Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Leave Your Livestock Alone...

So I was watching Grosse Point Blank again tonight, which is a very funny flick, and of course it brought to mind my upcoming 20th high school reunion, which I am still debating whether to attend or not.

First, the movie: John Cusack and Minnie Driver are terrific. I always lean toward quirky movies, as far as favorites, and this film is wonderfully quirky. Acting, dialog, character development, settings, lots of wonderful little gems here and there, especially the scenes between John and his secretary (sister Joan). Dan Aykroyd is great, too.

If you haven't seen it, John Cusack plays a professional killer who goes back home to his 10th reunion, and (long story short) action and hilarity ensues. Kind of a warped love story, too. I won't elaborate, go see it, eh! If you belong to Netflix, you can stream it to your PC as we speak!

I went to my 10 year reunion in 1998, and it was just as surreal as it's portrayed in the film. I was in a weird place in my life at the time anyway, and really, I basically hadn't seen anyone since graduation in any case, so seeing all those faces all at once was flashback city. My high school experience wasn't all that red hot to begin with - I'm sure it's mostly in my head.

I was soooo friggin self conscious about everything it was pathetic - and I am not exaggerating. I didn't know my right hand from my left when it came to being social in any sort of rational way. I felt like such an idiot, especially when dealing with females. I mean, anyone that said hello to me I fell in love with. And yet I was completely oblivious to how I presented myself.

I can't tell you how liberating it was when I finally realized that I wasted all that time wondering what people were thinking about me when the truth was, they weren't thinking about me at all! They were all too busy worrying about what other people thought of them! I gave people such power over me, and I was a mess. I didn't fit anywhere. I had acquaintences in just about every clique, but I didn't really belong to any of them. Instead of trying to just be cool with who I was, and finding a place, I was trying to fit in with whoever was around at the time, and so I became everyone and no one, all at the same time.

It was like getting out of prison when I graduated. Trapped in that self-imposed box of expectations. "I've been pegged as *this* type of person here, because I grew up here and that's all people have known and I can't change it! I have to escape!" I fled to Phoenix, and I could suddenly be whoever I wanted to be! It was great! Except I discovered that who I really was kinda sucked also. Instead of being free to "finally be me", I blossomed into a sarcastic prick - one that was still thoroughly clueless about life in general and women specifically. I'm lucky I came back alive.

In any case, the 10 year reunion was like revisiting my old cell, except I brought with me my newfound cynicism and bitterness. It was an ugly scene.

So now my 20th approaches (a year late, actually, but that apparently couldn't be helped), and I face the same dilemma. The aftertaste of the last reunion still lingers, and yet it was all 100% self-induced, self-created and self-maintained. No one treated me badly, everyone seemed fine with it, it was my own rampaging confusion. High school didn't have to be a prison - no one was keeping me in my box except me. I was the warden and the prisoner. Same with the tenth reunion - no one saw me and said "There's Dave the Idiot - man, what a tool." They were just gathering and having a good time, without reference to me or my "issues".

So it's reunion time again, and I feel I'm much different now. Different from who I was both 10 and 20 years ago. I realize that people are people, and they're just trying to scoot through life a day at a time like me, just trying to squeeze a little fun out of each passing hour like me. Trying to make sense out of life. It's all good.

And yet, that pathetic sense of unease lingers. You know how you get around certain people and you suddenly morph into who you feel they expect you to be? Kind of happens subconsciously, I think. Anyway, I certainly don't want to morph back into the vapid dweeb I used to be, and yet I don't want to consciously try and "project" a "new me" and come off as an arrogant, self-absorbed tool that thinks he's "cool" now or some nonsense. Seems like a minefield. My head says it's no big deal, but my gut says "Dude, save yourself the angst and don't go."

Anyway, such are the addled ramblings of a person that doesn't realize that there's nothing new under the sun. Nothing unique about this, I'm sure.

So, to change the subject, I'm going to post a Favorite Scene tonight, from the first Ace Ventura movie.

Plenty of "funny" in that film (in spite of what Ebert says...).

About halfway through Speaker For The Dead. I'll make more progress tonight, I'm sure.

Played a lot of Crysis and the original Unreal Tournament today (feeling nostalgic). I also got some work done, so don't think I slacked today. Worked on the Map art for the Rug Care Central site. Josh got the new design up there, go take a look, eh!

Nothing else worth mentioning, unless you want me to get all lame and pseudo-reflective on you again.

Until tomorrow, Happy Birthday, Grampa Don! Hope it was a good one.


havah said...

Speaking about fitting people's molds...my cousins are moving here towards the end of the year, and I'm pondering how to lose weight and become someone before then. *grimace* But anyway...I've always been chameleon-like in some ways...which rather ties in with your reunion comments and your forum personality blog, in case you're wondering. You know, I should really start blogging again. :-/

Paula Titus said...

Was reading through some of your archives and came across this treasure. Just had to say, fantastic assessment of people in general. I guess it's worth acting like an idiot from time to time if we can learn something from it. Come to think of it - I should be a genius by now :)

havah said...

I went back too far in my back-blogging, but I'm glad I did. I've been wanting to escape so badly lately...wishing I could move to another state and start over without all the baggage built up in this one. Ahh...one can dream. Great post, Dave.