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So I'm off to the lunch counter for a little dinner before bed.  I've been working hard on the layouts for Head Above Water and frankly didn't feel like cooking.  When I'm tired and it's near the end of the day, I have a simply maxim -- anything that takes longer to make than it does to eat is not worth the effort.

I head in there with my typing laptop (Maria, repurposed thanks to OpenOffice.org), and as I get ready to open the door, I see a flyer in the window.

Advertising my sort-of high school reunion.

I hated the other kids in high school.  I came here in the third grade, when everyone had already formed their little social cliques.  My mom drilled into my head that the most important thing was to make friends, and if anyone picked on me, prove I'm the bigger man by not fighting.  This meant that the kids felt they had carte blanche to pick on me.  It wasn't until the last day of my junior year in high school that I had an epiphany, and my senior year, I started fighting back.  And suddenly, they left me alone!

Because of my brains, I got usually got stuck with the honors students and advance placement kids.  Let me tell you, what a bunch of jagoffs.  One kid, the leader of the preps, had a girlfriend relatively new to the school (I think she transfered in in her junior year).  They became an item, the usual "kids in the same class" bullshit.  Now, she was smart.  More booksmart, though.  He would join his buddies making fun of her for being a dumb blonde when her grades were not statistically different from his.  She'd get upset, as you would expect.  He'd then talk to her, giving her a, "Cantcha take a joke?" speech, she'd forgive him, and the cycle would repeat.  I had the lowest grades in the class, but they typically made fun of me for other stuff (like, oh, drawing cartoons).  They were a cut above, and reveled in it, and looked down on the world from their perch.

By way of contrast, I had some classes with the "regular" kids.  They treated each other decent.  And they thought I was the coolest.  I could help them with their homework and help them grasp complex ideas.  Plus, I was fun.  They loved the cartoons.  I did an impersonation of Ronald Reagan that had them rolling in the aisles.  Having a sense of humor also came in handy with one kid.  The teacher was late to class.  He found out I was Polish (something I didn't really hide) and he started telling Polish jokes.  I just sat there quiet until one of the other kids leaned in and said, "In case you're wondering, he's Italian."  Well, Polish jokes and Italian jokes are pretty much the same thing, all you have to do is change the national identity.  I stood up, and for every Polish joke he threw at me, I threw an Italian joke back.  This continued until the teacher showed up.  Afterwards, he bought me a can of soda and said I was a funny guy.  Guess who I preferred hanging around with?

(Side note:  the regular kids thought it was a hoot when I took the ACT, and not only beat every one of the preps' scores, but tied the school record.  The principal lost five bucks to the gym teacher when they bet who would nail it.)

Ten years after I graduated, I got an invitation to my ten year high school reunion.  The committee was headed by the very preps who made my life Hell for most of my school years.  Part of the reason I looked forward to graduating was I wouldn't have to see them again.  I hated hated hated nearly every one of them.  There were only a couple of kids I was friends with after high school, and one only that I'm friends with now.  And I don't need a reunion to hang out with him, I just call him up and suggest doing something dopey.

The thing about the ten year reunion was they originally planned a banquet hall and such.  But there wasn't enough interest.  It turned out to only be a smattering of them.  I heard through a friend that they wound up having the reunion at a local bar, making it sound like a Jeff Foxworthy joke.

Now, there's the regulation reunion coming up.  Only it's not just my class.  There's a four year window, presumably to get some decent numbers in there.  And yes, it's at a local bar again.  Jesus titty-fucking Christ.

I know lots of people would love to do a Romy And Michelle bit.  But basically, this reunion has all the marks of "Come and feel superior!"  After all, none of them really liked each other, or there wouldn't have been that undercurrent of hostility in all the classes.  And frankly, if I want to feel superior to them, I started that after I started my senior year.  I don't need a class reunion to validate my anger.

Wow.  What a way to go all out.....


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 3rd, 2010 03:03 pm (UTC)
Our 10 year reunion did not go off at all. The guy in charge of our class treasury didn't bother taking the money and putting it in a trust for the class. The treasure then defaulted to the following class the next year. They took a very nice class trip, and we had no money to pay for a reunion.

I have also been sent an invite to a 20 year reunion. Ours will be at a restaurant and banquet place in a nearby town. It also is for 4 class years instead of just our one. They are asking $50 a head to attend. Which is enough to put me off attending. But then I looked at the lists of people who refused the invite, those that may go, and those that are attending. On the list of people not attending, some okay some not. On the list of people who may be attending, some I'd kinda like to see some okay and some not. On the list of people who are attending, a bunch of fuckheads and some people I feel kinda "meh" about.

So, it looks like I won't be attending.
Mar. 4th, 2010 03:25 am (UTC)
There is, of course, the other motivation, where people go just to see how washed out the beautiful people have become. But that just seems a little too self-serving to me and I can't do it.
Mar. 3rd, 2010 06:52 pm (UTC)
Hehehe, that's an awesome story about the Polish & Italian jokes!

I've never gone to a reunion. Like you, i loathed all the high school b.s., and to be honest I can't even really remember who most of the people are any more. Except for the few peeps who I still know & keep in touch with.
Mar. 4th, 2010 03:24 am (UTC)
It's a funny thing about the Polish jokes. When I was in high school and college, the jokes didn't offend me, because they weren't about anybody I knew (you sure couldn't describe Madam Curie as a "dumb Pole"). I couldn't take them personally. But somewhere along the line, a switch got flipped. I noticed that a lot of people who tell the jokes aren't telling them to be funny, but to be mean. The jokes are very much an expression of hatred in my mind, and I can't stand them in general now.

Now, I still have a sense of humor, and occasionally someone I know will tell one, and it won't bother me because I know his intent is not to hurt, but he's just using "Pole" as a comic shorthand. But other people like my brother-in-law, who is trying to get my goat with them? Oh, yeah, I lash out.

When I shot the movie "Firewater!", I almost sacked one of the actors. My character's name was "Ed Sawa." He asked me why I gave him "a Polack name." When I mentioned to him, rather tersely, that I was Polish, he did that embarrassed silence and slink away for a little bit thing. Like I said, intent and ignorance are the major considerations, and I just don't have the patience or tolerance anymore.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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