Welcome to the first-ever post of Post Traumatic Monday! Regular readers of this blog will notice this new, one-time feature is almost exactly like my Post Traumatic Sunday posts, except, in this case, it’s a day late. Other than that, they’re pretty much the same. However, I do have an excuse for yesterday’s missing assignment, which is… my dog ate my blog? Actually, I really do have a good excuse, which I will explain later this week. Before we get started, I should explain to those visiting for the first time that these weekly posts were written during my first marriage. None have appeared on this blog before, and only a couple were included in my book. So what’s the point, you ask? Simply to offer reflections from someone dealing with an unhappy marriage in the best way he knew how:
Eight years later, I am happily re-married to someone who inspires me each day to laugh for the right reasons. It’s good to laugh with you now — for all the right reasons…
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When it comes to receiving unsolicited material in the mail, few things are more frightening than an invitation to your 20th high school reunion.
Except maybe a voodoo doll made from your own clothes and hair.
The difference, of course, is that high school reunions don’t come along every day. And while a voodoo doll is certainly unsettling, it’s not as unsettling as talking with someone who remembers what you looked like in really tight parachute pants. Not that I ever wore any. I’m just saying, in the 80s, a lot of people did. And there’s a chance someone who looked like me might’ve been wearing a pair when — after losing circulation in his legs and buttocks — he fell headfirst into the tuba section during a homecoming game.
The truth is, all of us had embarrassing moments in high school. That’s what made those years so memorable, and why now, when we gather to re-live those special times as adults, we do so within the general vicinity of an open bar. This is especially true if, like me, you made the mistake of looking back through your yearbook the night before the reunion — an experience that can prove more traumatic than high school itself.
After looking through it, I just kept reminding myself that times have changed. I’ve matured. Experienced life. Made my own way in the world. No one would ever recognize me as the geek I once was.
Especially since today’s geek is 25 pounds heavier.
And with less hair. Except for around my ears and nostrils, which, for some reason, have suddenly kicked into high gear, producing enough hair to qualify as my body’s primary cold-weather defense. If you don’t think God has a sense of humor, this has to at least make you wonder.
However, if you’re looking for undeniable proof of your high school geekness, look no further than your prom photos. If that doesn’t work, then look at mine. It’s amazing how perspectives change. At the time, I thought I looked like James Bond in my tuxedo when, in fact, I actually looked like an undernourished waiter caught in a bump-and-grind while trying to sneak bologna from the snack table. I’ve never been a good dancer (and by this I mean someone who is a danger to himself and others), and thanks to our high school yearbook staff, this frightening display has been documented as far back as 1984.
Not that you have to tell my wife this.
She was there; a vision in pink ruffles, trying to escape the flailing arms of her tuxedoed attacker and future husband.
It was the night I told her, without a doubt, I wanted to marry her some day. It was also the night she told me, without a doubt, she didn’t want me dancing at the reception. Though it wasn’t an outright proposal, we both knew something magical had happened. Again, it’s just another example of how perspective changes with time. Recently, we found ourselves dancing together at her sister’s wedding — she in her ruffled Matron of Honor dress, me flailing around in my tux. When I told her, without a doubt, I was glad we married, she agreed. Then added if I didn’t stop dancing like that, we’d be getting a divorce after the cake was cut.
They say the past makes us who we are today. Because of this, I plan to attend my reunion tonight.
According to my therapist, it could go a long way in helping me overcome my phobia of tuba players in parachute pants.