I'M GETTING older. That much was evident at my 30th high-school reunion this past weekend.
At first, everything went according to plan. We arrived at the venue without getting lost, which we did at our 25th. And when we walked inside, we immediately found those we knew best and made our way down memory lane.
The irony is this: Although LaVeta and I both graduated from Northeast High School in 1985, our memory lanes are much different, because we traveled in separate circles.
I was very much into teenage rebellion. So, my academics were mixed with heavy doses of hip-hop, forties and other funky things. LaVeta? She was in the co-op program. Not only did she get paid to go to work while suckers like me toiled in class, on those occasions when she did come to school, she looked and acted more like a teacher than a student.
Given those stark differences, classmates who knew us both have often asked, "How did you get together?" My answer: I had mad game. OK, maybe it was more than that. Maybe it was the fact that when we met as adult students at Temple University, we'd both changed just enough to be ready for the whirlwind romance that ensued.
In the 18 years since our first date, we're still in love most of the time. Except for those times when we're doing what married people do - getting on each other's last nerve.
Fortunately, we were on the same page at our 30th class reunion. We knew our mission, and we were determined to get 'er done.
LaVeta began planning her outfit weeks ago. Me? I began planning it an hour before the event. Still, we both knew we had to do everything possible to make at least five people say, "You haven't changed a bit since high school."
For LaVeta, that was fairly easy, because she looks a decade younger than she is.
For me, it was a bit more of a challenge. Looking young meant putting a fresh blade in my razor and shaving my head as close as possible so no one could see the gray razor stubble. It meant crouching to take pictures and pretending not to hear that crunching sound coming from my knees. It meant pretending to remember people I didn't, because you just don't want your old classmates to know how bad your memory has become.
But as much as we all walked around pretending to know each other, most of us were operating under a single, important truth: We had baby-sitters
In parenting parlance, that means you can party all night long. Or at least until 11:30 p.m.. So that's what we did.
We danced to '80s hip-hop until I was forced to take off my tie. There was only one thing I was nervous about. Someone might ask me to rap. And if they did, I could only hope that my daily rap sessions in the shower would be enough to help me remember the rhymes I wrote when I was 20.
If only I'd known that my memory wouldn't be the problem.
One of my classmates spit a rhyme while I was talking to some guy I didn't remember. And when they eventually called me to the mic, I showed my age. Not because I couldn't remember my rhymes, but because I forgot a basic truth about today's DJs. Nobody actually mixes anymore.
By the time I started rapping to "Funk Box Party," by the Masterdon Committee, the MCs on the record were rapping, too. Fool that I am, I thought the DJ would do what a mixmaster would've done in my day - bring the beat back.
Alas, that didn't happen, because you can't download a mix from the Cloud. You have to actually do it by hand.
In the end, I had to stop rapping midstream, much to my chagrin.
Maybe at the 35th reunion I'll skip the formalities and rap a cappella. Better yet, maybe I'll just tell them I'm too old.