Thursday, June 13, 2013

High School

Saturday is my twenty year high school reunion.

What?  How did that happen?

I can remember, like it was yesterday, walking up to Freshman orientation with my fluorescent green t-shirt and enormous earrings of (more fluorescent) pink, green and yellow, wearing one yellow sock and one pink sock.  And a pair of aqua Chuck Taylor's.  Yep.  Needless to say, I got a bully pretty fast.  But I made friends too, and I still wonder if the funny pictures my friend Mandy and I made of said bully and stuck inside a random book in the Arrowhead High School South Campus Library have ever been found by another (future) student.

I can also remember sitting in the lunchroom my sophomore year with my friend Amy (shown below) and other girls who were equally in love with the New Kids on the Block, talking about ways to get to their Alpine Valley Concert (which we did get to, thanks to Amy's mom) and writing about extensively in painstaking detail in my journal circa 1991.  I think Donnie looked at us! Uh. huh, Alie. Looked at you--out of thousands of screaming girls. Sure.

Me (on the right) Freshman year. With my friend Amy.
I can remember Junior year (which was my hardest) when I was still the girl with two different colored socks, but also an Anthrax-Attack of the Killer B's t-shirt, and a long hippie skirt, blowing bubbles in the hallway by my locker, wondering why it was so hard for me to connect with people. (Hmm, I wonder, strangely dressed girl blowing soap bubbles in the hallway...I wonder)  I was getting straight C's on my report card and spent all my social time with people two and three years younger than me.  And seeing a therapist.

I remember senior year.  I made friends with a group of kids over the summer who listened to punk rock music and were smart and I got my first real boyfriend and worked part-time at a hospital and did really well in my AP English Class and loved my teacher who quoted Nietzsche and taught us about Existentialism and used lyrics from Police songs to make points.  I went to Denny's at five in the morning with my friends and drank coffee and went to school afterwards so hyped up I sat on top of my desk.  And I remember making friends with our German foreign exchange student, Verena, and sitting with her on the shore of the lake where she was living and talking about kindred spirits and connection and how we happened to meet even though we were countries apart from each other and how that made my world explode and made me want to travel and meet people all over the world.

Verena and me at our senior party

But mostly I remember high school for the feeling of not being sure where I fit in and how to fit in and even if I really wanted to fit in at all.  I was painfully aware of the social hierarchy and how low down on it I was.  I loved movies like Pump up the Volume and Breakfast Club and watched them over and over again and walked around my neighborhood feeling brave and bright and wondering if I'd grow up to be the person I wanted to be.

So here we are, 2013.  And I did grow up to be the person I wanted to be.

And even though, admittedly I'm a little nervous...High School Reunion, here I come.

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