Thursday, September 07, 2006

Pop-u-u-lar*

My last post on Em's beginning of school meltdown touched a nerve. To quote Styro, high school was an ubersuckfest.

So what i am wondering, is where are the people who were having a good time in high school? The cute and the athletic and the popular? I have personally never talked to anyone who has said they loved high school. To a person, we all hated it with the fiery burning passion of a thousand suns. (To quote the ever dramatic Em.)

For me, junior high was worse than high school by an order of magnitude. Click here for a glimpse of my coolness on my second day of 8th grade.

By high school i had found a way to insinuate myself into some group or other in order to feel accepted. In 10th grade, i hung out with Michele. She was a foster kid living with a religious family. She got me high for the first time in my life, and we continued to hang out together that whole year and smoke dope at her foster parent's house every day. One time we went through the medicine cabinet and swiped a bunch of Darvons. That was the day my dad actually came to pick me up at Michele's house and told me that my cat had been run over. I was too stoned to react. (At this point i am wondering where the hell my parents were, to let me go hang out at a house with no adults home all afternoon.)
Michele went away after 10th grade, so i had to find a new group.

In 11th grade i hung out with two girls who were seniors that year, who were also strange and smart and geeky. We were on the publicity committee and spent many hours eating and painting ugly signs for whatever school event was coming up. Of course, none of us ever went to any of these events. I wore overalls and flannel shirts and men's tennis shoes every day. They both went away to college after that year so....

I became a boy scout. No, really. The first year that girls were allowed to join the explorer scouts, i was a member. It was really fun, in a very wholesome way. And a good way to hang out with boys with no dating. We used to park cars at the local Elks Club one night a month to make money to support our troup. I would get to stay out until 2 am and drive cars that didn't belong to me, and i didn't even have a license yet. (Again, i could have been off doing anything, my parents never asked a thing about where i was or what i was doing.) Damn those Elks could drink. We would go fetch cars for men who were stumbling drunk. One guy missed the exit and plowed into a rockery instead. He sat there for a few minutes pressing on the gas pedal, wondering why the car wouldn't move forward. (Obviously, there have been VAST improvements in the awareness and prevention of drunk driving since those days.)

And thus i survived high school.

I wonder where all those cute short girls who were popular and all those tall football/basketball dudes are now. Did they all sink back into the ether from whence they came? I'm guessing that they don't have blogs.

*A coy reference to the musical "Wicked".

19 comments:

Lucia said...

Oooohh! I love it that you were a boy scout!

bobealia said...

I was popular with the boys. Ok I put out. All the popular girls did was stab each other in the back. Those popular girls sucked big time. Bitches. One day I just gave up being all their friends, said fuck 'em. Then a couple years ago I read my diary from those years. Big mistake. I was just as bad as they were.. the crap I wrote in my diary made me sick. Anyway, grade 10, cut off my long long long blonde hair, started wearing jeans where the crotch touched my knees (listen hip hop boys I was beyond my years) made friends with a motley crew... smoked pot... and the rest basically sounds like yours except it was the boys basketball team instead of the boyscouts.

bobealia said...

Ok, maybe the girls kicked me out. It's all kind of foggy.

meno said...

lucia, it WAS pretty fun.

bo, That was funny. So putting out would have done it huh? Why did i never think of that?

daufiero said...

A couple years ago one of my friends came to town for our 20th High School reunion. She was the only one from our group attending. (I sure couldn't go - I still live here.) We got together the following day for the debriefing. She said it was a terrible time, with the popular clique still hanging together.

I don't know if it's deserved, but I cut them a little slack. Just because they were popular in HS doesn't mean they have great social skills or are somehow less nervous about attending the reunion than anyone else.

Where are they now? Volume 1: This summer, another friend was vacationing at the beach and recognized a former classmate with an infant strapped to her chest. She and her husband are both pediatric heart surgeons at a Children's Hospital, Boston. I was nonplussed! How did someone "popular" (=airhead, in my teenage mind) who went to our piffling HS end up as a pediatric heart surgeon? And now they've got time to have a super-baby? I had indigestion over that one.

Anonymous said...

Middle school (it was junior high, in my day) was pure torture, although I had more friends there than I did in high school. I was an outsider in high school despite being in a rather large school, 550 in our class. I knew people in each clique but didn't really belong to any of them. Never went to dances, prom, sports, club etc. I was overweight, not particularly attractive and not cool. Being an artist saved me from getting beat up everyday, but didn't save me from either being ignored or called names.

The experience has stayed with me, I am still not a "joiner", nor do I have a lot of friends but I see now what my part in it was and also that so many of the other kids were also seething with insecurities. One of the most popular girls was getting abused by her father and another guy has turned into a headcase, unable to function in public. The reunions are interesting, I have gained a bit of respect, I think, but the jerks then are still jerks now, with just a few exceptions. I admit to secretly being glad to find that some of them aren't doing so well as grown-ups and that I was also really happy to be thinner than some the cheerleaders who ignored me for 3 years. And I am still envious of the ones that have been successful. Guess I still need to work through a few things:-)

Tracy

Anonymous said...

Oops, sorry to hijack your blog!

Tracy

Josephine said...

Yes, where are those people? I've known only one person who enjoyed high school. And a brief description is that he is short for a man, he was a gymnast, he was the prom king, he lost his virginity to his junior English teacher, and he is the most diagnosable narcicist I've ever known.

Narcicism. Wonder if that has anything to do with liking high school? Just a thought...

onetallmomma said...

My eldest daughter started 8th grade on Wed. On the one hand I would like to fast forward her life past the next 5 years and all of the pain and on the other I know that she must walk through the fire...it makes us strong women...if we survive.

caro said...

Remember schoolbus hell? I could never manage to board quickly enough. I basically had to beg for a seat... I can still feel the shame and it's been 25 years!

Lisa said...

All I can say is Thank God for Drama Club! Where being a social outcast is your ticket in! I even ate lunch in the drama room, thanks to a very understanding teacher. We were all defective in our own ways, but we had so much fun together that yes, I did actually enjoy high school. Sometimes my face hurt from laughing so much. And I did put out. And the drugs were awesome!

meno said...

De, Wild Horses couldn't drag me to my HS reunion. Thanks for the update on the doctors. How annoying!

Tracy, hijacking is ok. It is interesting how thinking back about it really stirs up those feelings. Wonder if they'll ever go away. Naw.

josephine, narcicism, interesting theory. I'll bet there's some correlation.

onetallmomma, as i always tell Em, going through high school gives us those deep psycological scars that make us so interesting in later life.

caro, i rode the school bus in 7th grade only. Then we moved such that we were 1.99 miles away from school. You only got to ride the bus if you lived over 2 miles away and the boundary was 2 houses away. Maybe that was a good thing, but i was sure pissed at the time.

lisa, yay for drama club! Those kids were weird. I should have joined them. No putting out for me, but no one asked either.

s@bd said...

I loved high school. [ducks]
And am still in contact with several of my friends who also loved it. [runs and hides]

Teri M. said...

I was lucky and had a pretty ok middle and high school experience. It had it's hairyscary moments, for sure, but it wasn't a horror. But now that my kid has started 7th grade and I spend most of my time these days worrying. Gah.

Teri M. said...

ok... I just re-read that comment and I must say, it wasn't my best effort grammatically. Sheesh.

Mama P said...

The fact that I'm always the last one to comment on your blog sums up my experience with highschool teams, dances and anything related cool extra curricular activities. Not only did I go to a Catholic Girls highschool and NOT do drugs, I was also six foot 1 and an A student. I was the king geek among geeks (well, almost... one girl wanted to be a dude and then came to our ten year reunion with her best friend from highschool dressed as a man.) The point: all the geek stuff makes me kinda okay now. And I'm married to the most handsome man in the kingdom, so fuck EVERYONE.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
amusing said...

Perhaps it was the fact that I attended two middle schools and three different high schools (was supposed to be four) meant I wasn't around any of them long enough to be snubbed?

Perhaps it was because I was used to the anxiety and isolation and self-consciousness from moving so much?

I did sports and clubs and all that stuff. But I was always just passing through. Making enough connections until it was time to leave again.

Didn't hate it. It just was.

Anonymous said...

F'ing beta blogger. I have been trying to comment for DAYS! Hateful hateful blogger. Anyhoo.

I actually loved high school. But I think it has to do with the fact that there were no cliques, no popular people really. Everyone hung out together, which was great.

I was shocked at the beginning of college to find it so polarized.

love-
urban-urchin