This weekend, was dedicated to this boy:
He's already full of a lifetime of stories, has a full time job and an apartment!, and a senior in Kansas. He's also in for a lifetime of ups and downs, and a few bumps in the road, but it gets better. Hang in there baby! See ya in 25 years! :)
Gene had his class reunion over the weekend. I won't tell you how long ago it was, but it's initials are 3-0.
I think the theme of the weekend ended up being forgiveness. Getting some, and giving some. Both is a healing process, and just as Gene and I had discussed several times before getting there, people have a way of growing up and changing over time. Stupid things you said or did when you were 17 really shouldn't matter when you're wondering how much longer til retirement.
I think he figured that out too, and reconnected with some old friends. We'll see how that goes, and maybe those friendships will rekindle, and maybe they won't. Either way, reunions are a good reminder that being a teen was hard and leaves a lasting imprint on you for the rest of your life.
Friday night we went to a bar called Austin's. I'd never been there before. Which is great considering that bars are always too loud and you can never talk. I think we should have reunions at libraries or church fellowship halls.
Something tells me it wouldn't be quite that popular.
We get there, sit for a bit, Gene and I recognize absolutely no one... which is no shocker since I don't know anyone :p But after a bit, Gene sees someone across the room. "Well I'll be DAMNED! There's Steve!" Steve was a good friend of Gene's and "cohort" would really be the best way to describe these 2. Steve has not seen Gene yet.
We come up with a plan. I will go over and pretend like I know Steve just to watch the look on his face for a bit. lol.
Yeah I'm mean like that.
I love my job.
I cut through the crowd, walk passed him, pretended like he caught my eye and checked his tag and said "OMG.. STEVE???!!!" and put my arm around him, gave him a hug, asked him how his life was and how he was doing. I let it drag out several minutes.
The look on his face was priceless. haha.
Finally I said, "You see that cowboy over there? He said I could pinch you on the butt if I wanted to." hah.
Cowboy is gone.
Gene ruined a great joke. Damn him. Either way I got a good laugh out of it. (You'll see steve in a bit).
Despite the agreement that he wouldn't ditch me.... he continously ditched me. UGH. It was ok, I entertained myself by watching him reconnect with ppl he hadn't seen for years.
(please hire me to photograph your event, I swear I don't suck ALL the time lol).
Kevin was really cool and come to find out, has been camping/hunting many times within just a few miles of my hometown. We spent a great deal of time talking about deer, pheasants, Lake of 3 fires, etc. By the end, I personally invited him to stop by the next time he came through hunting.
Saturday was the full reunion.
By the time we got there, I think Gene was done. Because of road construction, we could NOT GET THERE. We made a 20 mile loop, all the while being within a couple miles of the place and couldn't find the entrance. lol.
Thank you La Qunita for helping us, even though we didn't stay at your lovely establishment.
This is Steve on the left, Gene and Tony. (No really, I'm good at this photo thing, I swear. Please ignore the blurriness, GENE is in focus).
Tony was another buddy of Gene's. From what I gather, they always went for the same girl. Can you tell he's an MP? From Oklahoma?
Yeah me too.
Basically the story goes like this. Gene had been in some trouble, and it boiled down to he had to not miss one second of school, and not get in any trouble, and he could graduate. Yeah, he was a bad boy. LOL. (there's a lot more to this story but I'm leaving out the girl, jail time and getting stabbed with a fork). (hows that for a cliffhanger).
Anyway, back to Senior year home ec. The guy in the class with him got in a fight with Gene, during class and pulled a knife on him. Both of them got yanked out of class and both were going to get expelled. Even though everyone saw it happen, Neicey was the only one that came forward and said that Gene had gotten a knife pulled on him and it wasn't his fault.
So had it not been for her, Gene would have never graduated.
I told her thank you, because we probably would have never met. She looked at me strange, and Gene explained that one wrong step sends you down an entirely different path in life. That might have been that moment where he would have went in a whole different direction.
Oh wait we need to thank someone else:
She also helped tutor Gene in American History his senior year. He sqeaked by with a D-, but he made it. Thanks Susie.. I swear you did a great job, because he LOVES the history channel. lol.
It's sad that he didn't love school, because ironically, he is incredibly smart person. I guess he just saw high school as a place to meet girls, hang out with buddies and torment the masses. All of which, he did a great job at. You know, sometimes tho, people change and wish they'd done better, and then later, they do better for themselves.
He has done better for himself. He also educates himself daily via the discovery channel. hah.
I reflected a lot, as I was just a bystander by most of the event, standing back watching events unfold. I observed a few things.
- 30 years does not stop some women from still being insecure. Sometimes they need reassurance from their friends that they are smart, beautiful and that the other "girls" are just jealous of them, even at pushing 50 (overheard conversation in the bathroom).
- For some people, high school was the high point of their life. They were the jock, or the cheerleader or whatever and life was really great. Sometimes they make it out and make something else more of their lives. But sadly, sometimes they live, just to re-live that moment in time. Somethings never change.
- Nerds and geeks really do well in life. They also sometimes end up quite handsome and wealthy. Girls... *date them*.
- People really do grow up, and let most things from the past go, even if it's just for one day. A reunion is a great place for the jocks and the geeks and the cheerleaders and the stoners to shake hands, smile at each other, catch up on each others' lives and show true interest in each other.
- Graduating doesn't make you more secure. When presented with a popular jock that was a jerk in high school, who was standing all alone with no one to talk to, Gene took the high road and went over to chat for a bit. The jock looked so relieved.
- It's fun being in the trophy wives club. Myself and the other one connected. Yep, I just called myself a trophy wife. LOL. Gene does too. Hey, it's his JOB to stroke my ego. thankyouverymuch.
- It was fun to hear the music with all of his classmates there. You see, whenever I hear disco music on the radio, I smile to myself because I wish I knew him back then. While technically it was possible, it also would have been highly illegal in every single state. LOL. Anyway, I'd hear a disco song, catch his attention from across the room and we'd both do our best John Travolta imitation then have a good laugh.
- Even really old ppl like facebook. LOL. I swear, I bet I heard at least a dozen ppl ask Gene to get on FB. I'm going out on a limb and gonna say that he probably won't any time soon. Unless I just go and do it for him and say "here's your password dear".
I was jealous of everyone else's point and shoot. I went with one lens, and there was NO WAY I was going to be able to shoot a group shot with it, so I had to do a panoramic photo and stitch them together. yeah, that's been my morning.
Olathe Kansas, class of 1979, if you want a copy, please email me, and I'll get you a cheap copy!
In the end, Gene had a great time. I know he loved seeing many of his old classmates. He said from the beginning that this would be the only time he ever goes, but something tells me that he enjoyed it, and maybe 10 years down the road, he'll soften up even more and go again.
I'll start working on him right now.