I Love 1988
-- Mira Sorvino as Romy (Romy and Michele's High School Reunion)
I registered to attend my 20th high school reunion, which will be taking place in July. It is difficult for me to believe it has been two decades since I walked out of that building for the last time. I was asked to fill out a questionnaire about my favorite high school memories and what I would tell the girl I used to be 20 years ago if that was possible. I wanted to say that I would inform that shy, stressed-out girl that high school was utterly ridiculous and to not worry, as it would pass, but I refrained. I wrote instead that I would tell myself that high school isn't close to being the real world. As for my memories, I don't really have favorites. I just remember bits and pieces like a very strange dream. In fact, it's one of the fuzziest times in my personal history, for some reason. It wasn't a bad time in my life. I just don't stop to remember much of it.
I do remember how my rhinestone-studded Levi jacket used to reek of gasoline from a boyfriend's leaking Ford Mustang, which apparently doubled as a Molotov cocktail. When I didn't smell of gasoline, my pores used to emit the scent of pepperoni pizza from my job at a local restaurant. I remember marching down the streets of Philadelphia on the Fourth of July during a band trip and becoming so overheated under layers of heavy polyester uniform that I began hearing my name bouncing off the surfaces of the skyscrapers (we were proud because nobody ended up losing consciousness that year). I remember standing in front of the glossy wall of the Veterans' Memorial in Washington, DC next to our class clown and watching him suddenly dissolve into tears, overcome with emotion. I remember having to crawl in a miniskirt through tobacco-tainted spit as a freshman to get to my locker below one belonging to a couple very cute seniors. I remember when I was kicked out of the school building on senior skip day by one of my teachers when he saw me in the hall and I told him I would rather attend class. I remember draping strips of toilet paper over friends' houses and sticking hundreds of plastic forks in their lawns protected by the darkness of night and foiling an attempt to attack my own home with girlfriends, ending up on a completely crazy car chase across town over a sheet of black ice. I remember the first time a friend of mine was crushed to death in a horrible car accident. I remember going to a high school full of wealthy, United Colors of Benetton-clad robots but successfully finding a group of incredible friends to endure the whole strange experience with, some of whom I still see on a regular basis.
It was fun, and I suppose it helped make me who I am now, but I wouldn't do it again. In fact, I haven't thought much about high school since I left, and it seems strange to do it now. Really strange. I guess I jumped through the hoops I was expected to and achieved the appropriate goals with little effort whatsoever. If I did do it all over again, I would apply myself, have more confidence in who I was, and pay attention to what I wanted, not what other people thought I should be/do. I finally have that one figured out.
I plan on going to my best friend's house with gummy bears, jelly beans, and candy corns, watching Romy and Michele's High School Reunion, and having at least a couple of strong cocktails before we go back to 1988 this summer.
What a trip!