Tuesday, April 24, 2007

cheer, cheer for liberty high

Every once in a while I will do a check-up on MySpace and look for alumni from my previous schools to see who's new, and who's going to throw me for a loop when I find out that they've now got 3 kids and are on their second marriage. It's, seriously, a lot of fun. Especially looking at alumni from my high school, considering that I haven't seen most of these people in 8 years (holy crap).

It's weird, though, the way that things will come back to me after years and years of not thinking about them at all. Having someone as a science lab partner, having lunch every day with the same two girls for like a whole year, but then not even keeping touch later, heck- I can't even remember a lot of last names anymore. But a lot of creepy high school feelings come back to me quickly in my nosy little search. I even begin to worry what other people might think of me if/when they spot me on that alumni list. Do I look better than I did in high school? (I REALLY hope so.) Do I seem as happy and satisfied as I feel? How many people actually remember me? I can't believe that there is still a part of me that really wants to feel accepted and liked by my high school peers, almost a decade later. Maybe I would have had a chance to escape those feelings for good, if it weren't for this crazy phenomenon called MySpace.

But it is pretty amusing to see what people are up to these days. Some people haven't changed at all- the guy who was obsessed with school spirit way back then is, well, still obsessed with school spirit. A couple of the super popular girls are living up the single life in big cities, some with drink in hand. But some have surprised me. Some people who I thought just pretended to be nice to everyone in high school so that everyone would like them- it turns out that they're actually, genuinely nice, as far as I can tell. But some of the people that I thought would be a huge success haven't really done much of anything and don't seem to have changed much at all. I can say that it looks like several of the girls from my class have had boob jobs. Congrats to them on that, I guess. Nevetheless, it still amazes me that all of these people have had almost 8 years of experience beyond the day when we graduated and looked forward. Many of my classmates are married and have several kids now, or they've got these great jobs, or they're at least older. And maybe fatter. No matter what they've done, they're an 8-years-later version of how I knew them, and it's just plain weird to me. It's weird to me to think how much I've changed, too.

One thing that I hope to remember and to pass on to my children: your high school girlfriend/boyfriend/crush is not necessarily the ultimate model of love in your life. I don't know how many times I've found old crushes and thought "what in the world was I thinking??" I can't count how many times my mom has reminded me that I thought I could never love anyone except my 7th grade crush. What's funny is that he's probably the closest of all of them to Mike. But still- who I've become today could never, ever have worked well with any of those guys that I was head over heels for, and I'm so glad that I didn't have the chance to make any crazy decisions at a way-too-young age.

In the last year or so, the subject of high school reunions has come up in a couple of conversations. I really don't know if I'd want to go to my reunion. High school wasn't horrible or anything, but experiencing those weird insecure feelings all over again makes me feel kind of silly and awkward. For some reason I still can't convince myself that the people I went to high school with aren't 10 times better than me.

1 comment:

Roland said...

You've really hit the nail on the head. I've had the exact same feelings, and partially because of MySpace!

It's interesting having worked with HS kids at length on a couple of different occasions (years) since graduating from college. I think it tends to remove me from their struggles. I'm thinking wow, if only these runts realized how transient this stage of life really is! But when you get around your old ex-peers, there's still this nagging voice wanting acceptance.

In terms of making bad mistakes with them early, I'm pretty much all kinds of against HS dating. Since the average age oa maturity and committment in relationships had advanced about 5-8 years from where it was two generations ago, I figure that it makes all the sense in the world to move dating expectations up a corresponding amount of time. Dating at 16 made sense when marriage was 19-21, less so when it's clocking in around 28 on average.