Who seriously, who thought we would live to be out of high school for 10 years. Judging that I'm still alive, I consider my, albeit, short life, complete. My wife, children, and career are all bonus at this point.
So. Back in 1999 Ricky Martin was rocking the Top 40 radio station with his hit song 'Livin La Vida Loca' [we all thought it was awesome] and no one paid for it, because June 1 the initial release of Napster came out and on-line market places were just in their infancy.
10 years later, what changed? Nothing, and everything all at the same time.
The #1 today in America according to the Billboard Top 100 chart is Britney Spears with her staggering musical genious hit '3' [most of us probably never even like it or even heard of it]. File sharing programs like Napster are deemed illegal, but no one has figured out how to stop illegal file sharing, or illegal music downloads, and on-line market places are entirely the norm.
To say I wasn't excited about seeing my fellow classmates would be a drastic understatement. I was really really excited. I wanted to see how everyone was doing. I have heard horror stories about friends' 10 year class reunions where the entire night was a proverbial dick measuring contest. What do you do? I am a manager at a bank. Really? I won a Nobel Peace prize for doing nothing. Funny, I don't remember graduating with President Obama.
When I got there I think we all walked into each others naked in the front of the classroom dreams. It was awkward. Do I shake hands? Do I hug people? What's the protocol? So I went with the usual handshake.
It didn't take long after I arrived to start downing alcohol like it was my job. I was 1 glass of Cabernet in when a good friend from back in the day walked in. I hardly recognized her. She went with the whole hug angle. She hugged me and my wife. I introduced Wifey as my wife, but Amanda didn't put it together. Amanda knew my wife and knew her well, but my wife has changed so much in the last 10 years, Amanda had no idea it was who she thought it was. It wasn't until an hour later when she came up and said, "Oh my god I know you" and then it was like a whole other class reunion.
Ok so that tangent is over.
About an hour in and a glass of liquid relaxer in, I saw classmates showing up. I went to the class reunion with the intention of letting everyone know that I worked in retail and I was going to keep the blog on the down low. Seriously, when we were in school the internet was just starting to really become a widespread phenomenon, I didn't know how they would react to me blogging, or even if they knew what it was. We are on the borderline of being a hip generation or being stuck in the past like our parents. Well that was smashed when a classmate greeted me with, "Oh my gawd, Adam, how are you? Congratulations on the baby, I read your blog, every. single. day."
Ok well I guess the cat was out of the bag. I was now, Adam, the guy who works retail and writes a blog that 1 person in the room knows about.
"Adam, yeah, I totally read you blog." said another classmate in response to the first. Ok maybe 2 people.
Great. Thanks for reading!
It wasn't until I had another drink and another classmate gives me a hug and says, "Adam, hi!" She reaches over me and gives my wife a hug, "You're baby is so cute, I read your blog all the time! I can't believe you Tweeted your wife's child birth." to my wife, "Did you want to smack him? I would have, but I was SO glued to Facebook that whole day. I would talk to [insert whomever she said] and go, Oh my God did you get Adam's last update?"
At this point was like, what the fuck? All these people read my blog and not a single one has commented? Comment the fucking blog people. Also, on the right side of this page there is a follow button. You can use your Google ID or Facebook, there are two widgets. Get on it. Click follow!
Sorry for the tangent.
So after everyone claimed to read my blog, we reminisced about marching band. We compared the current marching band to the power house and laser beam of sound that was my all brass marching band of years past. If you had to compare the band now to the band when I was in school, it's like drag racing a Model T Ford [now] to a Top Fuel Dragster [then]. There is no doubt the top fuel dragster will win, but you have to give the Model T style points. No. Fuck that. My top fuel dragster fucking owned the Model T by comparison.
It was a great time. The dick measuring contest never happened. Many of us had very similar culture shocks when we all moved away from home. We all realized that there was another race that lived with white people.
Where I grew up in Avon Lake, Ohio, there was not a whole lot of diversity. We could count the number of minority students on one hand. Two of the 5 that were in the school were in my class. Apparently they are both dentists now. But when I moved to St. Louis, or Lauren moved to Georgia, there were black people. What the fuck are black people?
Seriously. We were never exposed. The black community was an entire culture we were never exposed to. I am glad to say Avon Lake has grown and now there is not the same issues I faced, facing the students of Avon Lake now. Now that we are 10 years from Avon Lake, I think we have gotten over that culture shock and I think we are a little more open minded than our parents before us. We don't want our kids to experience that level of culture shock when they head out into the world.
A lot happened in 10 years, but I think there is just so much more to come. Yes, we are getting older and I think I didn't really start to think of myself as an adult until I saw all my old friends from high school. Instead of seeing naive 18 year olds of years past, I saw fellow 28-29 year olds trying to find their way in this crazy world, and I see some of them struggling with the same things I am. Career, family, and money. Not a single one of us would be considered financially stable. If they have a great job, they probably have massive student loan debt [maybe]. We are still a very young generation, but we have had a solid foundation. As loser-ish as we thought Avon Lake was, we didn't turn out half bad.
All in all I think the class of 1999 turned out a whole lot better than our teachers anticipated. Many of us have great families, although not a single one of their children is event remotely as adorable as my children, but I mean they aren't bad, just mine are better [let the dick measuring contest begin].
See you guys in another 10 years.
[by no means is this a representation of the entire Avon Lake High School Class of 1999, but this is the only group photo that I have. I didn't snap a whole lot of photos. The Graduates in this photo are (L-R) Chrissy Cifranic, Melissa Forest, Christine Allgood, Katey Knaupe, Sara Egan (just her left eye and half a smile are picutered) and Stacey Cifranic]