I have been getting emails lately to alert me that this summer will be another high school graduating class reunion. Along with those alerts, which come from friends of mine, I’m also getting proposals from online companies with names like “Mr. Classie” that promise to tell me who thinks I was cool when I was a senior. All I have to do is sign up and turn over my credit card number.
This promise doesn’t much make me want to engage in a transaction, because I know for sure that disappointment awaits me on the other side of the World Wide Web. How do I know it? Nobody thought I was cool in high school.
I did have friends, but as a bunch, we were far from cool. We were guys who had after-school and weekend jobs, who drove old cars safely and who studied for tests. We were guys who didn’t talk in class unless called on. We were guys who greeted our teachers as friends if we happened to see them in the grocery store or a restaurant. We were guys who served on student committees.
We weren’t jocks. Yes, some of us went out for sports, but generally we were second-stringers. I played football for a season and was on the boxing team, but then the state did away with high-school boxing, and the coach suggested I might do better on the knitting team.
We had girlfriends, but they weren’t cheerleaders. They generally were good students, looked forward to going to college and most went to church on Sundays.
A lot of people described us as nice kids, but nobody — and I mean nobody — ever said we were cool.
So, I can tell you right now that “Mr. Classie” won’t be getting my $50 enrollment fee, because I know his proposition is built on a lie.
Now, if “Mr. Classie” had promised to tell me who thought of me as dull and reliable, I might have been curious enough to sign up.