(Charlie is looking over my shoulder at my high school graduating class yearbook picture that’s popped up on Face book. I read the new set of comments someone has posted below the photograph. The thread of comments is quite long. Charlie is patiently waiting for me to finish with my Face book browse so he can get on the computer to play some computer games.)
Charlie: Where are you?
Cassie: Right there. (I point toward the center of the photo on the screen.)
Charlie: WHAT are you wearing?
Cassie: God only knows! I can’t even fathom…
Charlie: Big shoulders….awful.
Cassie: Gee, thanks.
Charlie: Looks a little like a football uniform.
Cassie: Shoulder pads. It’s because of the shoulder pads.
Charlie: And the hair.
Cassie: (sighing) I know it.
Charlie: Why has this photo even been posted?
Cassie: My high school reunion is coming up.
Charlie: Where’s Lauri (Hornik)?
Cassie: Not in this graduating class. She’s the year after. I graduated a year early. I tried to get it all done in three years.
Charlie: Why would you do that?
Cassie: It seemed like a good idea at the time. I wanted to get the heck out of high school. (Pause) I just wanted to get out.
Charlie: You weren’t having enough fun.
Cassie: I guess not.
Charlie: Is that because you were a little bit of a nerd?
Cassie: That probably had something to do with it.
Charlie: What’s a reunion?
Cassie: A reunion….you know…like a family reunion…a big gathering of all the people I went to high school with.
Charlie: You want to go to that?!
Cassie: Yea. It’s a chance for everyone to get together and remember old times–
Charlie: Of when you were a nerd?
Cassie: Hah! Yea.
Charlie: Since you don’t have the reputation of being cool….I really don’t think you should go. Why put yourself through that?
Cassie: I don’t think that kind of stuff about cool or nerd really matters any more, Charlie. We’re all getting older. Maybe when you’re younger…like at your tenth high school reunion….it’s still an issue…but now, we’ve all seen some life. We have kids of our own. We’ve had some struggles along with some successes, hopefully. We have gray hair…or less hair, even.
Charlie: Or hair that’s as freakish as ever.
Cassie: Pffft. (Pause) Despite the hair or the lack thereof, a reunion is a chance to see people from your past, to share some tales of “Remember When” and reconnect.
Charlie: Are there any funny stories from high school that involve you?
Cassie: No. Probably not.
Charlie: You never got in trouble or had some real fun?
Charlie: Too bad I wasn’t there.
Cassie: If you had been there…well….that would have been some fun for sure.
Charlie: Like something outta “Back to the Future.”
Cassie: Exactly. (Pause) Anyway, these people from high school helped shape me…to be who I am today. They should know that they meant something to me…in my life back then…even though now we’re all in the thick of our own lives far away from that time when we were together in high school.
Charlie: I don’t think it’s going to be that mushy, do you?
Cassie: (giggling) You think that’s mushy?
Cassie: You never know what memories will surface…the conversations you’ll have with your former class mates…unless you actually go to the reunion.
Charlie: True. Like Carpe Diem.
Cassie: You know about Carpe Diem?
Charlie: Yea. “Seize the day.”
Cassie: Right. It’s like “Seize the day!” Check in with these people that grew up alongside you and see how everybody’s doing in life. It’s a good thing to do.
Charlie: When are you going to the reunion?
Cassie: Next weekend.
Charlie: Well, good luck. Whatever you do, don’t wear shoulder pads.
Cassie: They’re not really in style anymore.
Charlie: Thank God. And you gotta keep your hair in check.
Cassie: I know. I’m on it.
Charlie: And, Mom?
Charlie: Try not to be a nerd. Don’t embarrass yourself but have some fun for a change.
Cassie: Carpe Diem, right?
Cassie: I’ll try, Charlie. I’ll try.
Charlie: It’s all you can do.