Several things in my life lead me to ask this question right now: What is the magical pull some people feel to high school, to those “good old days” when everyone was a walking misery?
My neighbor had her twenty year high school reunion yesterday. For the past three months she’s been burning the midnight oil trying to “better” herself. This skinny cow, The Neighbor, has joined Weight Watchers in order to loose weight that no one can see. She’s tall and lathe, has four beautiful children and a wonderful husband whom she has been with since they were sixteen. I look at her and see unending beauty. I asked her if she’s stayed in contact with her high school friends and she has. She took an early release program her junior and senior year so she spent the last two years of high school checking out at 12:00. I ask, why all the work to impress these people that don’t mean anything to your core?
Another friend of mine is desperately trying to “reach” her ex-boyfriend. Why? She even visited the ex’s sister the other day and now all she can talk about is how miserable the ex is. The Friend is married, five months pregnant and totally in adoration of her husband. What’s so important about reaching your ex? The Friend talks about him frequently these days. The Friend says the ex married an awful woman, has two children and the ex is miserable. Why does The Friend care? For a while I believed that it was just her way of reconnecting to her past, she’s pregnant and life is changing rapidly right now, perhaps she’s just trying to ground herself and remember where she came from before her life changes in such a dramatic way. Then The Friend starting talking about how controlling the wife is, “She spammed my emails! I emailed him and said if he and the kids were ever in town, call me and we’d hang out!” The Friend said. So wait, you sent your ex an email and blatantly excluded his wife and you’re upset because she spammed your emails? I would too. I’m not controlling, I just know the boundaries of my marriage. If it makes your spouse uncomfortable, don’t step outside of those lines. I get angry at The Friend because she’s trying to make her ex put The Friend in front of his wife. Don’t do that. Don’t ask another person to step outside of the boundaries of marriage. It all became very clear a few days ago. We were shopping and she, again, was talking about her ex. The Friend said, “You know, I just want him to see how good he had it with me. I want him to see how good I am.” So it is about you. You need attention and you’re seeking it from someone else’s husband. Why can’t I say my thoughts out loud? Why can’t I warn her that she’s treading dangerous ground? I’m afraid that if I say something, The Friend is going to blow up and blame me for figuring out that she’s stepping outside of the bounds?
I wasn’t “unpopular” in high school. I had a large group of friends, but when I left, I never felt like I needed to look back. I’ve never felt the pull to those days. Regardless of how many friends I had, those days were misery. Coming of age, making it through adolescence, no thanks. I love who I am now, but I don’t feel the need to share it with anyone from my past.