I’m from a small town.
Like the kind of town where you ride on a flatbed trailer in a parade and squirt people with squirt guns and throw candy to the kids when it’s your 20th High School reunion.
The kind of small town where, at one time or another, I have done all of these things in this same parade; ridden a horse, been in a fancy dress in a convertible, played in a marching band, and wore a cheerleading outfit doing something like this (I know):
The kind of small town where most of your graduating class started the first day of kindergarten together.
The kind of small town where you and your girlfriends all dated the exact same guys at one time or another and this was normal.
The kind of small town where jumpy castles and bed races and a fireman’s ball are Where It’s At during the reunion weekend.
Custer is in the heart of the Black Hills and 20 minutes from Mount Rushmore which means when you grow up there, everyone starts working when they are 14 because there are 9 million jobs available in town over the summer. My first job was being a dishwasher and a bus person and if that doesn’t make you want to go to college, I don’t know what will. This year was my 20th High School reunion which is completely crazy because I think I might still be only 19. I mean, I still feel nervous sometimes when I buy wine in a liquor store.
This is the way you have an amazing time at your 20th High School reunion when you are from a small town:
1. Make sure you bring your people with you.
2. Begin the weekend by drinking whatever it is you (as the mature grown-up type person that you are now) drink and then by midnight the last night make sure you have devolved (evolved?) into only drinking Bud Light and eating moonshine-soaked strawberries.
3. Reconnect with old friends but also talk to people who you never really got to know in high school.
4. And even meet some of them for the first time! (Ha ha you know who you are)
5. Don’t try to play basketball and relive your glory days (sorry Jen-thanks for representing) because running in a straight line is about all anyone can ask of you these days.
6. Hug everyone that you see, especially if they are wearing a cowboy hat.
7. Take a class picture with the purple dinosaur.
8.Take several pictures where you look like this:
10. And this.
11. Laughingly tell the wife of the very first boy you kissed (in 6th grade) that you hope he has learned something since then. I seriously said this. I blame the Bud Light.
12. Ride on a flatbed trailer in a parade armed only with squirt guns and candy and a false sense of security.
13. Not realize that you will soon be considered “The Entertainment”
13. Get bombarded during a very deliberate and stealthy water balloon attack by one of your class members family..survive smugly with only part of you getting soaked.
12. And then finally….at the very end of the parade, get hosed down by the fire department while you run shrieking down the street with no shoes. Cause that’s what they do in a small town. The firemen hose you down. With a fire hose. For fun.