I’ve been avoiding writing on this thing because I didn’t think I had anything interesting to write and also because I thought I’d get more sleep instead. But what I really did was start to read a bunch of crap on Facebook that also kept me up late. I’m trying to give up Facebook again but there are good reasons to be on it. For example, last weekend we had another grade school reunion and it was great fun. Once again we were snubbed by most of the “rich kids” and the middle-middle class was partially represented. The kids from the poorer part of the neighborhood were well represented and seem to be doing as well as the rest of us.
I was late, again, because I went shopping downtown for a telephone and window shopping for really expensive watches. I really want a Grand Seiko GMT, which is about $6000 new, but they’re only sold in Japan. A used vintage Rolex is about the same price and can be re-sold without losing a whole lot of money. The Grand Seiko probably isn’t something that retains its value.
I had to get a telephone because I am old and I have real telephone lines in the house. One is my mom’s and the $7 telephone I bought 15 years ago works fine but doesn’t hang up right. So sometimes I’m at work and get messages from my sister that the line has been busy all day and is our mom OK? Finding a phone is harder than you’d think. Fortunately, Office Depot had 2-line and 4-line wired telephones. Sheesh.
I also made a stop at Nordstroms to replace the shoes I used to walk all over Tokyo and Osaka last summer. Then I got on the bus.
I figured since Portland has one of the better transit services, riding the bus wouldn’t be as scary as all the other times I rode it outside of rush hour. I was wrong. I was also probably the only one on the bus with a Nordstroms bag. I was seated behind a girl who looked like she came out of central casting for an eighteen-year-old 90’s Puerto Rican hoochie mama for a Spike Lee joint. (Another reference for old people.). Frosted hair that had work done with giant hair curlers, tight white tank top, jeans, and platform sneakers. During the ride a guy got on who looked like he had some hard miles put on him. Sinewy and a little dangerous. He and the hoochie mama started talking right away and as I incautiously stared at them, he yelled, “TODD FUJINAKA!” The scary dude was my best friend in the summer of 75 or so and I hadn’t seen him since grade school. I made a joke about his big brother being a criminal because I knew Mike is a physician at Mass General and he didn’t think it was funny. I hope he’s forgiven me.
So I was taking my stuff home before I walked the block-and-a-half to the picnic when my next door neighbor told me his new baby had arrived 3 weeks early! Yet another delay, which did make me miss a guy I hadn’t seen since grade school.
But I did make it and I saw a guy I hung out with all the time in 7th and 8th grade. Rumor was that he was strung out on heroin, but that seemed like nonsense, as he looked a lot like the guy I knew back then, just lacking the crazy eyes he had back in early adolescence.
There was a kid from Boy Scouts whose mom I used to see in the neighborhood but who I hadn’t seen in years (neither him nor his sisters). My next door neighbor’s nanny was there with her baby who grew up to be a really nice and not-so-tiny 12-year-old. And it was weird sitting around and having memories come back to me after talking to a person for a while. One of the organizers was wearing a safety patrol jacket and when I realized what it was it made me remember when I was one of the morning crossing guards and she was one of the little kids who crossed the street with her twin sister.
So all of this is to promote going to reunions. Grade school reunions are good because even if someone wasn’t nice back then, you were all kids. I wouldn’t try to talk anyone into going to a 10-year reunion because everyone is still pretty competitive but at 20 years everyone is pretty set in their career and it’s just nice to sit and reminisce. I know many of us have lost really good friends this year and there’s no reason to avoid seeing old friends that you’ve lost track of. I guess there really is a good reason to stay on Facebook, even if I’m not going to look at it all the time.