This picture basically sums up what I expected meeting up with all the old high school faces would be like, or at least how I had hoped it would end up.
Here are a few key details to paint you a picture of the town I grew up in. There's a thirteen story abandoned hotel downtown that has been invaded by bored teens for decades, and now it's being turned into condos. Some of my best friends in high school were Brea and Zane Grant, and well we don't talk very much these days.(I'm sure that's more my fault than their's btw.) A lot of people who you could never imagine being fathers and mothers now have huge families to feed. There are still far more churches than our small city has ever needed. Finally, The kids that were wealthy in high school are still wealthy and still don't have anything to worry about, but now they have snot-nosed contented little clones of themselves running around to deal with.
I'm mentioning all these things really just to illustrate how things can, and in most cases will, change drastically as we get older and larger expanses of time pass.
These are the circumstances I was faced with as I walked into the OS lounge. The OS is one of two bars located in Marshall and the other being a bar called "Chances" located in a hotel called something like "Special Guest Inn" made the choice a lot easier for us. We did end up at "Chances" one night too and it was about as hilarious as we had expected, but this story is about the OS lounge.
I had expected to run into a couple of familiar faces, but what I was facing was a full on reunion. It went about how you would expect. I didn't recognize some people, some people didn't recognize me, some people recognized me and didn't talk to me, and likewise I didn't talk to them either. Most of all, there was this all encompassing feeling of dread and awkwardness as people were telling me about their jobs, introducing me to husbands and wives and telling me about their kids. One guy even asked me what I had been up to since I had dropped out of high school, at which point I had to remind him I graduated with honors. Eventually, I settled in with some of the more familiar faces and the questions were finally asked, " So what have you guys been playing? What systems have you got? What system do you think is better?" That's when I realized that all the kids that I knew that grew up gaming were still gamers, and although gaming itself had changed a lot in ten years that only gave us more to talk about. Our generation had grown up with the original nintendo entertainment system, and it's an infatuation that has remained a constant amongst most of us whether we've gotten real jobs, have kids, or not.
On a final note, if you're ever in Marshall and looking for some killer karaoke Chances is located at the intersection of HWY 59 and I-20.