Social Enterprise

Awkwardness, thy name is High School Reunion


Yes, I've been blog posting infrequently (a trend that shall continue

later this week when I take vacation). This irregularity, besides being

due to absurd levels of laziness, is also more recently attributable to

preparations and anxiety over my 10th high school class reunion, which

occurred on Saturday (yes, I am in fact the youngest guy in this

office, and no, I don't get lambasted for that nearly as often I'd

like).


This was an awkward night. As I still live in my hometown (Me? Loser?

Why do you ask?), I've kept up with a great many of my high school

friends. And by a great many I mean almost everyone I didn't part with on awkward terms.

It's a well established fact that I was something of a complete jack@$

for most of my high school years, at least until my senior year, when I

started dating my eventual wife (after college, I married my high

school sweetheart).


The great majority of my ill repute was earned in romantic circles,

which is not surprising, since I committed the cardinal sin of courting

not one, but two pairs of best friends (in succession, not

simultaneously), and parted with three of the four under less than

amicable circumstances. So me going to this reunion was not entirely

dissimilar to Bill Gates showing up at MacWorld. Bold, but very likely

to end in disaster.


Only one of the two pairs of ex-girlfriends showed up, and thankfully

one of them was the beneficiary of the amicable parting. The other,

well, we exchanged forced pleasantries and managed to avoid speaking

directly to one another both during the reunion and the afterparty at a

friend's house.


So here's where it gets weird: I felt an overwhelming sense of regret

that I didn't get the chance to apologize to her for being such an

awful person over a decade ago. Obviously, the instinct wasn't strong

enough that I was compelled to overcome the awkwardness and act upon

it, but it was there. I'm probably just being narcissitic in assuming

that my actions left any lasting impact on the lady in question, but I

still feel I owed the apology, and feel bad I didn't offer it.


Now here's where it gets really weird: I went to high school

with a blind genius. Seriously. I was good friends with a visually

imparied guy in high school who was both an absurdly talented musician

and mathematician (he missed only one SAT math question, and that's

without the benefit of scratch paper--he did it all in his head--and

has played music for U.S. presidents). He's now writing a jazz textbook

and studying to become a shamanistic psychotherapist--a jazz shaman. He

and I got together for the first time in a decade this weekend, and

spent hours discussing object relations theory and the Pythagorean comma.

It was exhilirating, and wonderfully intellectually exhausting, and

made me want to get all my unresolved high school crap squared away.

Which I didn't, naturally.


Oh, and many friends went out of their way to complement me as a "talented writer" even though my nonfiction work has been sparse in number and absent of success.

I think that stung most of all, that I didn't feel worthy of the

accolades (insecure much?). Of course, if I was really this self-aware,

I'd remark on the fact that I'm writing all this while wearing my

trademark Star Trek uniform (hey, it's Halloween, and it matches my site author photo,

so I consider this casual work dress), and getting ready to head home

and host an All Hallows Chili Cookoff for a few of my closest

contemporary friends. It ain't all bad, and I've come a long way in ten

years, but I'm still wondering if I can get where I want to go without

cleaning up the messes of where I've been (and if I can get away with

having a blog-catharsis at work).


Uncertainty, thy name is Garmon.

About

Jay Garmon has a vast and terrifying knowledge of all things obscure, obtuse, and irrelevant. One day, he hopes to write science fiction, but for now he'll settle for something stranger -- amusing and abusing IT pros. Read his full profile. You can a...

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