Thursday, August 4, 2011

Things I Have Learned Since Graduating From High School

I’ve had the yearbook out lately, and I have come to several conclusions.

1.  Feathered hair was a BAD idea.  I hot-rolled my loooong hair every day, except on days when I wore it in a ponytail or a French braid, but no matter what . . . I had the feathers.  Feathers with pulled-back hair looks like a girl-mullet.

Exhibit A:
2.  The nerds are taking over the world.  Years later when I became a high school teacher myself, I remember looking at my students – the jocks, the nerds, the popular kids, the kids-who-eat-on-the-floor-outside-the-cafeteria.  I had a student who was having a particularly hard time fitting in, and I remember telling her that, unfortunately, for many of the “popular” kids, this is IT for them.  These really ARE the best days of their lives.  Outside of this little pond, many of them won’t amount to much.

I taught senior English my first year out of college.  One “popular” boy worked at a shoe store in the local mall.  All cool and funny, he entered class one day and announced that he worked with a guy who knew me from high school, “and he said you were a band geek.”  Of course, the class thought this was hilarious; this cocky kid had just knocked the teacher down a few pegs.  My response?  “I went to college, got a degree, and now I’m your teacher.”  I paused for effect and to make sure my voice was as smug as humanly possible, “and he’s working with YOU at the Athlete’s Foot . . . “

Big Hair.  Feathers.
Teeth, post-braces.
Thanks, Mom and Dad!
3.  Our 20 year reunion is fast approaching, and I have several friends who are not attending for various reasons.  I know people get nervous about attending reunions, and I am the first to admit that I went on a shopping spree so I could find something “fat and sassy,” which is how I justified my purchase to my hubby.  I gotta work what I got. 

But you know what?  I’m not the head of Microsoft.  I haven’t even had a paycheck in eight years.  We have all seen varying levels of success, and we measure success differently.  What really matters is the people we’ve become.  (Is that too After-School-Special-Hallmark-Hall-of-Fame cheesy?)  I’m so glad I’m not the girl I was 20 years ago. 

4.  We have all made decisions that have led us to where we are today, and who knows who I’ll be 20 years from now. 

Yes, boys, this is what
you missed out on . . .
rolled jeans, Hard Rock
Sweatshirt, (even though
I had never actually
BEEN to Hard Rock,)
and hair that needed to
be cut about 2 years ago.
I’m glad I left for college as a single woman and that I am not currently the First Lady of Taco Bell.  I treasure my memories of my high school sweetheart, but we wanted different things out of life.  Every boy I ever dated was a step towards finding the man I married.  All those old boyfriends were Mr. Wrong for me, but I bet they’re making damn good husbands to someone else.  (As a sidenote, this is unfortunate because they are SUPPOSED to be pining away for me for the rest of their lives.  You know . . .  Kicking themselves for letting me go and fondly remembering all those mix tapes they made me.)

5.  There’s a reason I never made the cheerleading squad.  If you’ve ever attended an aerobics class with me, you know why.

6.  Wine is SO much better than wine coolers, and Boone’s Strawberry Hill will kick your @ss if you drink two bottles of it by yourself in the course of a few hours.  I have distinct memories of praying for the sweet release of death.  But that’s the only memory I have from that night.

7.  It is an absolute blessing that none of us were killed while driving recklessly on Lake Jackson Drive.  

8.  I DID know gay people in high school.  I just didn’t know it yet.  How 'bout that.

9.  Men look better as they age.  When I look at photos of Hubby when he was in high school, I still see the man I married, but he’s so much more handsome and distinguished now than he was then.  Meanwhile, I’m kicking myself for making my color appointment for the week after our reunion knowing that everyone is going to see my Cruella DeVille grey streaks.

10.  Speaking of hair . . . if we, collectively, as a senior class, could have donated all that big hair to Locks of Love, can you imagine how many wigs that would have made?

11.  Just as I suspected, I couldn’t tell you ONE thing I learned from reading The Federalist Papers.


  1. Boone's! That brings back some VERY vague memories! LOL!

  2. I *love* number two. Heck yeah! Go nerds!


Be nice, kids.