Sunday, November 16, 2008

High School: The Requiem?

The other day I ran into an old classmate from high school. I haven't seen her, in person, since the day we graduated, over 12 years ago. I say "in person" because, of course, there is always the virtual class reunion of facebook.com (I'm sorry, classmates.com; let's face facts - you just never possessed the same luster or the addictive quality of facebook.) For the most part, after graduation, it was like the majority of my classmates just dropped off the face of the earth, and - like that long-lost Hollywood actor or actress, if they are not continually in the public eye, you just assume they are dead. All of a sudden with facebook now, it's like a miracle! They live! They have families! They live in California! They're...wow, they actually seem nice now!

I envy those people who rejoice in recollecting stories about high school and claim that those days of teen angst were the best of their lives. My high school years, well...let's just say, I became a much happier person after high school. Like most people, I was awkward and shy and had, like, zero confidence. My home front situation was less than ideal and contained enough material for several Lifetime (or maybe even Sci-Fi) movies. It was only compounded by the fact that my two best friends transferred around the same time, leaving me to my own defenses when everyone already seemed sewn into their cliques. It's not like people were mean to me; in fact, I think I got along with most people. But, paraphrasing what one person once said to me, "some people were more interesting than others." Yep. I suppose they were.

Then 12 years happen. Change happens. The class b*tch suddenly has a heart of gold, and the class beanpole suddenly has gained some muscle mass, and so on. We are now adults with careers, mortgages, maybe even families. Some of us have traveled extensively; some have moved to other states. Some have suffered tremendous losses; some have achieved tremendous success. Still, being as honest as we can with ourselves, that small fraction of who we were in high school will forever exist in the brains of our classmates.

I looked at my former classmate the other day, thinking two things: she's shorter and more soft spoken than I remember. I can only imagine what she thought about seeing me again. The good thing, though, is that I don't think either one of us cared - we were just happy to see each other.

1 comment:

Sarah Morgan said...

High school was great and all but... if somebody can look back at a time and say it was the best of their life, isn't that kind of sad, no matter when it was? Because doesn't that mean you're giving up on anything being any better?

No thanks. :)