News and Tribune


July 30, 2013

BEAM: The early bird dinner club


Children, and in some instances grandchildren, have fundamentally altered the way we perceive the world. Jobs and lovers and just plain living have added layers of learning to our former selves, begging the question of if underneath it all we’re still not the same stupid, young kids from all those years ago, albeit with a little bit more weight and a lot more experience.

Some things still stayed the same. Old cliques endured basically unaltered. A reversion of sorts occurred, transporting us back to the social realm that a lot of us tried so desperately to escape. Intoxication quelled these insecurities for some. Heels and dresses cast a calming spell for others. Good friends that always understood the real you made the night worthwhile.

Other than distance or scheduling conflicts, not participating in this masquerade ball was the biggest reason classmates said they chose not to come that night. These alum didn’t want to pretend that high school was a happy time for them, and the chance that maybe, even now, their lives wouldn’t measure up to their ‘93 selves. 

A few refused to remember the past, and rested happily in the present, content to allow their reunion to happen daily through the digital world of Facebook rather than the wooden floors of a New Albany pizza joint. 

Assumptions like these are universal. A commercial for Kia represents the idea well.

“Remember that girl you didn’t notice in high school?” the ad asks as a leggy brunette exits her car while men at her reunion ogle. “We’re a lot like that.”

And for those of us who remained out of the high school spotlight, that’s the Hollywood magic we craved. That somehow now we’re better than the person we were our senior year. That others were mistaken in their assumptions of our worth and value. That, due to all these life changes, we now fit in. 

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