Awkward High School Tater

I actually have three different things I considered writing about today. One was another post about the effect of moving 500 miles away from everyone you know and losing contact with all of them. This was brought to mind after a place I worked at in Cincinnati appeared in a dream. It seemed a little sad, so I opted not to do that one today. One was a whiny post about views on the blog, but I figured no one really wants an inside baseball post about how my views have gone down and I think it is because I have to share to a page and people aren’t seeing the page.

The winner was inspired by seeing the following in my TimeHop:

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This post was prompted by a few rejections for jobs. I think it’s funny, but it’s not entirely accurate. I was only rejected for a prom date once. I was only rejected once because I only asked one person. I only asked one person because I was not someone for whom doing something like asking someone out is easy. I was a socially awkward little weirdo who was sure that no one would ever say yes to me. It is a miracle that I ever asked one person. It wasn’t going to happen a second time.  There was no way I was going to go through working up the nerve to do that again only to be told no. I went to prom alone. I only danced a couple of times when two of my neighbors took pity on me and asked me to dance with them. I generally hid from rejection by not asking in the first place.

I went to college and shockingly was still a socially awkward little weirdo. I spent the first year and a half trying to overcome that with alcohol. So, I became a drunken, socially awkward little weirdo with bad grades. That wasn’t working for me, so sophomore year I went cold turkey on the alcohol, started working harder in school and got more active in the Baptist Student Union. At some point around that time, I discovered I could hide some of the socially awkward little weirdo stuff with jokes and sarcasm. I worked hard on honing those skills. I was still a socially awkward weirdo, but now I had jokes. Somehow in college, I convinced someone to go out with me and then somehow convinced them to marry me. Almost 27 years later she still refuses to admit her mistake.

Adult, married Tater is still a socially awkward little weirdo. I still try to cover it up with humor and sarcasm. I have also developed a pretty good fake inflated ego as a new twist to my cover-up. I’m not sure anyone is fooled. Not being in the dating game makes it a little easier. I can’t imagine ever having to go through getting up the courage to ask someone out again. I need to make sure I am always extra nice to Mrs. Tater.

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High School Reunion

I went to my 30 year high school reunion on Saturday. I always have trouble in this type of setting because I am a socially awkward introvert.  In large gatherings like this I tend to drift toward the edges and observe more than I interact. It was the same at this event. I had a good time, but it could have been better if I could break out of my shell a little. I should have ubered instead of driving so I could drink enough to loosen up a little.

Regardless of my personal shortcomings, it was a great event. There was a good turnout and everyone enjoyed seeing their old classmates.  It did feel a little like high school for me. I felt awkward and hesitant to join a group and gravitated toward the people with whom I felt more comfortable. When the dancing started I watched instead of joining. The difference this time is that people actually tried to get me to dance with them. I kept telling them I can’t dance, but they persisted. Eventually, I had to go to the dance floor to prove once and for all that I could not dance. They stopped asking after they witnessed that. I know this sounds like I didn’t have a good time, but I did. I enjoyed reconnecting with old friends. In some cases, it really didn’t feel like it had been years since we had spoken. It seemed normal and natural to be with them. I guess some friendships can survive time and distance more than others

The big takeaway from the night is how much I miss these people. I left the reunion melancholy because I know that it will be another 5-10 years before I see any of them again. Living 600 miles away makes it hard to maintain friendships. I will and have talked to them on Facebook, but it isn’t the same. I envy those still in Kentucky who have the option to spend more time together.

Thanks OCHS Class of 1987 for being such a positive part of my life.

High School

My 30 year high school reunion is about two weeks away. The last few days the Facebook group for our class has been full of live videos, pictures from high school and comments from old friends. I know a lot of people avoid their high school reunions for various reasons, but I am really looking forward to it.  All of the posts have brought back a lot of memories from my teens. I’m not going to post specific memories because I’m old and probably have skewed the memories in my brain. I will post some general reflections instead.

Unlike a lot of people, I did not hate high school.  I hate that I was shy and had serious self esteem issues while I was in high school. I hate that this kept me from having a more enjoyable high school experience. I didn’t hate high school, though.  I was not Mr Popular, but I had a good, solid group of friends. I don’t think a lot of people hated me(class of ’87 correct me if I’m wrong) but I think most were pretty indifferent toward me. That’s not a bad thing. It’s just the way it was. That’s just real life.  It’s the same today. I have a small group of good friends, a few people who hate me and a large number of people who admire me from afar…I mean, are indifferent toward me. I could choose to not attend the reunion because I was not universally loved by my classmates, but instead I will attend to show them why they should all love me today. 🙂

Some of the specific things that were the best parts of high school for me: French Club parties at Mrs Bradley’s house. The Motley Crue concert in Evansville with some good friends. Friends who were still my friend after I threw up in their car(I have to mention this because they do a lot). Going to the girl’s basketball tournament in Bowling Green. The friends who came to the funeral home to show support when my dad died my senior year. The friends who made sure I still went with them to do fun stuff after the death. The graduation party where I apparently told the police my name was Beaver Dam and I lived in Alan Simpson.

I hope to add to these good times with friends soon. If you are from the OCHS class of 87 and are reading this, please come to the reunion and have fun with us.