I think he was pleasantly surprised by the good time we had. We've never discussed his high school experience much, but I'm familiar with the problems of the terminally brilliant, albeit from an outsider's perspective. Anyway, for the last some days leading up the reunion, I've been making hoppie provide me some insight into the people I'd meet.
I don't think we met many of the people on his list, but we did meet a lot of people he'd forgotten about. As is often the case, some of the tormentors grew up to be humans and most of the people remembered hoppie quite fondly. I really took a liking to some of his friends, like Diane and Laura, and Joel, and Rashid. I didn't get enough time to talk to Kim, really, although I'm sure she could stell me stories.
There were a lot of archetypes and that's always funny to see. You think people are so unique, then you meet pepole who could just about be their clones. Like one of the women we sat with at dinner turned out to be a Kippy clone. And there was the require Heather, and the guy who was a year older then me at school who was such a disgraceful flirt and sent little thrills through me everytime we talked. I dunno, maybe every high school is like that.
I think the most amusing thing was the double-takes people did everytime they looked at him. My long-haired hippie freak certainly looks different than the straight-laced good boy he appeared to be in HS. Hoppie of course, recognized almost no one, but since only one or two people recognized him immediately, he didn't feel too badly about it.
I also got on pretty well with the spouses. One of the spouses at dinner was in financial software so we were able to chatter about that. A couple of people were in semi, although on the sales side, but still, there's some common ground there. One adorable woman went to a nearby HS, but her cousin went to hoppie's school and she was delightfully cynical. The type of person I'd have hung out with in HS myself. Actually, a number of hoppie's friends were the type of people I'd have hung out with. Except Joel. I would have been too busy drooling on myself to talk to him. Smart and with a huge potential for hotness. I don't know why they all go into the military. I think I fell in love with his date though, a stunningly beautiful, charming, talented lady from Ohio. They met dancing. And boy, can they dance! And speaking of dancing, there was another spouse there that we spent most of the afterparty talking to, just a really nice guy. He's a sleep tech and researcher at [local area hospital name omitted]. He and Joel spent some time competing on the dance floor and it was wonderful to watch.
A couple of minor anecdotes from the party:
These girls, about 3 or 4 of them, were scoping out hoppie. I was looking around while he was watching the slide-show of old pics, and I saw them watching him. I leaned up to let him know and he didn't totally beleive me. Then one of them got up and did a fly by, checking out his badge and proclaiming his name as she read it off the tag. I think it was meant to pass as a smoothesqe greeting, and might have worked if she'd stopped to chat a moment. Instead she continued on to outside, then turned around 2 seconds later and walked back to the table. "And now she's going to report on you." I said. We watched (discretely?) as she sat down and gathered them around her and started chattering. They snuck glances in our direction. "Well alright." Hoppie said.
At one point, when they were posing up for pictures, they dragged hoppie off for his photoshoot of the male version of the most changed student.
And as a testamony to how much he'd changed, he was invited to one of the afterparties.
I know it sounds stupid, I really like people who like hoppie. I can forgive people so much if they just like him. It makes me very kindly disposed towards people. Hoppie took some contact information for some of them, so maybe we'll see some of them again. Laura lives in Virginia (DC area) so maybe when next we visit Lori, and Rashid and Amanda both live in Columbus, OH, so it could happen.