50th reunion a reminder of the great life before the internet | Wbactive


50th reunion a reminder of the great life before the internet



Ever since I was reminded by email that 2023 would be the 50th anniversary of my Abitur, my thoughts have revolved around getting older.

I was driving through Seattle traffic on a rainy night last week when I turned down the volume on my car radio so I could see better. At that moment I realized that I was no longer a young person. There are undoubtedly good things about getting older. Obviously, aging beats the alternative, and there are real, tangible benefits of aging. Senior discounts, for example. Take a nap and go to bed early whenever you feel like it.

Skip exercise when it’s raining outside. (Here’s a pro tip on exercising: If you stop calling your bathroom “John” and start calling it “Jim” instead, you can tell your friends that you start going to Jim every day off walk). Another benefit of aging – now that my memory is getting so bad, I can successfully plan my own surprise birthday parties.

To be honest, I don’t think I want to be a young person today. When I think about some of the really stupid things I did in high school, I’m grateful that I was a teenager before Al Gore invented the internet, so neither my bony antics nor my bare bottom were ever revealed to posterity A mobile phone was arrested.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t have a great high school experience. It seemed like I was going to a school for emotionally disturbed teachers. I went to a public school that eventually considered requiring all students to wear uniforms to create a safe, stable environment — you know, like the post office.

As far as I know, my high school has held biannual reunions for my senior year since 1973. I went to my 10 year reunion, and the event left such a bad taste in my mouth that I have never attended another one since. I won’t go into detail, but let me just say that dancing was involved. But a 50th high school reunion seems like a special moment in life worth celebrating, something like a first communion, a first kiss, or maybe an early release from prison.

I keep in touch with a small but close-knit group of my old high school friends. Some of them have since passed away, and the rest of us don’t get together as often as we used to. But speaking to some of them recently, I found surprising support for the idea that we would all go to our 50th reunion together.

I’ve defended the opposite side of the argument – why would I go all the way to California to see some old people face to face when I’ve already unfriended most of them on Facebook at some point? (For the record, I don’t mind Facebook. Surfing the internet and connecting with old friends is a lovely way to spend a Sunday afternoon. It’s similar to some of my hobbies as a kid, like collecting baseball cards. But I didn’t. Don’t check my card collection every six minutes.)

I still haven’t decided whether or not I’m going to my 50th reunion. On one hand, I think I’d have to run all the way there to lose the 20 pounds I need to lose before I let one of those losers I graduated with see me. And I need to dye my hair and spend some time in the real gym. It might be cheaper to pay my son to go in my place and claim to be me.

On the other hand, not only do I still fit into the t-shirts I wore in high school, but I still own and wear many of them. However, not on windy or rainy days for fear the shirts will turn into cotton confetti. When I go, I plan on making my own custom name tag that says “Hi, I can’t remember your name either” in very large letters.

On the third side, there’s nothing that makes you feel younger than being in the presence of people who knew you when you were young. The late Frank Zappa famously said, “High school is not a place; it’s a state of mind.” Perhaps that’s the appeal of attending a high school reunion, a chance to return to a state of mind where there’s no COVID, no Twitter, no war in Ukraine, and where it’s not an option , just being an “Instagram influencer” or a Kardashian is a legitimate calling. Who wouldn’t want to live in this world, even if it’s only for one night?

Tom Tyner writes a weekly humor column for this newspaper.




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