Thursday, October 15, 2015

Reunions- not how I remember them

I feel philosophical today. I think it may have been something I ate, but, reunions are on my mind.

Yeah. Reunions. Thinking about reunions to me is akin to thinking about taking a trip to the zoo. Why would I waste any time- even thinking time- on either one? And I don't think I can charge this one off to having cancer. Even though looking into the past should be added to the list of cancer- any cancer- symptoms, I'm not feeling it around this latest reunion fetish.

See, reunions strike me as odd things to be involved in. Basically, to me, we're saying: “Hey! This event was great. We had soooo much fun and we are all closing our time together on a fabulous high. I love you. You love me. We all love each other. It's a veritable luvapolooza.

“I've got a great idea. Let's get back together for a reunion in a few years, after we've had the chance to really burnish this memory into something special, taking it from a truly wonderful and fun time together, and making it legendary.”

We mess with it so much, that, in the end, what was once a wonderful memory becomes just another oh-so-close, but not quite, FAAAAHbulous spot on the Circle Lines Cruise of the island that is your life.”

Now, as someone who has struggled with weight issues most of my adult life, any thought of any reunion must first be ID'd and assigned a weight age. Like the mesozoic, neanderthal, cro-magnon eras, my chubby, mostly near the right weight, and wow I don't remember ever being that big eras must be accounted for.

If you think of the chart showing the evolution of man, and, instead of it showing how upright you walked as the eons went by, it revealed how your stomach looked from the side, you'd maybe get some idea of what I'm talking about.

And once you've decided what those pictures are going to show, then you have to consider what your weight has done to you now.

So, what seemed like a good idea at the time- let's get back together to remember this in five years- morphs. Even when you get the reunion invitation in the mail, or email, you spend the first few seconds remembering the fun and the rest of.... oh, let's say...eternity remembering all the other bits. Time to hit the old excuse book, brothers and sisters.

Or maybe that's just me.

But, then, there's high school reunions. You'd probably guess that I don't like them. OK, but that wouldn't really be right unless you put at least seven reallys in front of “don't.” You'd have to also become so self-centered and hateful that you couldn't entertain so much as a glimmer of the thought that other people might enjoy going to their high school reunion. No way, man. There is no good reason for going back to high school... for anyone.

If you're like me, you surely have a list of people you've always wanted to see having had some terrible thing happen to them. There's a couple you might still want to serve a glass of punch that you've spit in (sorry, but it could be true), and, more to the point, a much larger number you want to grill on why making your life so un-happy was such an integral part of making their life happy-happy. “Seriously, man, why did you have to pull all that crap?”

It used to be that I wanted to be sure I measured up, that I was at least less of a failure, if I couldn't be more successful than my classmates. I wanted to be able to have all this “Stuff” to compare with their “Stuff” and have everyone agree that my “Stuff? was way better.

But here's the issue: you cannot go back. I might want to be 16 again and experience wonderful success, whatever that might have looked like back then, against a whole bunch of mean people. But I can't. The best I could do would be a 66-year-old guy laying some petty revenge on some poophead who wouldn't even remember what he's done or why I would still be so mad about it almost five decades later. Besides, having cancer took whatever minimal pleasure there may have been left in that. The person I didn't care for could have had any number of completely random bad things happen to them. I wouldn't want to add to a person's upset for even a second.

I did go to one high school reunion. It was my ex-wife Janice's high school reunion and it think it was the fifth, though I'm not sure. Actually, my ex-wife and her sister Jeanne are twins. So, being in some manner joined to the twins made it very easy to put people out of their misery when they stood in front of me putting undue pressure on their brains trying to figure out if I had been in Mr. Walker's sixth period trig class with them. I just said, “I didn't go here. I'm with one of the twins,” and that was more than enough.

There are a variety of versions of the story that gives this blog its name. The pony is the constant in all of them. A man is on his way to a party when he comes across a young boy shoveling ass over tea kettle at an enormous mountain of manure. The man asks the child if he wouldn't rather go with him to the party than shovel all that poop. The kid says, “No way man. With all that poop... there must be a pony in there somewhere