Who would you like to pretend to be at your next high school reunion

So news comes, via the Mayor of Claycord and other news reports, that a 1988 graduate of Alhambra High in Martinez is facing federal charges for imitating a US Marine Corps officer and hero at his 20-year class reunion.

Steve Burton, 39, of Palm Springs, is officially being charged with unauthorized wearing of military medals. Turns out, he never served in any branch of the military, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Now he faces up to one year in federal prison.

So, it looks like he did something illegal and pretty pathetic to make him look good in the eyes of his former classmates. Who knows what he was like in high school? Maybe he was a dork and wanted to appear to have ascended way past his former dorkhood by pretending to be this military hero, wearing a Navy Cross and Purple Heart on an allegedly fake United States Marine Corps lieutenant colonel’s uniform to his reunion, and blogging about how he had served on tours of Afghanistan and Iraq, according to an FBI affidavit.

But, come on, haven’t any of you fantasized about the person you wish you could be at your next high school reunion? (Confession: I’ve never attended any of my reunions; I’m such a coward) Don’t you fantasize about showing all those jocks and popular girls who snubbed you in high school how those years were not, unlike for them, the be all and end all for you.

How you were way too cool and smart, and you just couldn’t wait to graduate so you could get started with your life?

And wouldn’t you want to return and show how, over the past 10, 20, 30 years, you surpassed those former teen royals in various ways—financial or professional success, good looks, attractive spouse, adorable, high-achieving kids?

Let’s see: Who would I want to be? Or, rather, who would I have to pretend to be? Of course, I wouldn’t want to break any laws.

But, why couldn’t I make up some story about being a best-selling writer. But, not of trashy novels. So, no, I wouldn’t want to be her:

I’d rather be more like her:

You know, a writer who might have something like a National Book Award on my CV. A writer of quality literature. Able to throw big words around and stuff. Yes, I’d be emotionally high-maintenance, and maybe even able to boast and laugh about my stint in a psychiatric institution, but I would be absolutely brilliant, witty, and charming. Most important of all, I’d have the ability to look really cool when photographed in black and white.

5 thoughts on “Who would you like to pretend to be at your next high school reunion

  1. I guess many people desperately want the approval of others. Some people do some stupid things to make others think that we are successful in life. I believe that this man was wrong to wear the uniform and the fake medals.

    People should just be happy the way they are. We are all valuable and unique people regardless of what job we hold or how much we make.

    As long as you are not a criminal, I don't think there is any reason why people should feel ashamed of where they are in life.


  2. This is a sad story of a man who needs a psychologist more than a jailer.
    And a painful reminder of how mean some kids are to others.

    I hope there is help for him.


  3. I just had a reunion! I just went as myself though, that way it's easier to keep my story straight. Although, trying to explain what I do is kind of like Chandler on Friends…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s