Friday, September 17, 2010

Who Were You?

While running on the high school track this morning I was struck by the fact that nothing changes [when you're in high school]. I was able to observe a gym class as they were heading back into the school. There were the jocks playing football on the game field, the non-athletes playing lacrosse on the practice field, the couple holding hands (seriously), the guy with a feminine walk in the midst of about twenty girls, and the cute athletic girl walking apart from everyone else.

Rewind nineteen years and I was entering high school. I attended a great public school. I was neither popular nor unpopular. I had friends, about four close friends who also had steady boyfriends and preferred to spend their weekends with said boyfriends. I was not bullied, in fact I remember no upsetting instances of any sort. My friends and I were quite happy to observe the popular kids, we were friendly with them, but kept to ourselves most of the time.

The popular kids at my school were the football players, wrestlers, and cheerleaders. The boys wore camouflage, drove trucks, hunted, and chewed tobacco. I thought I was way too mature for them - funny how I married a man who wears camouflage, drives a vehicle with "mud" tires and a big old NRA sticker, hunts, and listens to country music.

I was never the athletic type - quite the opposite, in fact. When Rob and I started dating my junior year, we tried to play tennis one afternoon. He honestly thought about breaking up with me because he said he's never met anyone so un-athletic in his life (he told me this much later). I tried track in 8th grade, but had an unfortunate hurdle accident. I tried the diving team in 10th grade, but could never master the art of diving backwards. I enjoyed participating in the concert choir and school musicals - and spending time with my boyfriend (lame, I know).

Rob was my polar opposite. He was class president all through high school. He loved athletics - soccer, track, and basketball. We were talking the other day about sports - he asked me if "we" took showers after sporting events - I had to remind him that you don't take showers in concert choir! From the time he learned to drive, he was pretty much absent from his house. He loved nothing more than having fun with his scores of friends. Obviously, I pretty much crimped his style.

Fast forward to the present day. Nothing changes. As I find myself involved in my kids' schools I realize that the same food chain exists. There are the super-moms, the perfectly coiffed, having it all together moms with perfect hair, makeup, and handbags. I am still "there", having a few close friends, but mostly observing. I am perfectly content this way. I've found my place - it's as a mom. I think that's why this year is proving to be a challenge for me - it's hard to let go of what you know so well - your place.

So, who were you? the cheerleader? the athlete? the misfit? the bookworm?


  1. Umm? I really don't know how to answer this question. How about "The good girl who wasn't fooling anyone"???

  2. I know, like Emily said in one of her recent posts, it's hard to put yourself in a box! I think your above statement could apply to me as well. It's so funny that we went to the same school but never interacted!

  3. I was an athlete who didn't fit into that crowd, a musician who didn't play in the band, a good girl only because I wasn't given a chance to be bad, a "b" student who did not care to work harder to make the "a", a dreamer, poet, and bleeding heart. I had no best friends, few really close friends, and a bunch of friends that spanned from the popular sect, to the dweeb sect. I enjoyed highschool, but I'm becoming more "me" as the years go by.

  4. I was a rat bag for a couple of years and then settled into being one of the middle of the road kids that everyone knew. I had about 5 good friends, and would talk to anyone. (bet you're amazed) I didnt love high school but I didnt hate it either.

    And I totally agree with you that high school is pretty much the same now as it was back then. If anything -it's more competitive- it's a jungle out there.

  5. Emily - I love this part of my life so much better than high school! It is so nice to move into the place where you know you belong!

    Mrs P - I was always amazed at the people that said they loved high school! I can totally see you talking to everybody :) and, yes, high school is the ultimate social experiment!

  6. I was the floater. I floated between the athletic girls on my field hockey team, the drinkers (I always watched because of the instilled fear of my parents' utter disappointment), the guys on the golf team, the art students, etc.. I was friendly but not fulled committed to any one particular group. My 10 yr. high school reunion is next year and it should be interesting. I miss the good days of high school, but not the bad ones. If you have kids with curly hair- help them embrace their style and confidence so that they aren't embarassed when all the straight hair kids think they're weird. Just a word from the wise.