Archive for February 27th, 2009

High School Again

I graduated from high school in 1983. It was the year of Flashdance and The Police; Billie Jean and Hall & Oats.

My junior and senior year of high school were spent dating a good Catholic girl, Carol, who lived on the east side of town. We watched movies at the drive in (kind of), held house parties when our parents left town, and “parked” in her Volkswagon Beetle on quiet county roads where the smell of dirt from the cornfields made its way through the open windows. We would break up and get back together days later because that’s what kids did – and we were kids.

High school – even my small-town high school – was all about social classes. The wealthy came from the country club. The poor from Park Street (not Park Avenue). The working class occasionally produced an athlete or a genius and we took great pride in knowing those kids; the ones who elevated the rest of us nearer the top rung of the ladder.

Friends were friends and I knew who they were. I knew who could be counted on and who would turn and run when the shit hit the fan. If a friend was in trouble, we rallied around and made the recovery bearable. But kids then, as now, could be asses and the high school games some kids played were tiresome, hurtful and just plain dumb.

So I’m amazed at the games people play some 25 or 30 years later in life as if they never left high school. It’s pitifully disappointing and these are the people I never would have wasted my time on back in my teens. Why would I waste my time now when it’s so valuable. My own ethics and opinions too established and important to who I am to play the games they choose to play.

It means my circle of closest friends remains small and proximate. And I refuse to let just anyone into that circle. But it also means I know exactly who my real friends are and who I can count on when the shit hits the fan.

Here’s to my friends. You know who you are.


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