In high school I was considered brainy, a designation that gave me some status until a football or basketball player walked by. I was sort of a desirable friend unless someone with muscles was in the room.
I’ve learned over the intervening decades that people generally view high school either as one of the best times in their life or they view it as the classical definition of a living hell, and there are very few who have an opinion in the middle. You got a sense of that bifurcation of feelings when at the moment they received their diplomas, half the class ran from the podium yelling a few expletives back at their least favorite teacher, while a small smattering walked slowly off the stage and hung around talking to people they probably would never see again.
Best Friends Forever, or Keep In Touch was written in numerous yearbooks and then the progression of life intervened.
For those of you reading this that are bored right about now, I don’t blame you, but there is a purpose for this introduction, maybe just not a good one.
Anyway, years do pass, and for some reason you start to wonder what ever happened to…? And the list at the end of that statement can be short or long, but you still wonder.
The cure, of course, is to log on and sign-up for Classmates.com. I did not know when I first signed up for that service that I was authorizing them to charge my Credit card for the next million years. So after four years of membership, and finding just one or two people on my Whatever Happened To list who never answered my deeply personal question of “How are you doing?” I attempted to un-join. The process of getting Classmates to stop charging my credit card was a nightmare, and for two years straight I just gave up in despair and let them charge me for another year. Finally my anger reached a peak and I stayed on the phone for about a week until I finally got it cancelled.
I thought I had finally won.
A year passed and then I started getting e-mails announcing, “Two People Visited Your Profile.” Shortly after that I began receiving “See who has sent you a message,” and when I clicked on it, a fuzzy, unreadable image of a name appeared that could have been my first girlfriend or Moammar Kadafi’s son looking for a new place of exile. Of course I would just have to rejoin to see for a fee.
Yesterday I received a message that five people have signed my guestbook, which is a book that I’m not allowed to see unless I agree to pay, which is an interesting definition of the word “My.”
It has slowly dawned on me that all of those people think I’m still a member, and since I never answer their e-mails, they must think I have matured into a snob. Because of that, I’m now getting prepared to be shunned at my reunion next year, and since none of those people will even look like the people I remember, I won’t even know who I am being sunned by.
I guess Classmates gets to have the last laugh.