I feel like the following story happened when I was seven, maybe eight years old. My mom and I went to the 7-11 in Ripley, WV. I don't think it's there anymore. We pulled up to the gas pump and my mom pointed toward a woman in the parking lot and innocently said "I went to high school with her."
To me, that was the first time she had ever mentioned her "previous life," back before she was my mom. I don't think I knew anything about her life at that point; we just had the basic mom-son relationship that a young child has at that point.
It really excited me when she told me about that woman. I said something to the effect of "Wow! You should go talk to her!" And my mom's response was along the lines of "Ummmm... Nah."
That confused me so much. I didn't understand why she wouldn't want to talk to that woman she went to high school with. They say that with age comes experience and wisdom. Now, I know exactly why she avoided that woman.
* * *
Around that same age, eight or nine, my grandpa and I were sitting at the Dairy Queen at Ravenswood. I had a chicken strip basket. I don't remember what he had, but I know onion rings were involved. I didn't start to like onions until I was 25.
I was in the fourth grade, so it was 9-years-old. My grandpa looked at me for a second and asked if I knew when I would graduate from high school. I had never had that thought in my head, and thus had no idea.
My grandpa proceeded to do that thing where you kind of talk out loud but all that happens is your mouth moves and odd sounds come out. He was counting. He was counting to himself, but kind of out loud.
He looked at me and said something that seemed so crazy, I just couldn't comprehend it: 2004. That number was so far away in my head that it just made no sense. And, now here we are 10 years after 2004. Crazy.
* * *
To steal a Scott Noble-ism, "As I type this," my 10-year high school reunion is happening. It's a two-day spectacle, and today is a baseball game, with our local minor league Princeton Rays team. Then, some of the people will be heading to the local watering hole.
To a few people, I joked that I didn't like baseball or being sober, so the first part has no interest to me. I'll probably head to the bar. It's within walking distance.
The next day is a picnic at the recreational center, or "rec center" as we like to abbrev. I'm not going to that.
I made some people in my graduating class mad a couple months ago. I recorded episode 16 of my podcast with the valedictorian of our graduating class. We made fun of the events and spent a few minutes talking about how lame they sounded.
And, as one would assume, some were not happy with that.
I don't know. My issue with this reunion deal is that I really didn't grow up with those people as children. I moved to Princeton for the 10th grade. Most of my friends were older than me. I didn't know who most of my classmates were until I was in the 12th grade.
Like I mentioned in that podcast, I already see the people from high school that I want to see. So, I really have no desire to see the people that I barely remember.
But, I am going to go out and be social to people. I'll detail this in a future episode of the podcast.