Vern's Verbal Vibe

Singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist and purveyor of folk 'n' roll: spirit-filled sad songs made better.

November 16, 2008

Status Back Baby

Imagine walking into a room full of more-or-less strangers, all of whom are your own age. You don't know any of them per se, though with certain individuals a startling recognition of name or face will occur. Everyone in the room shares this, if only this, in common: four (or five) years' penance at an institution of not-so-high learning during our formative years.

Welcome to the York Memorial Collegiate Institute Class of 1980 reunion, a surreal yet oddly enjoyable soiree held a pub in Etobicoke on Friday. I slithered in around nine (unfashionably late; the event started at six) and was greeted by simultaneous shouts of "VERN!"

For the next few hours I caught up with several classmates, most of whom I had almost no memory of. In the process I discovered something: though I was hardly popular in the conventional sense, many of them genuinely liked me. Some even looked up to me. (Two people actually told me so on Friday night.) And here I thought I was a nobody in high school. Status back, baby!

Why the disparity? Well, at the time I was emotionally at sea, with no idea what was going on in or around me. After the train wreck that was Grades 7 and 8, my overriding concern in high school was staying safe, which meant hanging a metaphorical KEEP OUT sign around my neck. They did, and as a result I didn't get to know any of them or let them get to know me.

That's why, when I walked into the pub on Friday night, all I saw were names and faces. But, for the first time, friendly faces.

So go to your high school reunion, kids. You just might learn a thing or two about yourself.

It is unfortunate that many young Americans
really do worry about losing status
at their high school.

Labels: , ,