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It's OK to Recycle Your Teenage Years

Reality will be waiting when you return

I was a recycled teen this weekend.

A group of friends gathered to remember the good ol’ days when life was simple and carefree. Do you remember those days?

It was called high school.

No, it wasn’t the officially sanctioned reunion, that’s being planned for next year.

This spur of the moment gathering was organized so we could share some history. No faux pas about not recognizing someone. I peaked at the RSVP list. Just an intimate gathering of high school pals.

"Wow, it’s been twenty years!"

"Great to see you! What’s new?"

Wait, I already have some of the answers.  

Thanks to Facebook, I've seen recent photos and read daily updates on all their big milestones.

I know who's married, who's divorced, where they vacationed and what team their kid just made. Every day I attend a virtual reunion and I never have to leave my family room.   

Time for me to leave the pretend world for a dose of reality. Dab on the lipstick, pluck a gray hair, and I'm out the door traveling back in time.

So to speak.

We hugged, we laughed and we talked. Three hours of chatting about who we are, what we think and where we've been.

Close your eyes and I bet you can see the peanuts on the floor at the Ground Round. Remember tossing coins into the tabletop jukebox in the diner with the best Peach Melba?

Who was the teacher with the bright pink lipstick that matched her outfits?

You went with who to the prom?

It was like playing a custom edition of Trivial Pursuit. I was collecting pie with every recollection.

But just like Cinderella, the clock magically chimed and I was returned to the present.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, I am a teenager no more.    

This mom of four turned and saw her prince and carriage waiting to take her back to laundry, cooking and carpool.  Back to being a grown-up.

It was fun taking off my reading glasses and seeing the past more clearly. Maybe it wasn’t always the time of our lives, but time does seem to heal the wounds of high school.  

Some memories have faded into the past, but I am glad these adolescent friendships want to remain in the present. 

Once upon a time we were teenagers; aren’t we glad history can repeat?

Even if only lasts for a few magical hours.

Denise Olear December 01, 2011 at 11:43 AM
great job! so true! you revert back to the way you used to be!!
Susan Boerchers December 01, 2011 at 12:38 PM
So true! Just had a mini-mini reunion with 5 friends who didn't even hang out often in HS but caught up with each other on FB and reunited for a fun girls weekend. The good times may not have always been so good, but getting together with old friends makes for the time of our lives!
Corinn Scher December 01, 2011 at 01:22 PM
It's was nice to live this experience through your writing....my high school friends are all back home in Toronto. Keep the articles coming Lynn...your column is always so great!
Beth Sparozic December 01, 2011 at 05:05 PM
Lynn, You have an unbelievable way of pulling us right into your stories. I enjoy reading your articles. You touch on many different things that always seem to relate to me somehow. I, too, went to a mini reunion and thought I stepped right back in time.
Jean Gaviglio December 01, 2011 at 05:35 PM
Spot on as always Lynn! Though we didn't go to high school together, after reading this, Ifelt like I was right there with you 20 some years ago!
mr December 01, 2011 at 06:34 PM
I agree with Beth. You pull us right into your stories. Always enjoy and look forward to every article you write. When is a book coming out?
Rebecca K. Abma December 01, 2011 at 06:59 PM
I love how Facebook keeps us current with our old friends' lives that when we actually get together, we can skip the surface chatter and get down to what really matters. Thanks for another great article Lynn! '
Beth December 01, 2011 at 10:09 PM
great article as usual Lynn but I did not know you wear reading glasses???
Michele Kurys December 02, 2011 at 02:56 AM
I chose not to go to my high school reunion because I didn't want to connect to people I never connected with in high school, but from your article I can see that they are the people that share certain memories/stories that no one else could. I probably should have gone. Another great article!
John J Bruggemann Sr. December 02, 2011 at 03:15 AM
I loved your column.Its a shame that I can't send you my thoughts as I have tried twice but ti no avail.Dad
John J Bruggemann Sr. December 02, 2011 at 04:21 AM
Here we go for a 3rd try at a reply?I hope it goes through or this computer goes through the wall.Here goes. Ah yes I remember it well.We had our first reunion in 1989 our 40th year after graduation.Our next one was 1994 and the last 1999.The only difference is mine was elementry school.Our Lady Queen Of Martyrs 1949.For 8 years we spent with each other growing up and finally graduating.At our reunion we didn't have facebook or name tags as we all knew each other by name and sight.We were introduced to their better halves and the party went on.To this day I still am in touch with at least 15 of my classmates and see 3 of them for dinner at least once every other month or sooner if we all can make it. Its funny to me when I hear teachers complain about class sizes of 25.Picture 40 kids each day with the same teacher each year for 8 hours a day teaching every subject.Remember too NO PAY--NO PENSION--NO BENEFITS--NONE OR LITTLE THANKS.All of them,their students, can add,subtract and multiply in their heads without the use of computers.Ah yes those days are gone never to be relived.Good memories that I am thankful for.John J Bruggemann Sr.(POPS)

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