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Oh, no! Not another high school reunion!
I’ve been called to action by Fate and Folly.
High school classmate Bertha got me on the phone the other day and uttered those hypnotic words, “Would you come to the Class Reunion and tell some of your stories…you know, the funny things that happened in our years at Tuscaloosa High School?”
My emotions are mixed, to say the least. On the one hand, I’m flattered that at last I’m being invited to relate tales about growing up…in front of the very people who were there while I was growing up! They might not want to hear what I have to say.
On the other hand, I am torn between telling the naked truth, thus risking rejection or disapproval (sounds like high school itself, doesn’t it?), or carefully editing my anecdotes to focus on the funny and the poignant. Another way of saying this is, I can shoot first and run for the exit, or I can regale the crowd with the best and most entertaining memories and forget about trying to prove anything.
At my age, most petty anger is now spent, most resentments dismissed, all squabbles a thing of the misty past.
There are two ways to tell the truth, in writing or in storytelling. 1. You can be flat-out honest—thus, tactless and insensitive. Or 2. You can skip forward to the best and most positive notations on childhood—thus, engaging and nostalgic.
You can tell the truth either way…brutally or entertainingly.
The fact that I always choose the non-hurtful approach to the truth is simply an indication that I am painfully aware the world is filled with people who snark away and batter the reader/listener with the negative side of everything—which accomplishes nothing but resentment. I’ve had enough of that. Nowadays I merely wish to share my experiences with people who will in turn feel relaxed enough to compare notes about their similar journeys.
Does this make any sense?
Well, I’ll pull a few stories from my endless memoirs and hope that I extract a few laughs from the crowd, while perhaps making them squirm a bit, too.
The big event is this Saturday night in Tuscaloosa.
I’ll let you know how it turns out
© Jim Reed 2014 A.D.