Some reminiscing before the reunion
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
I never thought I’d ever draw comparisons between class reunions and river rafting. Maybe I should never say never.
Unless it’s something like, “I’m never wearing a mascot costume to Vegas during a Furries convention.” Or, “I’m never driving to Indiana from Colorado. Ever. Again.”
Too late – on the latter.
This week, I’m off on a long roadtrip I’ve sworn off so many times, I’m starting to think I’m a habitual liar to myself. I’ve said time and time again I won’t drive the 20 hours it takes to get to Indiana. But here I am, with a 12-year-old dog I hate to leave for the week and the budget of a comic, driving home for my high school class reunion.
I’m a sucker for old dogs and old classmates.
I grew up in a fairly small town, with 169 kids in my class. We were a close bunch, most of us growing up together all the crazy years of elementary, middle, and high school. My classmates saw me at my worst – sixth grade with braces, a body like a 9-year-old and hair that would never feather. The high school years were an improvement, but I still found ways to embarrass myself. Like the time I fell down the front stairs of my high school when I was a freshman. Or the time I ran for student body president and lost to my ex-boyfriend, who ran against me, possibly out of spite. I may never know why he ran against me.
All I know is he beat me.
And I quite possibly gave the worst student body president candidate speech known to man. Luckily my public speaking skills have improved. I’m still working on the interpersonal relationships. I’ll have plenty of time to revisit my childhood and pick it apart like a therapist as I return to my hometown. There will be plenty of reminiscing I’m sure.
Hopefully no one will remember the speech.
There will also be the reality of the situation: Most of my classmates are married with children. While many of my high school friends are raising children and being stand-up members of their communities, I spend my free time doing stand-up comedy.
Maybe I should bring my best girlfriend as my date just to confirm the stereotype.
As a childless, husbandless woman, it’s hard to face classmates I haven’t seen in years. They probably remember me not-so-husbandless. But they probably don’t remember me as living in Colorado, since I didn’t move west until seven years ago. So there will be stories to tell. And not to tell.
Living this far away can have its perks.
I’ll probably tell stories of skiing in Snowmass and rafting on the Colorado River. Both involve fears I’ve had to overcome. Speed has been a factor for me with skiing. Something about breaking my neck remains in the back of mind and I have no idea why (mother). I wasn’t always a great swimmer, but any fear I lost fast when I was plopped in a raft going down Shoshone rapids my first summer I moved to Colorado. My mother also said I’d break my neck doing that, too.
So far I’ve made it through without breaking anything.
So maybe flying solo at a class reunion isn’t so scary. I certainly don’t think I’ll break my neck. Unless I trip over my words when I do stand-up.
Warning: If you had big hair or a mullet in high school, you are not safe.
April E. Clark is breaking a leg, not a neck, in the New Faces Contest at Comedy Works South in Denver tonight. She can be reached at a firstname.lastname@example.org.
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