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Thursday, April 24, 2014

The Class of '95 Reunion...and Films About Reunions

April 24, 2014

Okay, so this blog entry is going to be a little bit of a combination of a Monday Matinee and Thursday Diary entry.  Part of the reason why I did this is because I cancelled the actual movie discussion that was planned for this past Monday as I had something that I needed to get off of my chest.

But here's the thing.  I still wanted to do a diary entry because for whatever reason, April has been one of those months in which I have done a lot of sharing.  I don't really quite understand what the motivation is behind it, but I would wager a guess that this sharing is setting the stage for a big move.  What that big move is, I have absolutely no idea, but I think it's a bit of a precursor.

So, I decided to come up with the idea to combine a diary entry with a series of like-themed movies so that the movie discussion for this week wouldn't be a total loss.

Again, I'm not sure how this is going to work out because I'm basically flying by the seat of my pants as I type this...but hey, you know me.  I LOVE a challenge.

Okay, so the subject of the diary/movie discussion is all about class reunions.  And if you've been keeping up with the blog over the last few weeks, you might know that I have a bit of a reunion coming up within the next couple of months.

Sometime in June, a group of us from my grade school's graduating class (Class of '95, might I add) will be reuniting with each other for an afternoon of fun, reminiscing, and good times.  And, I'll readily admit that I did sign up to attend this reunion because I wanted to see how my elementary school buds were doing.

(Well, that, plus I am more open to attending an elementary school reunion than a high school reunion.  For obvious reasons.)

But it's funny how time can sometimes play tricks with your mind because quite recently, I was having second thoughts about going.

It wasn't because of the fact that there might be people who used to hate me back then and who still might have an axe to grind with me some 19, 20 years later.  Chances are, half of them wouldn't even know who I even was, and those who did know probably wouldn't even waste their time looking back on bad memories.  Admittedly, I did have a little bit of fear regarding that, but I quickly got over it.  After all, they were the ones with the problem...not me.

And, it certainly wasn't the fact that I absolutely hated my time in school that I didn't want to relive it.  Certainly there were some moments in which I did hate being at that school (pretty much all of 1987 and most of 1988) remains one of those periods), but for the most part, it wasn't all that bad.

No, the reason behind my sudden apprehension over the upcoming reunion?  Well, admittedly it has to do with my own insecurities.  I mean, I see pictures and read stories from my former classmates, and how they all have great career opportunities, and have gotten married and have had children.  While I am very interested in seeing how their lives have changed since we left eighth grade, it does kind of make me feel a little bit insecure, only because I really don't feel as though I have any interesting stories to share myself. 

I seems silly.  I do charity work, I have kept a blog going for three years, and have secured a full-time job in times in which full-time jobs seem to be dying a slow and painful death.  I have quite a bit going for me at this time.  I only wish I had more to share.

And, it got me thinking...what kind of an impression would I ultimately leave at this reunion.  When I graduated eighth grade, I was the fat and nerdy kid whose feelings got hurt too easily.  And, well...I'm still fat and nerdy - and my feelings sometimes still get hurt.  So, how could I make the best possible impression on people who I have not seen in almost two decades? 

What if I consult the world of film?  Surely there have been lots of films that have had to do with class reunions!  Maybe one of them will inspire me, and make me realize that reuniting with old classmates can feel so good!

No, wait.  That was Peaches and Herb.  Nevermind.

But seriously...there's lots of movies that showcase some wonderful class reunions.  How about the 1983 film "The Big Chill" in which a group of college classmates reunite with each other after fifteen years?  The movie itself was fantastic with a wonderful soundtrack of favourites from the late 1960s, and the entire film is a beautiful example of friends picking up where they last left off...and certainly, there are some touching moments, as well as some funny moments.

Of course, the only thing about "The Big Chill" is that the reunion takes place after the funeral of one of their classmates who actually committed suicide (TRUE FACT:  The friend was played by Kevin Costner, but his scenes were cut from the final version).  And, well, it wouldn't work, because the reunion I'm going to is built on a happier foundation.  So, yeah, we'll leave that alone.  Still, it's a fantastic movie.  Check it out., maybe "The Big Chill" is not the way to approach this reunion.  What about the 1986 film "Peggy Sue Got Married"?  You know, the one with Kathleen Turner going to her high school reunion, married to Nicolas Cage, and something happened in which she fainted and woke up in the year she graduated high school and is forced to relive that year...all...over...

...nah, forget about it.  1995 wasn't the greatest year to relive.  The clothes were bad, the music was bad, "Melrose Place" and "Roseanne" jumped the shark.  Yeah, who needs to relive 1995?

And, I think it's a safe bet to say that I probably shouldn't go into this reunion with the "National Lampoon's Class Reunion" film from '82 stuck in my mind.  With my luck, I'd transform into a younger version of Walter Baylor and end up stalking my former classmates one by one.

DISCLAIMER:  I would NEVER wish harm on any of my former classmates.  Not even the ones who bullied me.  Not even the abusive teacher I had from first grade...well, aside from a paper cut.  Paper cuts really hurt.

1997's "Grosse Pointe Blank" is another reunion movie that wouldn't quite fit with the mood that I wish to showcase at this reunion either.  After all, I'm not a former hitman, and I'm pretty sure that if I had a therapist, they wouldn't advise me to go to a high school reunion to ease my murderous rages.  Because as I previously established, I don't have these rages.

Sigh...what's left?

Oh, goody..."Romy and Michele's High School Reunion" from 1997.  Wonderful.  A movie that features two women who don't exactly have the greatest sense of self, and who seem to have about as much brain power as a Christmas tree bulb.  Surely I can't find anything to relate to in this film...can I?

Hmmm...actually, yes.  I can.

Romy and Michele are a lot like me in the sense that neither one of them felt like they accomplished anything meaningful in their lives.  Sure, they worked at a boutique and had an immaculate (if not unique) sense of style, but they always compared themselves to the people who were in the A-group...successful, pretty, gorgeous women who were destined to make it in the world.

Funny thing is, they got to the reunion and found that while they have changed and matured, the girls in the A-group were still as snotty and catty as ever.  And funnily enough, none of them seemed to be all that happy with their lives.  I still cheer over Romy and Michele's speech to the most vapid, vicious girl of the group, letting her know exactly what they thought of her.  In fact, let's see if I can find that moment.

And, you know...I should try to emulate Romy and Michele.  No, I won't put on a shiny short dress (trust me, nobody wants to see THAT).  But I will just try to have as much fun as I can at the reunion, and if anyone does come at me, trying to make me feel inferior...well, I really don't give a flying @#$% what they think!

Well, at least I SHOULDN'T anyway.

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