21 April 2009

Facebook's Class of '90

Facebook has been really... weird for me. For the first time in my life, it's a place where my high school friends, college/sorority sisters, Masonic youth group gals, blogging buddies, fellow paranormal investigators, and even family are all in one place. It's a place where my blogging peeps can see what I write on my cousin's-in-law wall, a spot where my sorority sisters can see me interact with my high school friends, and where everyone can scratch their heads and wonder Why is Heather talking about EMF meters with this Stefanie chick? And it's just the most surreal place on the Web for me.

One of my high school friends pointed out that she enjoyed reading my blog and that at times my vague recollections of high school people who annoyed me worried her. That she felt she might be one of those people.

And that upset me. Not because she was one of those high school people. But because I've never set the record straight. So, for those twoshnezfthpzzzz.... how ever many SCHS class of 1990 people who read this blog (and for those of you who are morbidly interested in my life from September, 1987 through June, 1990), well... knock yourself out.

We've all established that I was a major band geek, a serious academic geek, and a sci-fi nerd. What you don't know much about is my membership in the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, a Masonic/Scottish Rite/Shriner youth group for girls (my father was a Mason). Think ritual/memory work, initiations, formal gowns, and many of the weird and funky fraternal-type secret stuff that makes people wonder what goes on at those Masonic lodge initiations (Even though we joke about the greased pigs? That doesn't really happen.). But for a 12-year-old girl? To dress up in a long gown twice a month? And talk about such lofty, abstract ideals as love, religion, nature, immortality, fidelity, patriotism, service, and faith? And to have a chance to wear a crown upon reaching the highest office in one's assembly? Well, it was just the cat's meow. And by the time I was 15, it was pretty much my life and I was well on my way to becoming the head of my district and holding a state office. And right about that time? My best friend in junior high, on the eve of becoming the head of our assembly, just ditched the whole thing.

And it hurt like the devil. Because in my mind when she threw away her responsibility, not only was she acting immature, I felt she was throwing away our friendship as well. You see, I had convinced her to join and up until that moment I thought she enjoyed it and was having fun. I told her that I wasn't happy with her and that she had disappointed me. It was the first time in my life I had ever been honest with someone who had hurt me.

In return she spent the remainder of that summer before high school ignoring me and when that first day of 10th grade started, she didn't speak to me. Neither did two of my other closest friends. And there I was, completely lost and alone and wondering what the hell had happened. I had been honest, truthful, told her that even though her decision hurt me, she was still my friend, and in turn that honesty got me kicked in the gut. It was pretty much the last time I would ever be truthful to anyone, least of all myself, about my feelings. I figured out right then to keep my emotions, what I thought, to myself because if I was honest, it would backfire. As we all know, teenagers are a fickle bunch of fuckers and not only did those three friends seemingly turn their backs to me, many of my junior high friends dissolved into the background of high school, too. They had chosen their side, and I was bewildered.

I spent my final three years of public school tip-toeing around, wondering who was going to ditch me next. Even though I became best friends with Denise and found another group of minions to hang with, I was constantly looking over my shoulder, remembering those wonderful people who had made my life so very bright for three years of junior high and who quickly crushed my self-esteem with a snap decision. After graduation, I left the class of 1990 and never looked back. For me, high school was a blip between junior high and college that I simply had to grit my teeth and tolerate so that I could leave West Virginia for Georgia and start a clean slate and a new life.

Except for Denise, I didn't keep in touch with any of my high school friends or acquaintances. I didn't attend the 10th reunion of 1990 and even with my Facebook reconnections, I doubt I'll attend the 20th reunion next year. My mom keeps telling me that when I reach her age I'll feel differently, but I doubt it. Those three years were honestly very painful for me and seeing many of those faces again? Would probably cause me to run for the nearest exit.

I guess I could name names so that there would no longer be any confusion as to who those fair-weathered friends were. But, they know who they are. In fact, one apologized to me at my father's funeral. It's amazing how death can bring out the I'm sorry's and the I can't believe I did that's. All I can say is that if I've friended you on Facebook (all 13 of you Black Eagles), we're cool.

After 22 years I'm slowly getting better about saying how I feel out loud, what I think about the actions of others when they affect me. I'm slowly letting my close friends know if I'm upset because of something they've said or done. It's hard to do when I keep looking back and seeing the face of my best junior high friend turn away from me.

19 comments:

Denise said...

Damn! I never knew that we both pretty much saw high school as a means to an end. BTW, you are the only person from our class I stayed in touch with! So, does this mean you won't be my date to our 20th? If anyone messes with you, I have cousins who can . . . I mean, "I'll handle it." :-)

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Denise - OK. Maybe, maybe, maybe, I'll be your date for the 20th reunion. Or Tyler will. As long as we can dress up in some fly late-80s clothes and dance like Hammer! :)

sybil law said...

Well, that one girl? Total bitch. Period.

Beverly said...

I think Jr High and High school all ran together for me like a pain that never would end. Or SO I thought!

I am so glad you friended me on facebook. You guys made high school bareable. AND I still cant spell.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Sybil Law - She was. And it felt good when she finally apologized 11 years later. At least she realized as an adult that she screwed up.

Beverly - It's amazing when you talk to people who felt the same way about high school as us, that it wasn't all fun and "Happy Days." I'm glad we found each other through Facebook, too!

Miss Britt said...

Ah man, Heather. It sucks to see you still affected by that. Especially because - well - she was a kid, you know?

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Britt - It does suck. I hate it that I remember this stuff and hold on to it. I mean, why can't I hold on to the good and not the bad? I'm working on it. And I know she was a kid when she did it and I've forgiven her. But still? I don't communicate with the majority of my class and just feel like going to a reunion would be a sham on my part. I don't know. I hope I let go of it. Someday.

Father Muskrat said...

I think FB has rendered reunions obsolete for the most part. I went to my 10 b/c I happened to be in town (Nashville) anyway that weekend. Not sure I'll drive 3.5hrs to go in 2013.

HEATHER said...

I always felt the same way about high school. I haven't been to any of the reunions, and don't intend to go to my 20th this year. I have four friends on FB that are from my HS, and they are the only ones I care to have any contact with. I was a horridly vapid, vain and shallow creature in HS, and I do not care to revisit that time or those years. I am much better person now than I was then. I even turn down FB friend requests from former classmates. Like I said, there are four people I'm in contact with and I'm just fine with that. If you notice on my FB info page I don't have my Lunatic blog linked, just the prayer blog for my mom. I am so glad to know that not everyone loved high school and wants to relive those years.
Are you involved with any of the Masonic orgs now?

Employee No. 3699 said...

It's the journey not the destination that counts...except where high school is concerned.

I couldn't wait to get out so I left in the middle of my junior year, took the GED and got my diploma that way.

Ashlie- Mommycosm said...

I hear ya about the FB thing. It's both good and bad to have everyone in one place.

Didn't know you were a Rainbow Girl. My older cousin was WAY into it. I remember being jealous that she got to dress up all the time. When I got old enough, I was too busy with sports to get involved.

I do recommend going to your reunion. You may realize that you have more in common now than back then. It might help you heal. I am really good friends now with my nemesis from high school. Our kids just had a play date on Monday. It's cool.

Patois said...

It's why I am so sad my daughter is leaving elementary school. Such a sweet, sweet girl. And so many mean bitches out there.

Gypsy said...

I've pretty much given up on Facebook for now. I just felt bad about myself every time I got on the darn thing, so I walked away. Maybe later.

But I'm glad you've had some closure and are able to speak up now.

Not Afraid to Use It said...

I have always had different circles of friends. To have them overlap makes me very uncomfortable. For lots of reasons you and I must discuss at CCF. I think even if I had the time to dabble more on FB I probably wouldn't. That's why I have a blog.

RiverPoet said...

I have never gone to a class reunion. One of my friends who did go said that the people who were hot in high school had let themselves go and the misfits were all hot. That would be pretty cool to see just once :-)

For the record, I was a misfit - duh!

I'm on FB, by the way, find me...D

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Father Muskrat - Actually, you're on-target about FB making reunions obsolete. I mean, except seeing people face-to-face, FB pretty much covers the basics of where we've all been for the last 10/20/etc. years.

Other Heather - No, I'm no longer involved. I still pay dues for Eastern Star but I haven't been active. I'm too friggin' busy!

Employee No. 3699 - Dude. You are awesome. If I had had the GED opportunity, I would have taken it but it would have crushed Mom and Dad.

MommyCosm - Wow, see? You're an adult. If my HS nemesis walked up to me? I might just smack her.

Patois - Yup. I hear you.

Gypsy - Yeah. I check up on you every now and then. I'm glad you've blogged so I know you're OK. :)

NATUI - It is weird when they overlap! Creepy. And I don't think I'll ever get used to it!

RiverPoet - You, my dear? Have been found! :)

penny said...

As a Class of '90er, we're having a 20-year reunion next year, too. Maybe. Of course we haven't had a reunion yet, so I'm not holding my breath.

Even though I live in my hometown, and maybe because I live here, I don't really want to go to a reunion. The other day on Facebook I was talking to one of the few people I would want to see at a reunion, about if I would agree to go if we had one. That night I read an article about a woman who didn't want to go to her 10-year HS reunion so she hired a stripper to be her and filmed it for a documentary.

That sounds promising. Maybe not the filming part, but that would be super fun, too!

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

Penny - Oh, that is hysterical! That she hired a stripper! HA! That gives me a great idea...

That Chick Over There said...

You and I have so many similar experiences. For reals.