I have a (very long) confession to make.
I HATED high school. I lived in a tiny little one horse town – wait, scratch that. I lived in the woods outside of the one horse town. I grew up on a dirt road. My mom had to drive my brother and I to the bus stop as it was 7/8 of a mile away and the school district wouldn’t come get you if your house was under a mile from the stop. I think I had about 75-80 students graduate with me. Strangely, at least 5 of them were from the classes before or after me and I wasn’t even aware that these students hadn’t already graduated or had earned enough credits to do so early. And then there were some students from neighboring school districts that had apparently missed theirs… or something? Either way, there was a large handful of students that didn’t belong there. My class was definitively known as the Too Little, Too Late Class. We were slackers. Most of us were so concerned with “hooking up” or singling out those who “bitched out” (was this small town vernacular or just something teens in the early 00s said?) from the woods party over the weekend to earn money for field trips or put the time in to have a decent prom. Instead we went to places like Six Flags and the town pool and our prom was in our gymnasium that was transformed to look just like a gymnasium swathed in purple tulle and balloons. The one and only perk seniors received was to sit outside at a couple picnic tables during lunch instead of in the cafeteria. The class before us let all of the underclassmen join them thus forcing administrators to make the rule that no on was allowed to sit outside. So aside from the knowledge that we would be getting the fuck out of there sooner than anyone, we had no privileges.
Don’t get me wrong. I was no different than the rest of them. I spent my weekends swatting away mosquitos and getting drunk in the woods. My friends and I went to almost every dance without fail. My only goal was to get the flavor of the month (or in my case, semester or year, as I’m pretty obsessive) to notice me so I spent my time painstakingly sewing patches on my backpacks or picking out just the right outfits so he would notice me. In the end, it worked because I was voted “Best Dressed”. Only because “Most Sarcastic” or “Most Likely To Sneak Out During Study Hall” weren’t options. I actually had to take gym every single day during my senior year because I had skipped it so many times the previous year. I wasn’t allowed to go on a field trip (to where, I can’t remember now) because it would have meant exceeding the maximum number of absences for my afternoon classes. I also had to complete 10.5 hours of detention before they’d let me walk at graduation. Very Donna Martin Graduates! My mom and dad left for work early so the minute I was of age they allowed me to get my license so I could drive me and my brother to school. Unfortunately, without having someone riding my ass I tended to sleep in and come in late most days. My poor brother would get up and get on the bus because he actually liked school and didn’t want to miss class. And if I came in on time, I was writing a note with my mom’s forged signature so I could get out early. Most of the time I just stopped at McDonald’s and went home with some nuggets and a sundae and took a nap. I just wanted to be anywhere but there.
I hated everyone. I hated our principal (who was sent to prison the year after I graduated for embezzling from the school district.) I despised more than half of the teachers, especially my gym teacher who I had almost every year for 12 years. Oh, did I forget to mention that the school was K-12? Yup, we rode to school with kindergartners and got to watch them parade around the school in their Halloween costumes every year (something I actually enjoyed). I completely and utterly hated most of the students. They were just so dumb and small-minded. This is why no less than 1/3 of my high school class has married each other. Some were their high school sweethearts, some just couldn’t find someone they could relate to that didn’t go to Incest High. Many of the popular, jocky boys are working in factories and most of the popular, jocky girls married these boys and currently have 1-3 children.
This is the #1 reason why our high school reunion is going to be held in the middle of the woods, doing the same exact shit we were doing 10 years ago. Swatting mosquitos, pissing against our parents’ cars without wiping and stumbling around the clearing trying to find your friends using the light of the bonfire. If I’m really lucky, my dad will buy me some Mike’s Hard Lemonade or Smirnoff Ice for the event. Oh, and during the day is a family friendly picnic and BBQ. This is because none of them can possibly find someone that wants to sit with their little demon spawn for more than 4 consecutive hours but they are planning it under the guise of allowing classmates to meet each other’s children. Guess what? I know your kids. You post pictures of them on Facebook every single day. I know their birthdays and when they took their first dump on the potty. Shit, I probably saw them covered in your baby oven cream sauce the day you squeezed them out. I already know that they aren’t that cute and don’t look too much like your husband but definitely resemble that other kid we graduated with. Isn’t it disheartening that not even their grandparents want to keep them long enough so you can swing by Fashion Bug or Dots to pick out a new sheer top and maybe get your fake nails refilled? You need to look pretty after all and a blue collar salary doesn’t permit you to shop at Loft or J.Crew. Plus you need everyone to focus on your pretty French manicure and not the fact that you’ve gained 25lbs, you still haven’t lost the baby weight (unless you’re actually carrying your 3 year old around in a pouch on your stomach like a marsupial) and your eyebrows are drawn on because you were trying to tweeze and pack your husband’s lunch at the same time.
But you know what? I’m going to go. Just to check it out. Maybe see if the nerdy kids can lend me some money. Maybe to watch the Plastics swarm together and compliment each other’s elastic waist pants. Certainly to pick on all of these people with my best friend. Most definitely to show off my handsome future husband and make sure everyone sees how big my rock is and small my ass (still) is.