The other day I received a letter that gave me pause. My beautiful daughter watched me open it, and sensed something she'd not seen on her father's face before. Not anger. Or sadness.
"What is that, Daddy?" she asked.
"An invitation to my high school class reunion."
"A party where you hang out with all the people you went to high school with."
My daughter got excited. Parties still meant ice cream and pizza to her.
"Are you going?!"
"Good lord, no."
"Well, baby, I can think of at least six reasons off the top of my head. Are you going to pay me to tell you?"
"Hmm. Well, I know someone who will."
My daughter then went off to play with some toys. Or cry. I'm not sure.
I suppose there are people who thought of high school as their best years ever. Their days were filled with lots of friends they truly enjoyed. People who shared their values and sense of humor. And I guess it's conceivable that after graduation, they decided to never speak to any of these people ever again. Perhaps they lapsed into a temporary coma or moved to an Amish community that forbade modern communication technology. Maybe they were taken hostage or wandered foreign lands with amnesia until a fortuitously dropped coconut bonked back their memory just in time for their high school reunion. For those people, I get it. Go to your high school reunion. See all those wonderful people you loved so well, but, for some reason, have removed completely from your life.
But for me, for the most part, if we went to high school and I have absolutely no contact with you now, I'm like totally OK with that. Especially with Facebook and Internet and all that. If I wanted to, I could find you. But here's a Facebook message I'm not likely to send:
Now in truth, there are plenty of people I went to old high school with that I have nothing against. Even a bunch I liked. If I were to meet them in an elevator or at a business meeting or hanging out on a park bench, I'd be perfectly happy to catch up. But that's just not incentive enough. Especially since one of those people could send me a message saying, "Hey, let's grab a beer and catch up," and then I could totally go do that without seeing douche bags like Christopher Vitagliano at the same time. How am I gonna hear about my old friend's home heating business or precocious triplets when Vitagliano, who's probably still spiking what's left of his hair, is like two seats over making the waitress incredibly uncomfortable.
So really, apologies to all the perfectly lovely people of Syosset High School, but you're not incentive enough to sit through exposure to the people I never want to see again. By the way, if Syosset High School sounds familiar it's because that's the alma mater of both Judd Apatow and Natalie Portman. I'm younger than Judd and older than Natalie. Basically, I was the meat in a sexy Jewish sandwich.
A personal message to my three high school sexual conquests:
High School Girlfriend: Well, actually, part of me really does want to see you again. Y'know, just to assure you that I totally know what I'm doing sexually these days. Like when I have sex now, orgasms are actually involved. But I think it would be more awkward than cathartic. Pretty soon, old resentments would arise, and I'd have to confess that I actually faked my orgasms. (Guys can do that with condoms, unless, I guess, there's a vigilant post-coital prophylactic inspection.) And then you'll feel bad even though you shouldn't because seriously what guy can finish over the sounds of "Ow, stop. No. Are you doing that right?" So yeah, best not to see you.
High School English Teacher: Sure it was hot having sex with you, Mrs. Kupnick, when I was 17 and you were a MILFy 38 -- but it was the 90s. Seeing you now would just be unseemly. Would you ask me to escort you to the annex for old time's sake? Will you be wearing some sort of body stocking and seek assistance from Industrial Light and Magic to reclaim your former glory? Or will you diss me completely to pursue the teenage son of some former student who brought his kids when the sitter got sick at the last minute? It's hard to say, but I don't want to be around for any of it.
Vanilla Ice: I was always a classic rock guy, and I hated you for what you did to Bowie and Queen's "Under Pressure," but when you came to my school's career day, damn, I just knew I had to be a complete embarrassment of a rapper when I grew up. And short of that, I had to get into that pair of oversized gold pants. Although I'd spent the first 18 years of my life as a heterosexual, and all the time since, for one magic day during senior year, I knew what it was like to own your ass just like Sug Knight, but with less crying. Let's not ruin it with a reunion. Shhh. Don't speak, baby. I love you because I love you.