I can't believe I forgot to list one of the gifts I received.
John (bless his Ottawa heart) compiled a CD containing the top whatever-number-of-songs-that-would-fit for each of the years that our group was in high school together. They were presented to us at our Christmas get-together at Cathy's house - one set for each of us. They're amazing. I'm listening to them right now as I clean and tidy and try to fit Christmas back into its boxes.
Listening to Boys2Men and Mariah Carey transports me back to the heady days of car freedom (81 Fairmont) and hanging out in the 'caf at lunch, surreptitiously playing euchre and eating gummy pasta with plasticky cheese (but man, it was good). Of evenings spent playing Canasta (we were card geeks, yes) and euchre, and movie nights and car rides out to Point Pelee and arguments and jokes and just having a group. I liked having a group. I miss having a group. High school wasn't ideal - far, far from it. But the group was good. I've had groups a couple of other times, in different ways - my time in Calgary maybe comes closest, and even that time was very, very, very different.
And listening to these CDs, I make another realisation.
There was a lot of bad music during high school.