Friday, July 11, 2008

High School Never Ends



About 10 years and a few pounds ago, I graduated from high school, an alternate reality in which the number and type of extracurricular clubs you belonged to, the number and popularity of your lunch-buddies (of whom you surely had wallet-sized photographs hanging in your locker), the complexity of your dance-date requests, the location of your locker, and the yearbook photos in which you were prominently displayed said everything about who you were. I always felt a little awkward in high school--like I didn't get it.

I'm sure it didn't help that I started one school year wearing jeans that were two sizes too tight and three shades of red too bright (yes, I owned bright red jeans at one point in my life) after buying my clothes in Miami and Venezuela according to Latin American fashion trends.

It also didn't help that I was incapable of figuring out who had asked me out on my very first date. A couple of weeks before a school dance, I discovered a Costco-sized bag of Tootsie Rolls, accompanied by a clever dance-date invitation, on my doorstep. The trick? I had to find the requesting guy's name inside the wrapper of one of those Tootsie Rolls. Flustered and flattered, I tore through the Tootsie Rolls so hastily and haphazardly, that the wrappers ended up scattered throughout my house, and I found myself at the end of a trail of candy deer poop without a clue as to the identity of my date. If the suitor's mother had not stopped to talk to my mom a few days later, I would have never made it to the dance. I suppose it's not surprise that the whole affair was only a foreshadowing of my embarrassing high-school dating career.

Do you feel sympathetically embarrassed for me yet? There's more. Each year, Bingham High School, whose mascot was a miner, honored one distinguished alumnus. The presenter listed the honoree's accomplishments and explained to us that this Bingham miner had truly struck "pater." The students then engaged in what I thought was the strangest, most incomprehensible ritual: we raised our hands in the air above our heads and swung them down toward the ground as we yelled "pater." A couple of years ago I learned that we were actually imitating a miner swinging his pick toward the ground. And we were chanting "pay dirt"--the equivalent of "eureka."

Then at Spanish Fork High School, I started off my senior year in style. I was miraculously asked out to the first dance of the year. My date explained to me that we would be going to "Wadevests" for dinner. When anyone asked if I knew what I would be doing during my pre-dance date, I told them we were going to a restaurant called "Wadevests" for dinner. I got strange looks. It turned out that there was no Wadevests restaurant. Wade Vest was a member of our dance party (in the "group of friends" sense, not in the crazed disco soiree sense) . We ate at his house. No wonder the strange looks. I will spare you other blunders from that night--my date was a saint for putting up with me.

All this, and I've committed to go to one of my high school reunions. What am I thinking? Wasn't four years and two high schools enough? Will I gain anything from reliving these moments through the inevitable slideshow set to Smashing Pumpkin's "Today" (the theme song for my junior year at BHS and my senior year at SFHS)?

Have you gone/are you going to your high school reunions? Why? Were you glad you went?

19 comments:

  1. Oh, you changed your header--that's cute! Um, I don't think "Today" was our song, but I don't remember what was. I have one date that was so horrible I got through it thinking it would make a great story to tell later. It was complete with the guy actually (seriously) reciting a love poem to me in the backseat as we were going to the dance (with the couple we doubled with listening in the front seat). Boy, am I the only one totally excited to see all these people I used to be so apprehensive about my relationships with? Did that sentence make any sense? Oh well, it's my birthday and I'll make sense if I want to!

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  2. Hmm. I remember that I had the same theme song twice in a row. The only other theme song I had was a Van Halen song--Dreams, I think it was called. Maybe it was that one that I had twice in a row?

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  3. If I haven't said it before I say it now--I love your posts! My writing muscles have gone slack, but you inspire me.

    Hilarious stories. Brought back many a memory of painful high school dances.

    You should totally go to the reunion. I went to my 5 year reunion and loved it. People I hadn't even THOUGHT about for 5 years were there and it was great to see them. I missed my 10 year reunion but it heard it was great. Next year will be 15 years--SERIOUSLY!

    Off to my walker,

    Amy

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  4. I missed the five year but will definitely be at the ten year.

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  5. I always thought you were very stylish and popular in High School. I guess we all have our own insecurities... in high school. Don't know if you remember me much but I've been checking out your blog, hope you don't mind. I still haven't decided if I'll go to this reunion or not. I completely forgot you transfered schools at the end.

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  6. Hahahahaha, you make me laugh so hard. Since we went to high school together, you know just how 'cool' I am. In fact, I think some of my best ever memories are with you. Remember when we were walking to Chemistry junior year and your sweater got stuck on a kid's back pack and he kept swinging around to see what was going on and you went with him? good times. You have always been accomplished and gorgeous, even back in middle school! have fun at the reunion, you won't see me there :)

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  7. Sorry, Carolina! I Can't be of any help on this one... I haven't even graduated yet, much less a ten year reunion.

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  8. I was a complete, through-and-through nerd in high school. But, I'm okay with that. I actually didn't mind because it seemed as if everyone liked me well enough.

    I did go to my 10-year reunion and was QUITE HAPPY to find that most of the people who were all stuck on themselves in high school had actually grown up quite a bit. It was really, really refreshing.

    We aren't having a 15. But, they put me in charge of the 20-year reunion.

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  9. I say go to the reunion rockin' your bright red jeans and act like you own the joint.
    You do realize, don't you, that you will be the one that people hate at the reunion: "yes, you heard correctly, I AM a law professor, and this is my perfect child, and no, I haven't aged a bit since high school. Is there anything else?"
    My ten year reunion is in a short few weeks and I have many mixed emotions about it.

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  10. Can you believe it's been so long since we were in high school?

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  11. Wasn't the song Yellow Submarine or Come Together by the Beatles?

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  12. Adrianne, I just remember having the same theme song in a row, and the only theme songs I remember are Today and Dreams. But, gosh, after 10 years I'm becoming less and less sure. A question for Chersten, perhaps?

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  13. What about the song Eye of the Tiger--why does that one seem so prominent to me?

    Anyway--I for one am sad that we won't be able to make it. Have lots of fun for us!

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  14. Jen, of course I remember you, and I'm flattered you didn't fully realize the extent of my awkwardness in high school (and flattered that you would check out my blog). You're right; high school is a time of innumerable insecurities.

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  15. Hey, I just checked my blog. I am so glad you commented! Thanks for hosting the other day, that was SO fun. It was so nice to meet you. Thanks for the encouragement.
    Becky

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  16. Hey, at least your song wasn't the Theme Song from Friends. I actually still like Today.

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  17. I went to my 10 year and it was . . . fine. I think you should go. I agree wtih Lyndsay that you will be the one people hate. Sorry!

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  18. My unofficial 10 year reunion is this Friday. It promises to be interesting as I say hello to all of my friends with multiple children... Most people realize I have no children, but contrary to what my yearbook claims, did not end up in a prison in a third world country...so I think that I am setting the curve pretty high as far as "expectations for Michele" are concerned.

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  19. I have mixed feelings about attending this Saturday. Why do we worry so much about what everyone is going to think of us? Didn't we get over that once we left high school? And what does "casual dress" mean? Shorts, t-shirt? I don't know what to wear (I feel like I am in high school again).

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