Ain’t For Sissies
Brookwood High School is a sprawling behemoth that educates an estimated 3500 students each year, one of which is my youngest daughter. When prompted to visit the school last week I cringed at the sheer size of the place. A single lunch period at Brookwood services more students than comprised my entire high school graduating class.
My awe at the number of students faded when I walked past the long lunch tables. I found myself in the midst of time travel. There was the popular girl, beautiful and full of life, riveting those around her. Her hair was perfect. Her clothes were perfect. I remember her.
There was the heartthrob, confidence oozing from every pore. He strode toward the trashcan to toss a napkin and he stopped midway to “shoot it in” while his buddies clapped and compared burps. With lashes lowered, girls at a neighboring table eyed him. The girls giggled and blushed when he neared; they needn’t have worried. He ignored them, oblivious to their whispers. I remember him.
When I arrived at the clinic a boy stood talking to the nurse. His curly, unkempt hair screamed for a barber and his green eyes blinked behind Coke-bottle lenses. Inside the boy’s mouth a rainbow web of rubber bands stretched taut over braces and enhanced his stutter. He slouched. He will be handsome in a few years, but not today. Today he is a geek. I remember him.
Amazing, isn’t it? The high school social structure is intact and the stereotypes remain. I don’t know if it is a good or a bad thing, though smarter folks than I have done studies on the subject. For my part, I’m glad that high school is thirty years behind me. I was a chorus geek, and proud of it; but wading through the drama and the angst today would exhaust me. Instead of hanging out with friends after school I would have to come home for a nap. And a good stiff drink. (Age has its privileges.)
So a walk through Brookwood High School is akin to a walk down memory lane. It is fun to visit, but I’m happy to embrace my parent status. As I recall, my friends, high school ain’t for sissies.
Til next time –