My 20-year high school reunion is coming up. As I’ve thought about those formative years, a whole host of emotions have bubbled up from deep within. (As you know, a Zillionaire’s heart is a deep ocean of secrets.)
First, of course, is curiosity. What have my classmates been up to? What stories have shaped their lives? Where has their journey taken them? If stranded on a deserted island, what Vanilla Ice song would they hum as they whittled coconuts?
Second, I get nervous because I wonder what they think of me. I feel far removed from the skinny Mormon boy they used to know. Granted, we all have Facebook so I’m hoping my physical appearance won’t be a complete shock. Besides, they couldn’t have known my life’s ambition has been to have facial hair like Charlie from the TV show “Party of Five” and a body like Shrek. But we all have opinions, memories and misconceptions we’ve locked away for the last 20 years that will suddenly be dug up like a time-capsule and put on display.
In a last-ditch effort to process these emotions, I feel compelled to find out just how much I’ve changed since high school. The only way to answer that question is to go back in time and try to understand who I was twenty years ago and juxtapose that with who I am now. So I’ve dug out my old yearbook supplement and present to you my current reflections on high school yearbook quotes. Keep in mind, these are actual quotes people wrote to me back in 1996.
Current Reflections on High School Yearbook Quotes
“You are the best 4-wheelin’ dude I know.”
I sincerely appreciate the positivity oozing from this comment. I had no idea those two times I rode a 4-wheeler at my friend’s farm demonstrated such skill however.
“I’m glad we kicked ass in golf this year.”
Again, I love the enthusiasm and I hate to be a stickler, but I’m pretty sure we lost almost every match and my personal golf scores dragged the team down like a set of concrete shoes on a dead mobster.
“I pledge allegiance to Powell Peralta of the United Sates of Vision Street Wear. And to Caballero for which it handplants, one nation under Tony Hawk with too many kickflips and freestyle boards for all.”
This is one of my favorite quotes from my yearbook. I don’t know who left it but it is pure poetry. Whoever you are, I hope you are winning some Def Jam Poetry Slam somewhere as I type this.
“Well I never know what to say except that Disco rules & you’re the “Dancing Queen.”
Despite not knowing what to say, you’ve led with some very strong opinions of music that I can reflect on. Not to mention, you’ve unknowingly left the best backhanded compliment a heterosexual 17-year old boy never wants to get.
“Best of luck with your professional rapping career. Hot tip: I bet you’d be huge in Latin America.”
In hindsight, this stings a bit. Had I gotten a few breaks, I’m basically Macklemore and I even have my own Ryan Lewis named Jon Solo! I should have listened to your hot tip and recorded a version of Blacktop and Chains in Spanish.
“I don’t care what people say, you still are and always will be really lame and immature!”
Let’s forgive the use of “lame” as it really wasn’t meant offensively 20 years ago. In today’s parlance, I am being characterized as “uncool and childish.” My good friends will recognize how true this remains. I will forever be Peter Pan with a neckbeard.
“Good luck, maybe you’ll grow up to be a guy who writes articles that piss a whole lot of people off.”
Holy crap! Apparently I went to high school with Nostradamus. The only thing this person got wrong was they overestimated my influence. I did grow up. I still write. I still piss people off. But it isn’t a “whole lot” and it is almost never intentional. Maybe this article will prove them right, however.
“Always remember the single most important thing to life; nudity.”
Thank god I got this incredible advice when I was still young and naive enough to see its true beauty and wisdom without being jaded by its frank(and beans)ness and vulgarity. It has served me well over the years. From playing basketball with the fellas to important job interviews, my fondness for nudity has set me apart. In fact, you should picture me naked right now writing this blog post. Now, hold on to that image in your mind. Turn it over in your head a few times. Let it sit there for a few minutes. Just a few minutes more. You’re almost done thinking of me naked but not quite yet…