My high school class is having its (big Roman numeral) reunion next year and I decided to go, but now I'm having performance anxiety. It's not just that I've gotten old, fat, and uglier (though that's part of it). Worse is the fact that I'm reminded of all my deficiencies back when - all the stupid, dorky, uncool, or otherwise uncouth things that I did in my youth. It's possible, I thought for a minute, that everybody feels that way about high school, but I doubt it. How about the football captains and cheerleaders who ruled the HS world? They, I suspect, look back on halcyon days.
It's not like I had a good excuse. I participated in football, basketball, and track, albeit in undistinguished fashion, was only bullied enough to be able to call it a rounded high school experience, and had popular siblings. I was pathologically shy, though. Oddly enough I found it entirely doable to speak to an audience of a hundred or a thousand but was utterly unable to ask a girl for a date - what a loser - I can sympathize with Dr. Koothrappali.
Oh well - we do grow out of some of those failings even while others catch up with us. Aside from the memories, though, there is always the fear that seeing the same people again, and finding that we share as few interests now as we did then (how many of them will care about quantum mechanical wavefunction collapse), I will revert to the mute and terrified student.
Of course it would be nice to see some of my old friends, but most of them were either a year ahead or a year behind me. I even joined facebook in the hope of contacting a few, but most weren't on it - my generation mostly hasn't caught the wave, I guess. I did manage to locate a few of my old debate team partners, though only one was on facebook, and she hasn't responded to my friend request. Maybe I should write to a couple of the others.