High school reunion brings back memories

Columnist enjoys time spent at a high school reunion

It’s been a long time since I partied with a bunch of teenagers who sat around until the wee hours of the morning, talking and laughing and overindulging in alcoholic beverages.

But last Saturday night I did just that.

It is true that the people I sat around with didn’t look much like teenagers. In fact, the graying hair, the bald spots and the expanding midriffs probably strongly suggested otherwise.

But seriously, I’m here to tell you, that inside each and every one of those aging bodies, there lives a teenager just waiting to get out.

I have reason to believe those teenagers all got out Saturday night.

It was the night of my husband’s 50th high school reunion.

I went along as ‘the spouse.’

And as the spouse all I had to do was listen and laugh and tag along.

And so I did just that, thoroughly enjoying myself in the process.

It seemed my husband and his friends belonged to an almost, but not quite elite group who didn’t do very much at all except drive around in a little black Volkswagen that ran only sometimes. Someone else in the group also had a car, but it ran even less than the little black Volkswagen and when it did, it burned more oil than gas, apparently.

On the days or nights that the Volkswagen was running, it seemed the boys used it mostly for one thing and one thing only – to pick up girls.

When they found any girls who would actually get in the vehicle with them they were thrilled beyond compare, but, of course, had no idea what to do when this lovely, ponytailed creature was actually sitting beside them.

“We took them out to the cemetery and listened to them scream,” one of the elite group of friends recalled.

As I listened and observed, it seemed to me that these teens were not particularly intellectual or exceptionally athletic.

They just were.

“I had 140 credits,” someone boasted, “but it took me four years.”

“I should have sold them,” he muttered, pouring himself another drink.

And so the night slipped away but the ebb and flow of chatter and laughter went on and on until the morning yawned and stretched and not quite politely said ‘hello.’

“Remember when you had that little Volkswagen and it would quit and we would all run around and push it and then we would put it into gear and away it would go,” one guy said to my husband.

“Putt, putt, putt!” The last words were accompanied by hand actions to demonstrate the car actually moving.

“Remember when we cruised around and actually managed to pick up some girls. They were always ready to come with us because we had wheels, but then they treated us like dogs after they got out,” the same guy said.

“I talked to a girl tonight who said I was her first crush,” he said, appearing somewhat amazed at the realization.

And then the teen living inside him decided to come forth and he did the Tarzan thing, beating his chest with his hands.

It was quite cool, actually.

“Remember when we would go to Red Deer for pizza at three in the morning.

Remember when you lived with your sister and your brother-in-law had kept all those editions of ‘Playboys’ from years back in the basement and we got to look at them.

“They are still there,” my husband replied, and at his words, I half expected the boys, I mean the men, to climb into somebody’s vehicle and drive over to the house to check it out.

And as I watched and listened, it seemed the overcrowded room and the noisy seniors slowly faded away, finally going back to the future from whence they came.

And in their place were these boys, all fresh and young and eager, teenagers on the edge of life, cruising the streets in a little black Volkswagen looking for cute girls who were, no doubt, looking for them, too.

And on the next street and the one after that and the one after that, life, with all its ups and downs and joys and sorrows, was out there, just waiting to happen.

And, ironically, it did.

But, isn’t it good, if only for one brief moment in time, to go back there once in awhile to the way it was and the way we were.

And to remember when!