I remember the day I graduated from High School. I had prepared the whole day for the event. Running around town wrapping up lose ends before the big event. Everybody would be there minus my father who I had a bad relationship With. I looked forward to the beginning of the rest of my life. Either I would go to California and become an stage/tv actor along with my girlfriend or go to Ohio and join my best (Ex) friend/brother. But future ambitions could wait because this was my night…our night.
We had all known each other since kindergarten and now this was the last night we would ever see each other. After this, some people would go into the military, some people would go to college and university. Some of us would go immediately into the work force. I would choose to take a Grey Hund bus with my girl and head to the state of Ohio. At it’s core, this event signified the end of stories throughout our time in school.
The end of school crushes and friendships that were gained and lost along the way. I can safely say growing up in a small town was great in the 80s and 90s. My school years really was a combination of Ferris Bueller, Kid n Play and Save By The Bell all wrapped into one. It was a special time to be a kid and a teenager back then. This was the class of 1999 the last and best class of the century.
It was hot in the middle of May and we had to wear those hot and heavy goofy graduation outfits. We all waited in line for the proceedings to begin. Later, we took our seats in the football stadium outside. Our family and friends were seated behind us but above so they could look directly over us. I remember when they started calling out our names. Lots of people received almost standing ovations when they picked up their diplomas on stage. When my name was called I thought surely I will receive a standing ovations, right? After all, most of these people have known me since elementary.
I was on the (briefly) football team, track team, JROTC, tried out for tennis and took acting classes. Throughout my school years I never bullied or made anyone feel less unless you were my enemy. So when I took that stage to receive my diploma I got little to no applause except from my family and a few. I didn’t really come to terms with that situation until 2003 when I was in college in Cleveland. After much thought I ripped up my year book and threw it in the trash.
I came to terms that the “cool people” didn’t like me much. And I always wonder what did I do to them to (I use to be one of them) receive such disrespect. I could only think of one reason and for that you would have to go all the way back to my eight grade year. At that time I was part of the cool crowd but at some point I decided I was tired of not being me. I started acting like I wanted and hanging out with who I wanted. I would often get comments like “why are you hanging with them.” It was a group of us maybe 20 misfits that came together to form ( black and white) friendships. We would all meet every morning before school, it was crazy.
Every one had their clicks but we had the biggest group in (as one, a single unit) school at that time, it was insane. At this point I just went nuts I really was free mentally from others negative opinions. I just didn’t care what the “cool kids” thought of me. My group of friends didn’t give a shit either! Growing up in the south we would mimic the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternities from black Universities during football pep rallies. Our theme mostly consisted of barking loud like a pit bull and saying our (inspired by Bernie Mac) slogan loud, ”Who Ya Wit?” We would even yell that slogan during the changing of class or during lunch hour or when school ended for the day.
Yes, but that is only one story of many I could turn into a books but I’m to lazy to do it. I’m sure I agitated a lot of my former classmates with my wildness but to be treated like I was never part of the class is just foul. What do I mean? Let me explain, most of all these people I haven’t seen or spoken too since graduation. I left that small backwards town and the state of Mississippi after graduation and never came back. Then eventually I would leave the country for good. Back in 2009 we had a reunion and my best friend went. Both he and I had the same battles dealing with those snobs during our school years. He told me that noting had changed and those people still had the same clicks and snobbery attitude.
But guess what? I never got a invite and in 2019 they had another one and I never received a invite. To be honest I would not go but to say these country ass folks own our high school years is ridiculous. Those people ( black and white) were always some stuck up snobbery bastards. At this point in my life I have a beautiful wife and two kind hearted daughters. I live in Europe even though Europeans piss me off some times. I have been to places that these delusion of grandeur country ass folks will never ever see in their lifetime.
New York, Toronto, Chicago, Barcelona, London, Paris, Edinburgh, Rome, Florence, The Vatican City and that’s just to name a few. And that doesn’t even include the places I lived in. The people I’ve met during my travels have been celebrities, daughters of revolutionaries and heads of state. Have you ever been to a château in Paris? Hell, I saw Pope Benedict XVI speak during my time in Rome in 2011. I passed by Yoko Ono on Oxford Street in London just walking like it was normal. That was a serious WTF moment! All this are just snippets of my life but I don’t brag on Facebook about none of these things because the real stories aren’t bragged about. I guess it kinda bothers me that these small minded clowns think they are cooler than me even now. I know I‘m not that boy from that small town anymore. But some times what people do to you in your youth does follow you into adulthood.
I remember one time my High School was organizing a trip to Spain for the summer. I wanted to go ( I didn’t have a thousand dollars or a passport) so bad because at that time I had never been anywhere except New Orleans. All the snobbery preppy white kids took that trip. How do I know they went? It was in the year book the next year. Anyway, now, I’ve have been to Spain three times at this point. But in the end I guess I won, most of these people are fat or so skinny it looks like they have eating disorders. My best ( ex-military) friend told me he intentionally ignored the (2019) last reunion since they tried to treat him like shit the last time around.
Question? Do I hate my former classmates? No but I do think it’s pathetic to act like you are better than someone even at your ages when clearly it’s not the case. It’s a whole lot more I could say about these wack ass people but I won’t. But I will say this. Our last year book was jacked by those rich white kids who decided to put photos of themselves everywhere in the book. One of those preppy clowns happen to be on the year book staff. She thought it would be a good idea to make the year book about them. I just remember thinking how could they get away with this when I was looking through the pages.
That was one of the reasons I ripped that book in pieces in 03. I just think High School reunions are just stupid. If we weren’t friends in school why would I speak and try to hang with you now? Thing is, I don’t forget or forgive when someone try’s to make me feel small. So no, these people had their chance to make amends with me before and on graduation night but they didn’t. Far as I’m concerned that version of me died that night because those fat country small minded people will never see me again.
Now on the other hand, the people who I grew up with in (Eastside) the hood and was cool with still know “what it is” when we see each other. But all those snobby people from my class haven’t changed and probably (just pretending they have changed- they really aren’t good people) never will. You know what? I will probably go to my reunion when I’m 90 just to see how many of those twats I outlived.