Sunday, September 30, 2007

Letters, Letters

The other day, the 'chick opened her mailbox to find an invitation to her 20th high school reunion. Has it really been 20 years? Good grief. It doesn't feel like it's been that long, but in some ways it seems like those years never even happened.

The 'chick attended Catholic high school in Illinois. Not for any high-falutin' religious principles on the part of her parents, but rather because the other option was a public high school in the middle of the city in a block that resembled a war zone. It was a huge, hulking building that resembled some kind of Gothic castle and had about 6 floors. Due to the neighborhood and the gangs, it was decided that the precious female off-spring would go to Catholic school.

Roadchick was less than thrilled by this prospect. There was a dress code. Not quite as bad as uniforms, but not Levis, t-shirts, and tennis shoes either.

There was mandatory religion class. Freshman year was Old Testament. Sophomore year was New Testament. In two years, the class never cracked open the Bible that was on the book list as required.

There were prayers before each class, before lunch, before football games. There was mandatory Mass the first Friday of every month.

Amazingly enough, in this rarified, religious atmosphere, there was the usual compliment of personalities that you would expect in any regular high school. There were preps and jocks, cheerleaders and brains, sluts and burn-outs. There were artists and musicians. There were a few gearheads, but they were a rare breed because this school was a college prep school with no automotive or shop classes available.

For a long time, the 'chick struggled with where she fit in. She had close friends and closer enemies. She joined the Flag Corps and helped to revolutionize it from marching with the band to performing from taped music like Prince and the Beach Boys.

She went to class, violated the dress code and got caught a few times, struggled to stay awake in religion class and got busted for talking during First Friday Mass and got sentenced to a Saturday detention, cleaning the convent.

But at some point, the 'chick also grew up a little and made a few discoveries about herself. She was a jock and an artist and a cheerleader. She was a burnout and a brain. And she made friends across the classes once she stopped caring what anyone thought of her.

And all of a sudden, she was so cool and such a rebel. Because she finally had the strength of character to actually be herself.

The 'chick will not be attending her 20th class reunion because sometimes the past is best left there. Her close friends were never from high school - they are here with her now. In all honesty, while there were a few people that she actually liked, she didn't care much for the greater majority of them because they had not yet learned to stop being mean, to stop hating because someone could not afford the newest fashions from The Limited, to stop judging because someone had different dreams than theirs.

But, to the Class of 1987 - here's hoping you realized your dreams, whatever they were. Best of Luck.


Susan said...

I just had a total breakfast club moment.

I was the band geek, for the record..with a preppy tie and slutty past. ;)

Autrice DelDrago said...

I LOVE your blog's new look!

briliantdonkey said...

Like the new look. yeah it is hard to believe that it has possibly been 20 years already isn't it? When I got my invitation(class of 86), that was the first thing to pop into my mind. Like you I didn't go. I am guessing there is a small voice in your head saying 'you will regret it if you don't'. Tell that voice to stfu. It's lying. I may go to my 50th just to look around and say ha ha fuckers Im still alive, but other than that I don't see me attending any of em or even thinking twice about it.


Neil said...

Time really does "fly." I'm glad you remember the good parts of your school. I enjoyed going to my school, but I wouldn't go to my reunion, either. While I am curious about some people, I can always find them online. I'm not much for going back in time.

Serendipity said...

Good for people to know.