ó 1:26 p.m.
High School Reunion
20 years? For real? Jumping jesus in a chicken basket! Is that possible? Well, it must be, because 175 or so other former classmates of mine showed up too. Wow.
Thatís right, it was my 20-year high school reunion. I graduated in 1987 from whitebread high school in suburbia, California, about 40 miles west of Los Angeles, and oh boy, was it white. There were only a few black families in the area (no, Iím not going to use African-American. You want to know why? First of all, not everyone from Africa is black, and second of all, itís so completely ridiculous that I canít even stand it. NO ONE is really that sensitive) and most of the Hispanic families lived down in Oxnard and Camarillo, although there were a few. For the most part though, it was middle and upper-middle white kids, and lots of Ďem. There were around 500 in our graduating class, with a student body of around 2000. Me? Ha! No, I was not one of the privileged kids. My mom was a grocery checker and my dad was a fireman. I digress.
Iíd been out in Carlsbad, Ca since Sunday of that week with work, then The Girl (Kim) flew out on Thursday and we went to Disneyland. My best friend who now lives in Oregon was to arrive on Friday with his girlfriend, who is one of The Girlís favorite people. The weekend was shaping up well.
On Friday we elected not to go to Disneyland and drove to Laguna Beach instead, which was about a 45-minute jaunt in my really cool revved up red rental Monte Carlo. Laguna Beach is the idyllic artistís colony-turned-tourist-trap-on-the-coast, complete with expensive restaurants, coffee shops, a street mall, and innumerable artsy-fartsy shit-selling shops. In one of the shops, I saw what Iím sure is the largest piece of jewelry in the world. You decide.
Still the fashion capital of the world, California also boasts the latest trends in cool eyewear. Who knew that I would be the one to bring sexy back?
The piece de resistance of the Laguna Beach township, however, is that there is no free parking anywhere, and no matter where you park, there is a 3-hour limit. Welcome to Laguna Beach! Now spend some money and get the fuck out! Needless to say, the girl loved it.
During our limited-duration visit, which I thought was just enough time, we browsed the stacks of the shops in the street mall, bought a bunch of trinkets for The Girlís family and some sandals for her (since she had forgotten hers), had a nice lunch at Pomodoro, then she had to get some sand in her toes, so we spend the last of our time limit on the beach. I spent most of the time dodging the chilly Pacific waters Ďcause Iím a vadge like that, but The Girl was born and raised in Colorado, so the beach is special to her. She was happy to hitch up her capris and feel the feeling.
While she was living her dream of getting her feet wet, she mentioned quietly that someone else was having sweet dreams as well, and she pointed out Beach Boner here. ďTake my picture!Ē she says with a wink and a nod. So here is ďherĒ photo.
15 or 20 minutes later we were out of parking time and we fled Laguna Beach before the Toll Troll (the male version of ďMeter MaidĒ), who had already marked my tire, could come back and give me a $37.00 ticket. You know how hard it is to earn $37.00 on a housekeeperís salary?
Christian and Janet arrived that night around 9:45, and the first thing we did was call the front desk to find our where the nearest In-N-Out Burger (ďThose are good burgers, Walter.Ē) joint was and promptly go there for a solid face-stuffing. For those of you who are vegetarians or due to your location have never experienced the one-of-a-kind culinary delight that is In-N-Out Burger, Iím very sorry for you. We went there twice more during the weekend.
Why do you keep distracting me? I think Iím hungry now. Shit. Thereís not an In-N-Out within 800 miles of here. *sigh* Iíll have to wait until Christmas time when I visit my parents in Arizona. Damn.
So, after oozing back into the car, we slept like wee little babies [/Scottish accent] the rest of the night and went to Disneyland the next day, which was Saturday, the day of the reunion. I split about 2:00 and began the long trek (ooh thereís a pun there and you donít even know it) over to my friend Aronís house. Aron was to be my date for the reunion since Christian didnít want to go, The Girl didnít want to go, and Aron wouldnít go without me.
Aron and I met in high school because our lockers were in the same column, and you kept your same locker for all 4 years in high school. Aron was really sick in high school, was on dialysis, and ended up needing a kidney transplant. Itís a real bummer too, because it stunted his growth at about 5 feet, which happened a lot in the 80s. Had it happened a few years later, the growth thing wouldn't have been an issue. They gave Aron a top locker and I ended up switching lockers with him. After the Navy we hooked up again briefly while I was going to college, then Aron went on to a fairly successful acting career, most notably cast as the role of the Ferengi ďNogĒ in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Awesome.
Funny story, at the 10-year reunion, I had lost touch with Aron since Iíd just moved to Colorado 2-years earlier, and I wanted to find him. I hadnít found him by dinner time, so I figured that was my best chance Ė since everyone was sitting down. I shoveled my food quickly, then got up and starting wandering through the tables looking for my friend. He spotted me first though, I heard him call: ďTim!Ē
I turned and Aron comes running up, grabs my extend right hand in both of his and shakes it furiously, saying ďOh man, Iím so glad youíre here!Ē Then dropping his voice to a whisper and gesturing around with one of his hands, he continued: ďWho the fuck are all of these people?Ē I laughed so hard. In fact, itís been 10 years since then, and it still makes me laugh. Itís one of those things that I will never forget.
So Aron did want to go, but he didnít really have a lot of friends from school (he thought) and we both needed someone to hang out with. So, he was my date. We even took a couples photo together. We elected not to go for the keyring photo. Had we known it was heart-shaped, we may have thought differently about it, but Aron was uncomfortable enough. Besides, they wanted him to stand on a box, which is a little bit humiliating for a grown man.
After the photos we mingled around a bit, and since we were there on the early side, it was still easy to get a drink. Aron doesnít drink and I decided not to overdo it. It was hard enough to navigate through the memory banks anyway, so I just had a few drinks and nursed them over the 6-hour evening. Someone even bought me a drink! (it was a guy though) Besides, I had my date to think about, I couldn't drive him home drunk!
There were a few people that I was hoping would come. One was my prom date, Leigh. Why did I want to see her? Why not? Hereís what we look like 20 years later. Once I scan the GOOD photo, Iíll post it too, trust me, itíll be worth it. Hey I just realized that even though I donít have a scanner, I can do the next best thing! Thatís right, baby. A photo of a photo. So here goes 1987 and 2007.
God thatís fuckiní sweet.
I also wanted to find my friend Julie, who Iíve known since 7th grade, which is a few years longer than Aron I think, but he may have known her from elementary school, Iím not sure. Either way, she was very special to both of us, and she was there, which was extra cool. She might even be reading this! Hi Jewelz!
We ran into our friend Nadine also, who Iíd been in touch with earlier this year. Itís funny because she was standing there talking to Aron and I didnít say anything. After 2 or 3 minutes, she looked over at me blankly, glanced at my nametag, then got all embarrassed for not recognizing me. Itís that way at those events though. I was talking to a guy named Bret for over 30 minutes and it wasnít until after we left that I remembered we had worked together at a pizza joint. Whatever.
I also had the chance to pick on my friend Mike, who married the girl that I had my biggest elementary school crush on. Ah, memories.
I wonít bore you with all of the details, but suffice it to say that I had a great time. I am amazed at the different rates that people age though. There were nearly 20 people there that Iíve known since elementary school, and a few of them looked like they were 50. Iím not trying to be mean; there were just some people that the years have not very been kind too for whatever reason. I think it was mostly the guys. On the other hand, some looked great - there were a few people that looked like they were still in their 20s. And yes, there were plenty of fake tits to go around too. It is California, after all. No, Leighís are not fake. You did see that photo from 1987, didnít you? Julie wanted me to add that hers are real too, but since I don't have any photos of her, you'll just have to take my word for it.
Even though I could stand to lose 20 pounds I have to say that for the most part I look pretty good. Yeah, my hair is thin enough to be called mostly gone but do you have any idea how much that saves me every year in hair products alone?
If any of you are interested, I made a photo album (complete with titles, of course!) of this trip, just like I did with my Israel trip (Older Entries in the upper left corner, for those of you who just joined us), and there are not only photos of Disneyland but also of my baby niece who I saw on the day after the reunion!