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Reunion Weekend

I guess all I’ve been doing lately are so-called ‘haircut blogs.’ Apologies in advance.

Real estate update: The mortgage bank received and processed my payment. The side of the garage got scraped and painted. Signed and notarized papers have gone back to the attorney. The FHA inspector comes back tonight and the pest inspector is still at large. Things are moving along.

The high school reunion started with a cocktail party late Friday night. For many, this was just a continuation of a drinking binge that began at the park several hours earlier. See, the town I’m from has an annual outdoor fete at a local park and it is well known as a general reunion point each year for people who no longer live in the area but come ‘home’ to visit. Each class from my high school usually organizes their reunion to coincide with the fete, held during the same week each July. There is a beer tent, it is the height of summer, people are reminiscing and everyone typically has too much of a good time.

Every year I have at least one friend begging me to go to the beer tent but I always refuse to go. It’s crowded, hot and I hate draft beer. Plus, I normally don’t have any desire to be ‘reunited’ with anyone from my town. I just waited until after the beer tent closed and went directly to the restaurant where my class was meeting around midnight. The restaurant is owned by a classmate so he kept it open for us. The place was wall to wall people, most of whom were trashed.

Everyone remembered me. “You haven’t changed a bit!” they’d exclaim. I remembered almost no one. I finally figured out that this was because my mental picture of many of them was from a time prior to high school. I could easily remember what someone looked like in grade school but not in high school. In high school we were much more spread out into various cliques, not to mention I was stoned a lot of the time. When someone would tell me who they were, all I could do was say “Wow, how nice see you” and ask the requisite questions about where they lived and what they do. Time has not been kind to most of my classmates and some really look like they’ve been through the mill.

I had not signed up to go to the formal reunion on Saturday evening. I simply didn’t want to spend $55 to dress up, eat hotel banquet food, make small talk with people I was never really friends with and listen to bad music from the 1980s. Instead, one of our classmates was supposed to have an anti-reunion reunion party. That didn’t work out, so some of us – the ‘cool’ people I used to hang with – went down to another park we used hang out in for a late afternoon get together. It was a beautiful day. We drank beer, looked at old photos and traded stories.

A few beers later, we decided we would crash the formal reunion later in the evening. Some people who’d stopped down to the park who were going encouraged us. We (Mel, Sharon, a friend who’d come in from D.C, and I) decided to go to dinner first. Mel had read a newspaper write-up about a new restaurant downtown that had been given a good review so we decided to try it. It sucked ass. Absolutely the worst experience I’ve had in a very long time.

We waited for over an hour to be served our entrees. We were just getting ready to walk out when our entrees came to the table. It was already 10 p.m. and we were hungry so we ended up staying. The food itself was mediocre – very disappointing – especially considering the average price of an entree was $18. The waitress and bartender both apologized profusely, giving all kinds of excuses and laying blame on the cook but neither bothered to take anything off the bill. Apparently, they were powerless to do so and the owner/manager wasn’t in. I’ll be calling him tonight.

Afterward, we ended up going down to the reunion. We had planned to go home and change first but ended up in going in shorts and t-shirts because of the extra long time in the restaurant. By the time we got there it didn’t matter that we’d crashed anyway because the dinner was over and there was a cash bar. There were a few people there I hadn’t seen or gotten to talk to on Friday night so I was glad we went. Now I think my friend Donna is pissed at me though, because she’d been begging me to go to the reunion banquet for weeks and I’d refused. She’d even offered to pay for my ticket.

There weren’t any out gay people when I was in high school. There were only a couple of guys who were fairly obvious then (I think) but they were definitely not out. It was nice to see some of my classmates are very out now. No one batted an eyelash when I introduced Mel as my partner. Several classmates, including me, indicated they had a “partner” and named an obviously same-sex individual for the what-are-you-doing-now statistics section of the program. I was amused to see which of the women had turned out to be big ‘ol lesbos.

After another late night, we were pretty much beat yesterday. We skipped the Sunday afternoon reunion family picnic in favor of painting the garage and taking the dogs to the park. By then, Mel had had enough of my high school reunion anyway. The picnic was at the high school. The reunion organizers had to get a permit to do it and the school was not open so that people could use the facilities. Instead, they got a single porta-potty. I can’t imagine what that must have been like with all those people and their kids there. Ugh.

I also forgot to mention that I spent most of Saturday morning/early afternoon researching flights. I’m going on a seventeen-day trip to Stuttgart, Vienna and London next month. Details to come.