Why I’m Not Attending My 20-Year High School Class Reunion
This weekend — tomorrow, actually — is my 20 year High School class reunion, which means I’m, uh, 29. Again.
As everyone knows, the purpose for Facebook is to help you connect with old friends, like that girl who wouldn’t go with you to Homecoming, you know, to see if her life is in the crapper and she got what she deserved for snubbing you. So I’ve been using Facebook for it’s designated purpose, and I’ve found a bunch of the people I went to high school with, who, inexplicably, all seem to have great lives despite the fact that I pretty much never had a date in high school.
Since the reunion is tomorrow, many of them have been asking me whether I’m coming to the reunion. When I say, “No,” they want to know the reason, and so I tell them, “Because.” This reasoning seems to work well when I’m explaining to my son why he has to mow the lawn, but it doesn’t seem to be working with the old high school friends.
So, in order to avoid explaining this a hundred times, I decided to just write a simple blog post about it.
I actually alluded to this in another post some time ago, but basically the issue is this:
I’m not a fan of high-school Matt.
I’m a fan of perpetually-29 Matt. That guy is happy with himself, he’s confident, he makes loud noises on a guitar when he feels like it, drives a pretty cool car, mostly wears T-shirts to work, and has great taste in music and movies. He’s got a wonderful wife and a great family that are awesome to hang out with. He’s a pretty darn good software engineer and he doesn’t even feel nerdy about it (well, not TOO nerdy). He’s so dang funny that it is sinful. He feels free to be himself pretty much all the time and enjoys his life.
He’s not like high-school Matt at all. High school Matt was ignored because he wasn’t athletic and ridiculed because he was smart. High school Matt carried labels given him by other people that worked so well even HE thought that’s what he was like. He didn’t feel good about himself for who he was and instead kept trying to pretend he was someone he wasn’t and fit in with a crowd of people that he didn’t fit with and date the girls who weren’t interested in dating him. Even worse, he ignored the crowd he could have fit with and the girls he could have dated instead. He was a poser and a fake, someone who didn’t value his own abilities and instead kept trying to make himself into something he wasn’t.
Whenever I’m around high school people again, high-school Matt tries to come out. I don’t like high-school Matt. He makes me feel ashamed of myself, not only of my past but of who I am now, almost as though who I am today is not good enough even though I’m quite happy with it. He makes me act like someone I’m not, someone I don’t like, someone like him. So I try to keep him hidden.
And the best way to keep him hidden is to avoid situations where he insists on coming out. And if I go to the reunion, he will insist.
I’ve really enjoyed catching up with those friends on Facebook and hearing about their lives today. I’m not really interested in letting high-school Matt come out to feel like a loser again in person.
So, thanks anyway, but I won’t be going. Don’t be offended. Or, take offense, whatever, I don’t care. High-school Matt is obsessed with what you think of him, but that dude is gone. The current version wants to be your friend, but only at face value. Otherwise, nevermind.