And a wonderful life! See you again NEVER! Kay?!
So for those new here, I’m in my mid 30s.
I had an obsession with high school movies, shows, teen fiction and coming of age stories for years. I collected them. Read them. Re-read them. Watched them. Re-watched them.
I reflected on the universality of the experience for western culture.
Why the obsession with this period of life?
Was it because it was the last shared experience we all truly have? Was it because it is where the series of “firsts” come at you with such fierce repetitive force that you are proud to have survived and wear those years – be they good or bad – as a badge of honour defining who you are?
Then Twilight came out in 2005 and it didn’t speak to me and I suddenly realized I was over it.
I wanted to love this series. I mean, I love high school stories and I have a whole library of vampire fiction courtesy of my teens to mid-twenties. Aside from sticking the teen vampires in show choir (Thank you Joss Whedon! You came closest to realizing this dream), I wasn’t sure what else could have been added to the mix to attract me).
But as the rest of the world swooned, I didn’t.
So, thank you Stephanie Meyer and Isabella Swan. You helped me realize I was finally good and done with the wonder years.
But when I saw today’s questions over at Sunday Social – all high school reflection – I smiled.
And I’m in – in a requiem for my teen years kinda way.
1. What were you like in middle school and high school?
My junior high was great in that I could be myself, be creative, and still have lots of friends. Don’t get me wrong, I was a dork. I was the kid who played tuba in the band because I’d already learnt clarinet, needed a new challenge, and thought it was funny that I had to sit on a phone book to reach the mouthpiece because I was so little. I was also the kid who wrote a (kind) limerick about every kid in the class. But it was also the type of class and type of people who were cool with that. My poems ended up in a class yearbook; some of my class was also in the band; and a large group from our class hung out happily together.
Then I changed schools for high school and while I wasn’t unpopular, I certainly wasn’t one of the in crowd (I know, complete bummer that the spot for limerick-writing tuba player was already FILLED in the in crowd, right?). That said, by 16, I’d pretty much worked through the need to be cool and just did what I wanted. I was a band geek (clarinet this time, I was over the tuba phase); I edited the high school paper; and I was one of the kids who got an over 90% average. By the time I was 16 was also a lifeguard and started hanging out with that crowd outside school; found a boyfriend from another school in my later high school years, and while I enjoyed high school well enough, there was enough other stuff going on in life to keep me busy and happy.
2. What were your favorite pastimes?
Depends when. I swam competitively 8 times a week until I was 16, so until I quit swimming, aside from piano, which I also did quite seriously, that was pretty much it. After that, I took up guitar, joined band, got a job, starting coaching the school swim team, and started writing for the school paper. I did a bit of everything, really. And looking back, I think that was the wonderful thing about being that age – being able to do “bits” of so many different things. I also discovered V.C. Andrews, Anne Rice and gothic fiction generally. And in prepping for this blog post, I was delighted to find a drinking game based on my favourite VC Andrews novel of all time – Petals on the Wind. The chapter synopsis in this blog post – while I don’t agree with all of it – is also pretty straight up awesome.
3. What songs were you obsessed with?
Later on in high school, I prided myself at cottage campfires over the fact that I knew all the words to American Pie and various Beatles classics. I also spent a large amount of time obsessing over everything Depeche Mode – which I posted about earlier this week so linking there for those so inclined to check that post out. Based on that Depeche Mode obsession though, later in high school, someone I met pointed out I might also enjoy Morrissey – and he was so right. So, for the sake of variety on my blog, I give you “Ordinary Boys”: a yet unposted favourite from the angst of my teen years:
4. What fashion statement do you look back on and cringe?
Pinning your jeans. Now I’ve googled this and what’s out there isn’t quite what I mean. Circa 1991-92, in junior high, we tapered our jeans with safety pins to make then into skinny jeans. But with the safety pins on the outside. It was all kinds of not so wonderful.
5. Who was your celeb crush?
Christian Slater – see next question.
6. What was your favorite movie?
1989’s Heather’s. I still love it. So many of the actors I loved in it: Shannon Doherty; Christian Slater; Winona Ryder… Here’s one of the trailers for your viewing pleasure: