05 July 2007

High School

I had a miserable time in high school. Not during the high school years--because I was lucky enough to have access to other social spheres where I didn't feel like quite such an outcast--but in high school itself I felt fortunate if I had a single friend at a time. I was a member of no clique; the most fun I had in high school was in class. It is certain of my teachers who I remember with the most fondness.

That tells you something.

So I've not gone to any of the high school reunions, not the 10th, 15th, 20th, or (most recently) 25th; I could never imagine what I would have to say to these people. But this year's reunion was capped by the start of a Yahoo group, which I joined out of curiosity. And soon became rather addicted. The brief bios, musings, and reminiscences of those who had been among the most popular of my year interested me because they seemed actually like pretty nice, thoughtful, intelligent adults. (Not at all as I had remembered them.) I started to wonder what defect in me had made me feel so separate from these folks in high school. I felt excluded, but maybe I had excluded myself.

When I shared this thought with Victor, he issued a swift corrective: high school students are stupid. Don't be so hard on yourself.

And then I ventured to the Photos section of the Yahoo group where someone had posted photos from back then and the sight of a few of those young faces gave me a nearly physical reaction. And I thought how lurking on the Yahoo group, I was an outsider all over again. I had nothing to reminisce about with these people. Their memories were very different from mine. The bittersweetness of nostalgia had become much more bitter than sweet.

So I unsubscribed. The class of '82 can manage without me.

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