When my 5 year High School reunion came around in 1999, I had no intention of going. And I didn't. Not that I didn't like High School, but I knew it was more than just my friends that I'd be revisiting, I would also be reunited with all of my insecurities - of which there are many.
I was still enrolled in college and was still working the same retail job I had at the end of High School (though now in management). I was however in a new relationship in which I had high hopes.
Then my 10 year reunion rolled around. It was 2004. I had reconnected with a lot of classmates on Facebook and decided I was going to go to the reunion. I even told a few people I would be there. To make things even easier, the reunion was being hosted at a bar only a handful of blocks from where I was living. But, though we're not friends on Facebook, my insecurities "poked" me reminding me they were still around.
I was STILL working that same retail job, just a different location. Never mind that I was really good at it. I was in an apartment not a house. I also wasn't working in Hollywood, which would for a long time be the measuring stick I'd fall way short of...of course I had been making short films with my partner Joel, as well as working in some pretty spectacular theatrical productions...oh yeah, and I married that pretty awesome lady from the relationship 5 years earlier.
Tick, tock, tick, tock...then it's 15 years, 2009. I don't recall my excuse for this one at all. I guess at that point I had given up on even fooling myself into thinking I was going to go.
I was no longer working in retail, but rather at a Fortune 500 company - though you wouldn't know it from my paycheck. My wife and I were home owners. I had a pretty successful web series, with another one on the horizon. But still those insecurities were getting older and wiser.
Boom! 20 years! 2014.
I have a kid.
Is that the difference? Is that why I was able to say, "You know what? Fuck this! I'm going."
I see a bunch of people I haven't seen (other than on Facebook) in 20 years! --- That's fucking crazy! I'm not old enough to have not seen people I was extremely close with in 20 fucking years!
But there I was. I left all my insecurities behind...but they caught an Uber. Halfway through the evening, they appeared. And not just mine. It seemed everyone's came too. Uber had a carpool rate. Halfway though the night, I watched as all of the cliques started to reform. Nobody was pushed into a locker and no wedgies were given, but slowly people started to gravitate to the people they were most comfortable with. Never mind that most of us have kids, and mortgages, and bad knees, and gray hair (if we have any at all). The same unspoken worries connect us all, yet we all reverted right back to 1994 as those insecurities drank on our tab.
Jump ahead 3 more years, to two weeks ago - Saturday June 24th.
Not mine. So zero insecurities.
My wife's reunion. Not High School. But a group closer than High Schoolers could ever be. You HAVE to go to High School, but Pulsations was a place where so many young "outsiders" in High School could feel comfortable in their own skin. Call them freaks, or misfits, or punks, or whatever, they were all kids going through many of the same things, together.
A wonderful reunion was put together at Bar XI (Used to be Mojo 13) because Pulsations is no longer around (a retirement home is in it's place, which I like to point out to my wife). The night celebrated all of the "kids" who used to hang out at Pulsations as well as Steve Singer who would spin the records they would dance to.
I "people watched" throughout the night and noticed how comfortable everybody seemed with each other. 20 some odd years later, and it seemed like these old friends had just seen each other in the alternative room last Sunday night.
Though some have remained close, there didn't see to be any cliques within the group. Just everyone getting together to dance and have a good time.
Julie had spoken so highly of so many of these faceless names I was now able to meet. Of course there were a handful of them I had already met. Everyone of them, new and old, was kind and welcoming to me, the new outsider.
And their music was pretty okay, too.
At some point during the night, watching my wife dancing from across the bar, I realized this is her ComedySportz.
Everyone belongs somewhere. It's an amazing thing when you find those places, because insecurities can't afford the cover charge.
OKAY, some truth for you: I actually started writing this a few days after the reunion. Then I decided not to post it. I'm not exactly sure why. A lot of time I hide behind comedy when I want to say anything or meaning, and this post isn't particularly funny. For every 10 blogs I post, I probably delete 1 for that same reason.
Then last night, Julie found out one of her friends from Pulsations (and the reunion two weeks ago) passed away suddenly.
Now it feels like not posting it because the writing isn't from a comedic point of view is disingenuous.
I'm very grateful that Julie got to go to this reunion and see her friend one last time. I'm glad that any insecurities she may have felt were beaten back allowing her this opportunity. I'm also honored to have been adopted by this fine group of people, and look forward to going to the next Pulsations reunion.
Don't let your insecurities keep you from doing something you love.