Saturday, July 2, 2011

My 10-Year High School Reunion

 Let me start off by saying that I did not want to go to my high school reunion, but while I was there almost everyone I talked to commented on my blog or a group on Facebook that I created entitled ‘Karl Kowallis isn’t getting married and doesn’t need your address.’  And surprisingly, no one told me that they absolutely hated my writing. So, to all my friends from high school, whether or not you were just telling me you liked my blog to be nice, thanks for getting me posting again!

            So anyway, yeah, I really didn’t want to go to my reunion Friday night. Why? Let me count the ways. First of all, I wasn’t exactly popular in high school. I really got of to a bad start in Middle School and it kind of just carried over.
            I was on the lightweight football team in 7th grade, but quit just before the season ended for a variety of reasons. But mainly I just thought my coach was a psychopath, a thought later reinforced to me when he played a tape of me and a friend leaving him a voice message for the rest of the team. We were calling him to tell him we were quitting the team, but for whatever reason we couldn’t stop laughing on his answering machine!  Probably because we were ONLY IN 7th GRADE! I think we ended up leaving about 10 messages in all. And yes he played them all for an entire team of 7th and 8th grade boys. And yes, I spent the rest of the year hiding at lunch and in between classes so I wouldn’t get beaten up or thrown in a trashcan. (By the way, this coach later spent 10 years in prison…I feel pretty justified at this point for quitting when I did). Needless to say, I didn’t really burst onto the scene the way I had imagined myself doing. I actually remember taking a class with a couple of the more ‘popular’ kids that year and one of them started talking to me. We were having a good conversation until one of my former teammates leaned over and said to the kid ‘Hey, we don’t talk to him, he quit the football team.’ The kid never said another word to me all throughout middle school and high school. That literally happened! It’s not just something I made up or took from the movie ‘She’s All That’ or something!
            I believe I wore sweat pants everyday in 8th grade. Was I cool? Heck yes I was! But I don’t think anyone could really see past the sweat pants, and thus I kept slowly moving down the social ladder. That’s what I get for wanting to be comfortable!!!
            By 9th grade I had starting dressing in a more socially acceptable way (but boy, did I miss the sweats!).  I even at one point ‘frosted my tips’ so to speak.  But I again committed social suicide by joining the band.  In our high school, B-A-N-D was a foul four-letter word that would get you ostracized faster than showing up to school with no trousers on!  Never mind the fact that I played the saxophone (what I thought was a pretty cool instrument. It’s not like I played the French horn or something! {no offense French horn players}) and that I was actually halfway decent (I was an outstanding soloist at state and won multiple awards at jazz festivals). Never mind the fact that I was pretty much a normal high school male with raging hormones and a love for sports, red meat, and video games! I was in the band, and so I carved out a permanent home for myself on the bottom rung of the social ladder.

            Well, I was lucky enough to find good friends who were willing to look past all of my social faux pas, and accept me as one of their own. And I ended up having a pretty great time my last few years in high school. But I don’t know if I ever completely got over the social anxiety that comes with the territory when you wore sweats all throughout middle school and were in the band in high school.  And that’s what I imagined the reunion to be. A place where I was going to go and be judged and reminded of all the anxiety I had back then.

            So all of that combined with the fact that I’m not married, have yet to graduate college, and have literally gained 100lbs since high school, (I swear it’s mostly muscle mass) really had me questioning whether or not to attend the reunion.  But a good friend convinced me that none of that mattered and I should just go.

            Well, right off the bat I get nominated for the award ‘Who Has the Least Hair’ (thanks a lot Josh Bushnell!!!) You can imagine that that was just what I needed to feel comfortable being in front of my high school peers for the first time in 10 years. (Side note: Ironically, 10 years ago I won the award for ‘Best Hair’ in the Mr. Timpview pageant). The really maddening part is that I’m not even really bald, but have just begun buzzing my hair out of laziness!

            But anyway, all in all I had a good time and am really glad I went.  It was really fun to see everyone again and I’m now eagerly awaiting the 20-year reunion. Just don’t be surprised if I show up wearing sweats…


  1. Oh Karl! We all had insecurities. You're forgetting about the chubby girl who was always the third wheel and who had a crazy crush on you in 9th grade but sadly you didn't feel the same.
    It was really great to chat with ya last night. You've always been a great guy.

  2. I thought it was great to see you last night as well. I also thought you were a great guy and still do! I wish you th best in all you do! You deserve it!

  3. Karl I'm SOOO glad that you are writing again. I am never that great on commenting but just know that there are probably a lot like me who read and love what you write.

  4. But you did go to Prom with the Prom Queen! =) And for the record - I still have 2 or 3 of the emails you sent me back in high school because they were just too funny to delete. You make an awesome Condor Man and Jazz games were never quite as entertaining as they were with you and Jeff. =)

  5. Score one for buzzing out of laziness. Amen brotha.

  6. Karl, I wish I was as popular in high school as you.