What Rhymes With Heaven? High School Reunion?!


“We’re the best, Earth and Heaven, Senior class of seventy-…”

Oh my gawd!!! That can only mean one thing – It’s High School Reunion time!

My friends and loved ones, had they really cared, would have stopped me. They would have administered the saliva test and kept me off that plane, but it’s too late. The flight is booked, as is the spacious room at the Sugarland Dreary Drury Inn, and there is no turning back.

A month or so again, Austin Realtor’s Wife got wind of the upcoming torture-fest and suggested it might be “fun” to chronicle the event. Yeah, “fun” as in “I’m 20-something, and you’re So Not”! Most posts, I can wind my way through the confused circuitry of my brain to draw at least a loose real estate parallel. Not so today. It is what it is, it is fewer than two weeks away, and it is panic time.

High school reunion time is time for reflection and, naturally, regrets: Regrets that I should have spent a little less time obsessing over real estate and a little more time embracing Botox, regrets that I didn’t invent Post-It Notes (oops – wrong reunion). As if on cue, the moment the event notice was published, I became walking proof of Newton’s Law (the one about gravity, not motion), the few underdeveloped skeletal muscles I had previously possessed fled my body in unison (presumably doing a bee-line for Matthew McConaughey’s abs), and I became the host of choice for the entire planetary wrinkle population. Why just one of them couldn’t have picked Sharon Stone, I will never know. There’s plenty of room at the inn.

High school reunions are a love-hate thing, and my high school loves them. They throw a bash every five years, but this one takes on a sense of urgency to many of us among our aging Boomer generation. Every one could be the last. And I hate them, but I keep going back like a perpetrator to the crime scene, just begging for trouble.

Unlike much of my class, I am absentee and have been since day one. I don’t keep in touch, so after the initial how-are-you-I-am-fine-my-child-is-a-prodigy’s, I am out of small talk. We could take a walk down memory lane, but at this point I honestly don’t remember anything about those years (except the time we drove off in my Belvedere with the seven-foot plywood Long John Silver from the local fast-food eatery in my back seat, but that is a story for another day). Failing memory aside, it generally starts to come back after the first drink, as in “Why in the h*&* did I pop for Alamo’s mid-sized compact for this? I could be in Aruba.”

So where am I fixin’ to go? A few hints, and y’all are welcome to play along at home:

  • Names of my classmates included Lanny, Wade and Travis, and I knew this because their names were on their belt-buckles.
  • The girls all had BIG hair. Your hair would be big, too, if you emptied an entire can of Alberto Vo5 on it and proceeded to stand in a sauna for the remainder of your formative years.
  • The men loved their mammas but only a little bit more than Bum Phillips, and wore big hats, but never indoors; the women did not wear big hats because they wouldn’t fit over their big hair.
  • My high school town was the Land O’ Strip Malls (due to the absence of zoning laws), drive-through liquor stores and the two-step. It was the “birthplace” of ZZ Top, the Little Band from Tex…

Dang it, I gave it away. Strictly speaking, my high school was in Alief. Their Chamber of Commerce must be amazing; this once unincorporated oasis of two-lane roads and bayous is now proudly a part of the fine City of Houston, no doubt due to the mass appeal of stifling humidity, cockroaches the size of water buffalo, and wide-open spaces.

To anyone contemplating attending their high school reunion, as one who has been there, I will tell you how it ends. The unpopular kids all got rich, the Most Likely to Succeed is working at In-N-Out, the unattractive are now gorgeous and the gorgeous are now, well, not. You will still like the people you liked, and the reasons you didn’t like the others will be reinforced. For me, the two-week clock is ticking, and I will report back from the abyss. Oh, for those who weren’t math majors, “heaven” rhymes with “thirty”. Yee-haw!

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