over again, albeit 10 years later. Since I never really stuck with one particular group, Andrea and I found ourselves sitting at a table, politely checking everyone out. There were some conversations and connections that were worth the price of the evening, but all in all, it was sorta strange to pay money for something that I had already experienced for 5 years -- back when I was a teenager.

Me in 8th grade
Click to view larger.

Yes, you read that right. My high school consisted of five years. We didn't have a middle school -- I went to the same elementary school from 1st through 7th grade and then went immediately into high school for 8th grade. We were labeled "sub-freshman" or "subbies" for short. It was supposed to be a derogatory term, but we wore that title like a badge of honor, thereby pissing the previous class off. (They hated being called "subbies.") It was a harsh move from being the kings of our elementary school to being on the lowest rung of the ladder in high school. And it didn't help that I was a full-blown nerd at the time. I was skinny, dorky, gawky, with bad hair to boot. At least I had my elementary friend Andy to help me out. He was on the football team (read: muscles) and would deflect any insults my way. I've been meaning to thank you for that, Andy. Thanks for keeping me alive throughout our entire 8th grade year.

Honestly, now that I think of it, I'm kinda excited about going to the reunion. I'm more interested in seeing what everyone is doing now and to see how they've aged. Oh, come on. You'd be doing the same thing if you were going, so don't front. Everyone will be checking each other out. I just hate to think that others might be sizing each other up on a negative level, whereas I'd be checking everyone out on a fascination/artistic level. I know -- how very artsy of me, but it's true. I should bring my sketchbook -- but dang wouldn't that be so typical of me, the one and (pretty much) only artist in our class arrives at the 20th year reunion with sketchbook and pencil in hand. Hmmm...maybe not.

But I digress. 2007 looks to be a pretty good year. Like I've hinted at in previous posts, I've got something lined up that I'm very excited about but can't share with you all just yet. It's not ready. Need more time.

In the meantime, hope you all had a great New Years -- here's to a fantastic 2007!


  1. My 20th is this year too (class of 87). I smiled as I read what you wrote. It's true. The same thing happened at my ten year with regard to people mingling and yet eventually ending up in the cliques they had in high school. That bothered me a bit. Although my curiousity is peaked I don't know if I will attend the reunion this year. We shall see...
    I think you should take your sketchbook. It could be fun. Plus you'd have pics to show here after the event!

  2. How funny. I went with a friend to my 10th, and we were in charge of videotaping the event and taking orders for copies. I spent so much time with that, I didn't even really mingle. When I did, all the insecurities just flooded back. It was weird. My (cough) 30th comes up next year, and I already declined the invitation. But then I don't have a lovely spouse to show off.

    PS: you ain't so nerdy now, huh?! ;)

  3. I went to my 20th reunion last July, and had a blast!! I had almost no friends in HS, but got to hang with the band geeks, the drama group, artsy chicks, the brainy people, and just had a good time. Even some of the former stuckups were really nice. Pretty much, only that “beautiful people" crowd didn't mingle much, but it was worth it.

    I almost didn't go. One of the reasons I had few friends is I was Gay and that was not cool back in the 80s. Soo since I didn’t want to be the only queer at the reunion, I googled the name of a girl who used to live behind me, who I didn’t know, but heard she was Gay. I took a shot in the dark and sent an email to the first address that looked plausible, and got her. She was now living in Brooklyn. We weren’t even friends in high school, but fortunately I was able to talk her into attending the reunion.

    To make things interesting we pretended to be dates at the reunion. No one recognized me for like the first two hours thinking I was her GF from Brooklyn. When they started to find out who I was, ooooh the rumors flew. It was so fun!

    Anyway, thanks to the reunion I was able to find a killer apt and moved to NYC, a week ago today. I’m started off the New Year watching fire works from Prospect Park.

    my uhm err 15 cents... I'd say go! Besides the hottest chick in the class, Polly, remembered me and said hi. That alone was worth it!! hehe She was still hot, hadn't aged a second. Go Fairport Raiders ! LOL (I never attended pep rallys… didn’t every one just smoke in the bathroom back then?? )

  4. My 20th should have been last year as well.. go class of '86!! We had a 5th year one that was dismal. Never heard if we even planned a 10th or more. Oh well.. didn't much like HS then anyway.
    I wasn't in any cliques at all... had a few HS friends but never any that went beyond the walls of the school. I see a few classmates now and then.. the usual hey how are you.
    If you can't bring your sketchbook bring a camera..capture the moments to draw later.

  5. Hmmmm...we didn't even HAVE a 10 year reunion, and I never heard a peep about 20 (Class of '85.) Going would have been pretty much a disaster anyway, for about a zillion reasons! The heads and nerds I hung out with probably didn't (or wouldn't) show, and the jocks and debs that margainally accepted/tolerated me (and I them) just aren't worth the trip. How's THAT for a wet blanket, Ward-o?

  6. You should TOTALLY go. I mean, come on...it only happens every 10 years, and if you don't go, you'll just sit around wondering about it (and obsessing). I have a feeling more people show up at these things the further you get away from high school. Plus, you've got a super career, so you gotta' go show it off and gloat! (I'm sure everyone else has become acountants...or something else equally conservative and boring.)

    And then I think you should post your reunion sketches for all to see! ;)

    I dug this post, and really dig the drawing you did to accompany it. (Is that Painter or Photoshop?) Not to mention, the idea of you depending on your friend Andy for survival is hilarious. Gosh...I was lucky not to get totally clobbered in High School, too. People tolerated me because I drew pictures for them!

    BTW, thanks for the happy 2007 wishes on me blog.

  7. Happy new year, Ward! Thanks for the great stuff through 2006... and I look forward to more!

    All the best,