Anyway, there are all sorts of reunion parties happening this month. There’s a party before the big football game, a pre-party before the party before the gala, speeches about how awesome everyone was/is/wished they were, walks down that fuzzy memory lane, teachers being honored, blah, blah, blah. The school is going all out to celebrate fifty years of teaching and whatever. And then, as if that's not enough tripping down lanes, next month my class is having an informal reunion thing too.
I’m not going to any of them. It's not that I'm protesting or boycotting or anything. I live too far away right now to just fly in for the weekend. That being said, I’m not sure I would attend all the parties and pre parties and whatnots if I were there. I wasn’t much of a joiner of things in high school. I was more of a watcher and wisher. I’m not sure that will work as well at a reunion the way it works wonderfully on Facebook and Twitter and the like.
Take for example my fabulous Facebook friends, Bill and Ted.
Bill and Ted and I went to high school together. Bill and Ted and I might even have gone to middle school together. I know Bill and I did but I can’t vouch for Ted attending that trauma trap period of time. Bill dated my best friend on seventh grade for the average two-week middle school dating period before she cheated on him. I don’t remember him speaking to me after that other than to ask me why she dumped him. Boys were always asking me why she did things. That’s the only reason they talked to me, to ask “Why???” Bill and Ted never spoke to me in high school, that I remember - maybe because I’d wised up and stopped being friends with the cheater girl. Or perhaps because I was so terrified anyone would speak to me that I kept my head down and tried not to be seen. All I know is that Bill and Ted weren’t part of my life until Facebook.
Bill and Ted are not their real names, by the way. From what I remember about the movie ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ I thought Bill and Ted were a nice name match for my two Facebook buddies. Of course it’s been a long time since I’ve seen the movie. I could be insulting them or giving them way more credit in awesomeness than they deserve. Initially, I was going to go with Tom and Jerry or Rocky and Bullwinkle or Bevies and Butthead but my friends are both wicked smart, only one of them is overly hairy and, as far as I know, neither one is a total ass so Bill and Ted they have become.
Our Facebook friendship started with our twentieth high school reunion a few years back. Bill spent quite some time chatting with me and not getting the least offended by anything Husband said and was generally very awesome to be around. Somehow we ended up friends on Facebook. I don’t know who asked whom. Suddenly we were friends and it was good. At some point soon after, Ted and I were Facebook friends too. I don’t know who asked whom. I feel like I should remember this important detail but I don’t.
And thus a romance like no other began. I would post some absurd remark and the back and forth banter between Bill and Ted would begin. A snarky response here, a witty retort there and I was laughing. Sometimes I felt like I was just watching the tennis match of barbs they threw at each other. Sometimes I was the little sister being teased relentlessly by two older brothers. Most times they were one inappropriate sexual innuendo away from being banned by Husband from being my friends. They made my life interesting. I would get a little thrill each time my notifications said either Bill or Ted had commented on a post because no matter how inane my comment, the comeback was sure to be relentless and hysterical.
And those awesome exchanges are one of the reasons I’m not going to the fiftieth celebration of the school. High school was a mess of awkward for me and there are few people who don’t make all those memories wash up over me and bring on the tears and the doubt and the darkness. Bill and Ted might be two of those people.
But how could I know? I’ve never spent time with them in a room face to face. In real life, their snarky comments might not be tempered by the salve of a computer screen. In real life, face-to-face, their remarks might make me bleed, just like all those barbs that people threw at me back in the day. Heck, we all bled then, some more than others. I’d like to think, my skin is stronger, my self more secure and yet, I think that Bill and Ted are some of the few folk that could still bring me low.
Because of that dark possibility, I don’t think Bill or Ted and I could ever hang out together in a real live space. The fact that I’ve never had real face time with Ted is likely part of it. The fact that Ted is a high mucky muck in the Army and teacher of young minds and Bill is a practitioner of Chinese arts and chef of all things healthy and my favorite exercise is lifting potato chips and ice cream into my face while spelling things incorrectly might have something to do with it. The fact that both of them were high school football players, the ones who didn’t speak to the drama geeks like me and that we sure as hell never hung out at any social event ever doesn’t help.
But mostly, it’s because I like who I am and who they are right now, in this virtual space, and I would be devastated to find out we were not the same people face to face.
Who needs that kind of crushing disappointment? Life is hard enough without losing your imaginary friends.