Déjà You

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Before I left home this morning, I gave myself one final mirror-check, just to be sure the belt buckle was centered, hat properly canted and collar correctly not-popped.

There I stood: penny loafers, almost-white socks and blue jeans. Had the socks been whiter and a bit bulkier, I’d have been dressed pretty much as I most likely dressed on my last day of high school. Were it not for the belly, from the neck down I looked pretty much like the boys in the Class of 1969.

Yesterday I – and about 100 other members of that Jacksonville High School graduating class – received an email from one of our classmates. Danny’s the guy you never thought would be organizing class reunions, but there he is, leading the effort to rally the surviving members of the class. I suspect every high school class has one like that.

Danny and a small group of consulting classmates from which I was – happily – excluded had selected the weekend for our class reunion. My initial shock at the invitation (Fifty years? Seriously?) melted away when I looked in the mirror this morning, confirming the uniform of the day.

She Who Generally Knows Best likes to say you can look at a woman’s hairstyle and, from that, deduce when the woman enjoyed what she considers her best years. “See that ’80s hair style? That’s when her life was the best it’s ever been.” I don’t totally accept that logic, but I’ve become convinced there’s at least a kernel of truth to it.

In the case of women, my opinion is that it’s more likely to indicate when you came of age than which were your best years. (Unless your adolescence was horrible, in which case you’ve died your hair purple or gone Sinead O’Connor.)

Men’s hairstyles, on the other hand, are too often subject to the caprice of nature and DNA… for proof of that, look no further than the photo attached to this column. So in the case of males, it’s more likely our attire – especially our casual attire – reflects our coming of age. (Unless your adolescence was horrible, in which case you’ve gone Goth or Steampunk or – heaven forbid – laid in a supply of skinny jeans.)

When reunion weekend arrives, I’ll surely open my closet and select my best-fitting Levi’s and run a brush across the loafers. It’s who I was 50 years ago. For better or worse, it’s who I am today.

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