Friday, August 8, 2014

The Big Rewind

The “Big Rewind” happens this weekend. An all-80s high school reunion with an expected turnout of nearly 200, traveling from all corners of the country. If you roamed the halls of Mauston High School anytime during the decade of big hair, you were invited. Lots of people. Some I’ll remember. Some I don't want to. Some will know who I am. Some never did.

Should be fun. For the most part.

Can’t wait to drink beer with good people I haven’t seen in forever. Can’t wait to catch up and get a little crazy with some old pals. Can't wait to pretend it's 1980-something again. Hair metal and bonfires. Good, good times. 

But there’s a catch.

I — probably like so many others who think way too much and have a hard time letting go — clearly recall that high school wasn't always that awesome. In fact, a big chunk of those years kind of sucked. And once in a while the anxiety of those days creeps back into the balcony of my brain. This week, it's taking up the first two rows.

For the most part, I’m fired up and ready for a good time. But there’s a part of me that still feels like that scrawny, scared little kid who didn’t see 5 feet tall until his junior year. The same kid who always tried way too hard to fit in — but never quite felt like he did. Thinking about then brings on a few butterflies now. Some of that buried high school angst is rearing it's ugly little head this week. But it's all just a story I'm telling in my own head. I do that. Everything is gonna be alright. Especially after a few beers. Then, all bets are off.

I'm sure there'll be at least a few others with their own uncertainties bouncing around upstairs — it all comes with the whole reunion package. Wondering if they’ve made enough of themselves over the last twenty-some years. Wondering why they’re not the person they thought they’d be by now. Afraid they’re not the person other people thought they’d be by now. Or, maybe worst of all, afraid that people will think they’re exactly the same person they were back then.

But all angst aside, I’m fairly confident this big group of 80's lovers will make it a reunion to remember. It'll be just like old times. At least for one night. Then we'll all get up Sunday morning, nursing a middle-aged hangover, and drive back to our daily lives, forgetting all about high school all over again. Forgetting about who we were then. And who we aren’t now. And wondering why we ever worried about any of it in the first place.

Big Rewind here I come! Let's do this. 

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