As I climbed into the cab that would eventually take me home from a doctors appointment, I immediately recognized the distinctive sound of music from my high school days, half a century ago. I like that radio station, I said to the driver. Which one Is it? Thats my kind of music. He told me that it was a CD of hits that were recorded when he was in high school. At his 50th class reunion, one of his classmates put it together and gave each member of the class a CD as a gift. What a great idea. We then launched into a Those were the good old days reminiscence. You can understand the words; there is an actual melody; nobody is screaming; nobody sounds angry; and the main microphone is on the lead singer. Those songs were about yearning to kiss someone, not to get into bed with them. Of course we all knew that that was on a lot of kids minds, but they had the decency to not shout about it in their music. We didnt sing about getting high, much less getting stoned. That came a few years later in college. Then our conversation turned to relationships then and now.
High school for both of us was fraught with anxiety about being accepted into this clique or that, being known as a hood or stuck up, being too smart to be attractive to boys, not being cool enough to be attractive to girls, being the teachers pet, or not being the teachers pet. 50 years later, none of that exists. Weve grown up, all of us, into responsible adults who respect each others individuality without prejudice. I dont mean to say that were all perfect citizens, but the petty discriminations are virtually gone. Some but not all, of the fat kids turned into very attractive people. Some of the kids who were barely passing are now business owners and quite successful. Some of the egg heads who didnt have the time of day for us mere mortals are rather congenial. They even have grandchildren.
Recently, some classmates of mine traveled over 100 miles to come and take me out to lunch. One of them was my best friend from high school, Lynda, and another one, Bob, was someone I hardly knew in high school. As a result of this blog and a website for our class created just a few years ago, Bob and Lynda, who were very close back then, cooked up this luncheon get-together with me and with their spouses. It was a wonderful afternoon. Not only did we have our high school days to talk about, but we also discussed our own everyday concerns about our children, our grandchildren, our aches and pains, and how glad we all were to be retired. Funny that it took 50 years for us to discover each other as people. Now we can be friends without all the other baggage that goes along with being in high school. And oh yes, we dont have to worry about pimples anymore.
I had had a frustrating time at the doctors that afternoon when I got into that cab. There was some kind of mix-up with the health insurance, and it couldnt be resolved before my schedule driver showed up, so I didnt get to see the doctor at all. Then when I found out that I wouldnt be getting home for an hour and 15 minutes, because of other pickups that needed to be made on my way, I was pretty grumpy. Then I began to smile as I heard Elvis crooning to me, just like he did back then, saying how the world is a stage, and all those corny sweet nothings. I just settled back and let that fabulous music take me back to when music was pure and soothing to the soul.