Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What have you been doing the last 20 years?

My 20-year high-school reunion (ACK! When did I get so old?) is next month. I’m supposed to supply a little bio for the reunion booklet, which I can purchase for $3 (plus $5 if I want it mailed to me).

I should point out that I am in regular (meaning we exchange holiday letters) contact with exactly two people from my graduating class. I was shy and dorky and (in my mind, at least) somewhere between ignored and unpopular on the high-school social continuum—though I bet 80% of all high-school students put themselves in the same place, which would make for a pretty bottom-heavy continuum. I just love saying continuum. It’s like vacuum, but with more syllables. And more nerd cred. Plus, I totally just said bottom.

I wandered off topic. Imagine that. What was my point here? Oh, yeah: I have had all but zero contact with anyone from my graduating class in the last 20 years. So a big part of me couldn’t care less about this reunion. I’m not curious to know what anyone has been up to. I don’t feel the need to update anyone on my life. I know from my 10-year reunion (where I was just getting over the flu, so the whole weekend was kind of a fog) that the boys I had crushes on in high school are definitely straight … and not so cute anymore. And I obviously don’t have anyone to go to the reunion with, so if I go I’ll be wading into an ocean of long-dormant high-school paranoia all by myself.


But there’s something compelling about being asked to sum up your adult life in a neat little paragraph. (And hell, they didn’t even specify a word count. Maybe I should submit my whole blog. THEN let’s see them try to afford publishing a reunion book for only $3 apiece plus $5 postage.) So I wrote this:

* * * fanfare! dramatic lighting! * * *

What I’ve been doing the last 20 years
I found a job writing advertising copy soon after I graduated from the University of Iowa with my English degree and my shattered med-school dreams. It was just a placeholder job until I figured out what I wanted to be when I grew up, but now it’s 16 years later and I’m still here. After working in Cedar Rapids for 10 years, I moved to Chicago in 2000 and became an associate creative director at a big glamorous agency. It’s all very Darrin Stevens and Lynette Scavo, except without the witchcraft and bad creative. I did a ton of shows at Theatre Cedar Rapids and the Paramount when I lived in Iowa, and now I’m performing with and choreographing for the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus. I started running about 10 years ago because I was terrified of getting old and fat and living alone with seven cats, and now I’m addicted. I’ve done two Pigman Triathlons and one half marathon so far, and I’m currently training for my third Chicago Marathon. And I’m too busy to be alone and I don’t have room for a litterbox in my overpriced Chicago one-bedroom, so I think I’ve successfully dodged THAT bullet. Dying to know more? Check out

* * * awkward bow! thunderous applause! * * *

Whaddya think? Trying too hard? Too braggy? Too wordy? Too boring? Dare I out myself so brazenly to 433 present and former Iowans (plus spouses) I haven’t seen in 20 years? Or should I maybe add more braggy stuff? Like this: Look at all I’ve accomplished, people! National ad campaigns! Industry awards! Seven skydives! 40 lbs more muscle than when you saw me last! Profiles in Chicago and Genre magazines! Letters published in every major newsmagazine and Hints from Heloise! Three tattoos! I once met Whoopi Goldberg! Back when she was famous! I was employee of the month! Twice! I can tie a bowtie! And drive a stick shift! And fold a fitted sheet! And make éclairs from scratch! And I can still fit in my high-school jeans! Not that I’d ever want to! But I can! And I bet you can’t! Because I still have all my own hair! Except there’s a bunch of it growing out of my shoulders now! But that’s gross so I won’t bring it up!

WHEW. I’m all bragged out.

Anyway, at this writing I’m not planning on attending my reunion. But I guess I’m not opposed to sending along a little blurb about myself. But only because it’s already written. And only once I get approval from every last one of my readers.

You have 10 minutes. Go.

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