Oh MY GOD !!!!! My Uniondale NY High School Reunion is nextyear!!!!! A letter to myself

The other day I received a letter that gave me pause. An invitation to my high school class reunion.”

“What’s that?”

“A party where you hang out with all the people you went to high school with.”

My daughter got excited. Parties still meant ice cream and pizza to her.

“Are you going?!”

“Good lord, no.”

“Why not?

“Well, baby, I can think of at least some reasons off the top of my head. Do I have to pay you to tell you the story ?”

“yes.”

“Hmm. Well, I know someone who wont.”

My daughter then went off to play with some toys. Or cry. I’m not sure.

Now in truth, there are plenty of people I went to old high school with that I have nothing against or want to see. There was even a bunch I liked. If I were to meet them in an elevator or at a business meeting or hanging out on a park bench, I’d be perfectly happy to catch up. But that’s just not incentive enough. Especially since one of those people could send me a message saying, “Hey, let’s grab a beer and catch up,” and then I could totally go do that without seeing douche bags like Christopher Vitagliano at the same time. How am I gonna hear about my old friend’s home heating business or precocious triplets when Vitagliano, who’s probably still spiking what’s left of his hair, is like two seats over making the waitress incredibly uncomfortable.

The problem in HS was that I was more like this in High School than anything else

High School Girlfriend ? Well, actually, part of me really does want to see you again. Y’know, just to assure you that I totally know what I’m doing sexually these days. Like when I have sex now, orgasms are actually involved. But I think it would be more awkward than cathartic. Pretty soon, old resentments would arise, and I’d have to confess that I actually faked my orgasms. (Guys can do that with condoms, unless, I guess, there’s a vigilant post-coital prophylactic inspection.) And then you’ll feel bad even though you shouldn’t because seriously what guy can finish over the sounds of “Ow, stop. No. Are you doing that right?” I keep seeing this image in my head too

So yeah, best not to see you.

High School English Teacher: Sure it was hot having pretend sex with you, when I was 17 and you were a MILFy 38 — but it was all in my mind. Seeing you now would just be unseemly. Would you ask me to escort you to the annex for old time’s sake? Will you be wearing some sort of body stocking and seek assistance from Industrial Light and Magic to reclaim your former glory? Or will you diss me completely to pursue the teenage son of some former student who brought his kids when the sitter got sick at the last minute? It’s hard to say, but I don’t want to be around for any of it.

I went to school during the height of disco/funk and as such, I was very fortunate to be a young, long-haired man during rock’s last great death rattle. But my teen years were filled with some of the worst music of any generation. To ease the pain, I disappeared into the 50’s and 60’s: Pink Floyd. Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, Jethro Tull, and Elvis Costello — painfully aware that now it was great. My classmates occasionally enjoyed the old stuff too, provided it was Billy Joel or Billy Joel. It was Long Island. Liking Billy Joel was the law. And while I’m sure Joel’s “I’Love you just the way your are ” will be heard at the reunion I’m guessing the music committee will also be filling the dance list with the likes of Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar on Me” and Roxette’s “The Look.” I’m not dancing to that. I’m not listening to that. I might bust a move to Frank Sinatra, Sammy or Donna Summer but that’s it.

There’s was only one thing that could get me to go to my high school reunion, and it’s an ideal that can never be achieved. My initial thoughts were that before I could go, I would need to reach a level of success that would be absolutely devastating to everyone there I hated. But what would that be? Money? A trophy wife? Fame? It would have to be something objectively awesome. Like Bill Gates awesome. Brad Pitt showing up with Angelina after having just won an Oscar awesome.

But the more I thought about it, I realized that short of being named the All-Powerful Master of Space and Time there was no level of accomplishment that would be enough because the measure of success is a personal one. Everyone wants different things from life. A house, kids, a nice car, a private business, extreme wealth, creativity, peace and quiet, fulfilling charitable acts, hot deviant sex, lots of friends, calm seclusion, deep roots, constant travel.

I suppose someone who deems their own life a failure would not be likely to display it for their enemies, but that does not sum up the existence of those avoiding their reunions. There are content people with no desire to be judged by someone else’s standards. People who don’t want to explain to the Christopher Vitaglianos that they shouldn’t have to explain why they don’t have kids or why they have so many. Who don’t trust the Vitaglianos’ determination of what the right number of kids is. Or the right kind of car to drive. And if you already found yourself one step out of sync with your peers’ values and aspirations as a teenager, how much greater will the ensuing years of obligations and taxes deepen that divide?

To put it in my terms: Life for me has been a journey to a place where the people get my jokes and make me laugh. Each year, I keep getting closer. Going to a reunion wouldn’t necessarily take me in the opposite direction, but it’s a detour I don’t need. I’m trying to make some time here but I guess I will go JUST SO I CAN HEAR Carolyn Collins say “Hey Big Head” You THINK I am joking ?. Here is what I looked like in HS

Christopher Vitagliano

Seriously, screw that guy.

-Author’s note. Occasionally, writers do a thing where they write something that is not true. To that end, please be advised that Christopher Vitagliano is not a real person or based on any one person. I also didn’t refuse to talk to my daughter and make her cry.

Things I am thinking about that make me wonder why I am even thinking about it

Take a look at these 45 items and see if you find yourself relating

1. More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can’t wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that’s not only better, but also more directly involves me.
2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong.
3. Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you’re going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you’re crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.
4. That’s enough, Nickelback.
5. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger.
6. Is it just me, or are 80% of the people in the “people you may know” feature on Facebook people that I do know, but I deliberately choose not to be friends with?
7. Do you remember when you were a kid, playing Nintendo and it wouldn’t work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message board or FAQ’s. We just figured it out. Today’s kids are soft.
8. There is a great need for sarcasm font.
9. Sometimes, I’ll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the f was going on when I first saw it.
10. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
11. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.
12. I think part of a best friend’s job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
13. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I trying to finish a text.
14. Was learning cursive really necessary?
15. LOL has gone from meaning, “laugh out loud” to “I have nothing else to say”.
16. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.
17. Whenever someone says “I’m not book smart, but I’m street smart”, all I hear is “I’m not real smart, but I’m imaginary smart”.
18. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear what they said?
19. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars teams up to prevent a dick from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers!
20. Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using ‘as in’ examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss’s last name to an attorney and said “Yes that’s G as in…(10 second lapse)…ummm…Goonies”
21. While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it…thanks Mario Kart.
22. MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
23. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.
24. I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.
25. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired.
26. Bad decisions make good stories.
27. Whenever I’m Facebook and I find out that their profile is public I feel like there will be somebody acting like a kid on Christmas morning. 546 pictures? Don’t mind if I do!
28. Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, people get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I’m from, this shouldn’t be a problem.
29. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you’ve made up your mind that you just aren’t doing anything productive for the rest of the day.
30. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don’t want to have to restart my collection.
31. There’s no worse feeling than that millisecond you’re sure you are going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.
32. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.
33. “Do not machine wash or tumble dry” means I will never wash this ever.
34. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Dammit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What you do after I didn’t answer? Drop the phone and run away?
35. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
36. When I meet a new person, I’m terrified of mentioning something they haven’t already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.
37. I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it’s on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.
38. Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles…
39. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.
40. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.
41. Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn’t know what do to with it.
42 Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, hitting the G-spot, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I bet my ass everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time…
43. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.
44. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than Kay.
45 The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food.