Erik Quinn: The Heart of a Family: I Love 1988

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

I Love 1988

Would you excuse me? I cut my foot before and my shoe is filling up with blood.

-- 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!

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6 Comments:

Blogger ~Deb said...

Doesn't it feel so strange when you finally reunite with old buddies from the past? I just recently did, and it was surprising that some people still "live in the past" as if they never grew out of it. Then others are so completely different. I can totally remember the smell of gasoline, but it was coming from me! I used to fill up my own gas tank when I rode my ATV (4-wheel motorcycle) around everywhere before I got my license. I was the "cool tomboy" of the bunch.

ha..!

Anyway, this brought back memories for me. You never forget your past, and yet, you would never want to revisit that time again... I totally feel ya on this one!

Great post Nance! Hope you have a good time reuniting with everyone.

8:47 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I didn't even attend my high school reunion last year. The people I want to see, I still get to see, so I didn't see the point. My friends were not happy with me.:) I was painfully shy and don't miss it at all. It is funny to look back at pictures though, the hair the clothes, my kids always crack up.

9:09 AM  
Blogger Katie said...

Oh i had a reunion with my best friend from high school last night, we stayed up till 3am reminissing (sp?) about the good old days. Its funny i remember high school more vividly than i remember my day to day life now - i hated it so much i guess it inadvertantly made quite an impact.
Here's to history,
xxoo

3:44 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Did you ever have a dream where you are in one of your highschool classes taking a test and getting really frustrated and teary eyed, then you remember that you already graduated, so you go up to the teacher and hand in the incomplete test and explain that you shouldn't be there in the first place, then you realize it's just a dream and wake up and look around your room and sigh really deep because thankfully it wasn't real? or is it just me?
Anyway, I hope you have fun and knock their socks off!

8:51 AM  
Blogger Edna said...

Great post! Brings back memories!! I loved high school, but I definitely wouldn't want to do it over, unless I could apply the wisdom of the last 20 years! I will probably receive an invitation to attend my 20th reunion in the fall. I'm not sure if I will go. I know I'll have to go stag if I do--I just can't imagine my husband wanting to go with me. And who could blame him? Maybe a bunch of us girls will go together, but who knows. We're all spread out across the country and we're short on time. If we had the oportunity to spend time together, we'd probably be better off doing a spa or vinyard day... Although I do think morbid curiosity will play a role in the final "group" decision.

Have fun, Nancy!

8:35 PM  
Blogger Lisa R said...

Damn girl you are HOT HOT HOT....One Sunday morning I watch Romy and Michelle the early years or whatever to funny. Chris is bagginf hi 20 this yr. Oh well :) I bet you have a blast.

10:38 AM  

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