Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Reunions, Weddings, and more.

I was in Minneapolis this weekend for two reasons. The main reason was that a good damn friend was getting SECRETLY MARRIED in a backyard BBQ-type situation, and I couldn't miss it. The second reason was, ostensibly, my high school reunion. I couldn't make it to the reunion itself, but there was a "pre-reunion drinks" get-together at the Sunshine Factory, a crappy bar in New Hope, MN mostly patronized by the blue-hair set.

HUGE fucking mistake. First off -- I didn't recognize a living soul. Scratch that -- I *did* recognize people, but it was more like "oh, that's that one guy who used to push me around in the hallways" or "that's that cheerleader who never talked to me." But names? Forget it. Maybe one or two, tops. Fair enough, nobody recognized me either. I sat at the bar with Trix, completely undisturbed for about 45 minutes. In that time, Trix heard the guy sitting behind me -- whom I didn't recognize at all but apparently he was really, really popular at the time given the reaction to his entrance -- using the word "fag" or "faggot" five times. Lovely, folks. Nice to see you've all grown so much.

A couple things struck me:

- Everybody looked the same but much bigger. Mostly I'm talking about the guys, here -- what the hell happened, boys? You were such fine, fit specimens of manhood back in the day, and now you're all 300+ lbs and bald. What's up with that? I'm not exactly the fittest guy on the planet, but at least I'm still under 200 pounds, and I never made any pretense of being fit and trim to begin with! These were the guys you all swooned over? They look like anybody's fat, drunk uncle.

I blame an overabundance of testosterone. That's why you were hot for 'em back in the day, girls, and that's why they look like shit today. I might not have had as much of that wonder hormone, but I still have all my hair, and people still card me for cigarettes.

- Girls? Not to be snarky, but feathered hair went out right around the time we graduated. It's time to talk to someone about a looks update.

- The weirdest thing, though, is that they all seemed like they still knew each other. Like perhaps they all still lived in Crystal/New Hope and all still kept in touch, or at least had fantastic memories and just remembered everything about each other. I find that odd. I've had so many strange and unusual life experiences since then that I've used up all the parts of my brain that hold the information about People I Barely Knew Back In High School. My actual friends? Still remember them, and there were about, oh, five or six of them in my actual class. Maybe as many as ten I could recall without too much help. But none of them were there. Do they just not drink, or did they, like me, move to pastures greener and don't give two figs about revisiting high school since those years weren't their glory days?

I just get the feeling that none of 'em have moved on. I get the feeling they all get together every weekend at the Sunshine Factory to revisit the glory days of how they threw that pass that one time and won the game or that one party where that one girl threw up on everybody. I get the feeling those were the best times of their lives and everything after has been kind of a crushing disappointment. Maybe I'm reading in too much, but man, that's the vibe as I saw it.

I admit: I showed up for the reason any high school nerd shows up to those things. I wanted everybody to see how cool I am now. Right? I'm not alone here, am I? I had a hot girl in tow and I look cool and I have a cool job and a cool set of experiences to recount and it's like -- hey, guys, you were all wrong about me.

But I think even if they had recognized me, the cool woulda been lost on them in their crisp little polo shirts and their 1988 mall hair. They would just have thought the same thing they thought in 1988 -- "Hey, there's that one fag. Let's kick his ass."

Anyway, I'm glad I never have to go back to Robbinsdale Cooper Class of 1988. Not even thinking about attending my 40th.

The wedding, on the other hand, was cool as hell. It was in my friend's backyard, which I'm beginning to think is the way to do those things. It was small, intimate, and short, and there were drinks served both before and after, and there was cheesy-meat dip and chips. And the ceremony was lovely. It just made sense.

Also this weekend: hung out with my daughter. Watched National Treasure I and II (both of which were shockingly entertaining, and "fun for the whole family," meaning a minimum of horrible violent deaths, which I appreciated. Thank you, Jerry Bruckheimer, I guess). Went to Como Park Zoo and got those little plastic animals they mold for you in a vending machine like they did in 1975. Went to the Old Country Buffet. Sang Karaoke. It was relaxing as all hell. The plus about Minneapolis vs. Los Angeles? It's QUIET and the PACE OF LIFE IS SLOWER. I confess to missing that as the stress levels rise.

Tonight: Human League, ABC, Flock of Seagulls, Naked Eyes and Belinda Carlisle at the Universal Amphitheater. I'll report back.


Ashley said...

What the?! *I* don't even get carded. Good to hear the wedding and hang out with your daughter compensated for the sucky reunion.

I bet all those pricks couldn't even say a word to you because they thought, "who is that totally sexy, not balding man and his model girlfriend?" They were probably drowning in intimidation, as they should be.

belsum said...

I've never contemplated attending a reunion type function because...I don't get invited to them. I've completely dropped off the radar of whichever yearbook dork is in charge of planning and so I have no idea if they occur or what. I admit to morbid curiosity but I don't know that I'd have an experience any different from yours. When I do randomly connect with someone from back then they usually still know a ton of folks that I can sort of vaguely remember hearing their names before but can't call up a mental picture at all so I definitely wonder if there's just this huge posse still hanging out together. Which is weird.

The wedding: so much fun. One of my favorites ever.

National Treasure: those movies rule.

Coma Girl said...

My 20th is in October and I'm gathering, from a couple of conversations with the one or two people from high school with whom I actually still talk, that much of our class is the same way. The same cliques, hanging out in the same places. Still, morbid curiousity may drag me there, if only to just validate how far I've really come. Just as you should. Former high school nerds are the ones who rule now. Obviously.

Anonymous said...

It was great to see you in church at Valley...

Jon Hunt said...

Yes, I forgot to mention that I attended church on Sunday with my daughter, but now I'm totally embarassed about all the SWEARING IN MY BLOG if in fact members of the church are reading.

Jill said...

Um...didn't YOU live in Robbinsdale until like a year ago? AND The Sunshine Factory does NOT suck. The food is average and the beer selection is average, but there are many many worse places you can go to in that area. At least you weren't at the New Hope Applebee's, right? Besides WHY would you go to that reunion? It was never going to be any good. It's Cooper and Cooper has always sucked because Armstrong has ALWAYS been the better of the two Robbinsdale high schools (and I know there used to be three Robbinsdale high schools, but the actual Robbinsdale High closed a million years ago so it doesn't count). Heh. Well, at least you got to have fun at a wedding AND see your kid. Silver linings. Hugs Jon :-)

Jon Hunt said...

No, the Sunshine Factory does NOT suck -- its just mostly a blue-hair facility, which can be good/bad, depending!

I lived in Robbinsdale for a couple years again, yup, but I spent a lotta time AWAY from it as well!

(And yes, I have to say I would, in retrospect, have rather gone to Armstrong, since that's where a whole passel o' my friends ended up!)

Anonymous said...

You dont need to worry about the swearing because someone from church has been following your journey...do you think that just because we go to church we are all perfect angels...hardly! Just glad you were able to incorporate time at church during your visit with your daughter. You should always feel welcome to be there...no matter what!

Jon Hunt said...

Well, I'm just glad you're reading!! Keep the good Rev posted on me!

Molly P said...

Great to see you and Miss and Nadiyah! Hugs and love!

Anonymous said...

You really did benefit from going to your reunion, because you were able to see you have done so many things and had so many experiences and a lot of those people are stuck in the same rut they were in so long ago. Top that with the fact that you are still so cute and have a great head of hair and a sparkling personality, plus tons of talent and it should really make you feel pretty darned good! Reunions are good in all kinds of unexpected ways.

missb said...

i had a similar experience at my reunion jon. i realized that well, i didn't relate to these people in high school so why the f did i think i'd relate to them now? no one really talked to me that much, no one recognized me really, and no one even gave a hang what i was doing or how my life was now. the coolness that i am was lost on my classmates as well. it's a funny thing ain't it? ps i also get carded for ciggies. and unlike your reunion, all the girls looked pretty foxy, but the dudes looked AWFUL (for the most part)

Superbadfriend said...

Not only was I never invited to a reunion, I wasn't even included in our senior yearbook. lol it is as if I never existed.

I am really here, right?

Glad you had fun.


Eric R said...

Jon, you mean you came all the way back to MN and you didn't even attend the "real" reunion?! I did and had a GREAT time! And guess what? Molly S. was there and asking about you! Oh yes my friend. There were plenty of nice people there. I couldn't hang out at the bar the night before because I have my son on Sat nights.

I would have really liked to see you. Drop me a line for goodness sake!

ps. Yearbooks please...