So Today I’m 37…

Recently, I received a letter from a girl from my old, small home town. She was one of three in charge of the 1987 class reunion and so it had the normal, “Will you attend?” and stuff. I learned that apparently three of my classmates have now passed on (reasons still unknown to me), but otherwise the letter didn’t have any real information…not that it should mind you.

ANYWAY, I got to thinking about this. I remember back in 1987 how our class sorta came together. We had less than 100 members (I lived in a small town, remember) and prior to 1987, folks did their own thing. The popular clique had split into two camps at some point in the past (I was never sure what caused that) and of course the non-popular, “never will amount to much” folks had their groups. Me, I never really belonged to any camp. I was in the same classes with the popular folks because most of them were cheerleaders, jocks, or in the band, of which I was also a member. That meant that we all needed 6th period free for practice.

So I’m in the group with the popular people but not one of them. And so I had from 8th grade to 12th grade to observe both them. As I said, there were roughly three main camps in our graduating class until 1987 hit. Then it was the weirdest thing. Suddenly the two popular cliques started mingling a bit more. But most surprising was how the non-popular folks were now no longer looked down upon (or at least, less looked down on). I suppose it was because with the arrival of 1987, we could now see the light at the end of the tunnel of our high school life. The moment we’d dreamed of for so long was just about here! Of all my high school years, I have to say that this was the highlight.

Graduation came and of course people began going their separate ways. Some, like me, went to a nearby junior college. Others went to a regular university. Still others did…well whatever it was they did. As we went our separate ways, I remember thinking of what things might be like at my 10-year reunion or my 20-year reunion. I was pretty keen on returning in 10-years with some sort of huge success story to thumb my nose at everyone. Yeah, I’m a smeg head like that.

The first ten years passed with many things happening to me. I’d gone to school for a year, moved out of my parent’s house, fell on my face (figuratively), joined the Air Force, lived in Japan for a couple of years, left the Air Force, moved to Colorado, and slowly worked my way up the income ladder. No complaints but no wife, kids, and certainly no huge success story.

So prior to by 27th birthday, I got the notice for the 10-year reunion. It was hard for me to believe that 10-years had gone by, but then looking back, I could believe it based on my life to that point. It had felt like 10-years is my point. I couldn’t attend the reunion, but strangely enough, I didn’t care (no
No offence to any of my classmates who might be reading this). Oh there were a few people I was interested in seeing and finding out how they were doing, but otherwise, I didn’t regret not going.

Now, ten more years have passed and I’m now 37. The last ten years have seemingly passed much more quickly than the previous ten years. I’ve moved up the income chart, the weight chart, and the knowledge chart, but otherwise it has been mostly uneventful. OK, so there was the bloody nose and the surgery a year later. Yeah, I got caught up in the WorldCom collapse and found myself unemployed for six-months. I lost my best opportunity to buy a house. Otherwise, it was an uneventful decade.

I look back at the letter I received about my 20-year reunion. Like last time, I am unable to attend and much like last time, I don’t much care. It would be neat to see how folks have grown older. It would be really neat to see how folks from the different cliques came out in life. It would be interesting to see how everyone interacted. But when the reunion date comes and goes, I doubt I even think about it (again, no offence to my old classmates).

So today I’m 37. There are things I haven’t done yet. There’s still no Mrs. AstroNerdBoy and I doubt there will be at this point. (If you are reading this Mom, I know, I know! Inside joke.) I still don’t own my own place, but maybe I will sometime. I still haven’t taken that European vacation. I still haven’t returned to Japan. I still haven’t learned Japanese. I still haven’t lost weight. I still haven’t written those great novels in my head. I still procrastinate. Heck, there’s a whole lot of stuff I could add, but you get the point.

The next decade will be an interesting one, assuming God has it that I live that long (hey, you never know when your time is up). Can I improve? Can I land Mrs. AstroNerdBoy? Only time will tell. In the meantime, happy birthday AstroNerdBoy!

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