Tuesday, February 3, 2009

"My teen-angst bull*hit has a body count..."

If the Money Fairy suddenly appeared and offered a million dollars for me to relive just one year of my high school experience, not only would I tell her, "H-to the-ell NO!" but I'd also slap her clean across the face. Then I'd knock her wings off. And stomp all over them.

Yeah, so that's a dramatic scenario, but a true one nevertheless. Don't get me wrong. I have many fond memories of my three years as a Warner Robins High Demon. (Yes, three--back then the Freshman class held court over at the junior high schools.) Two of my fellow Class of 1993-ers were in my wedding almost nine years ago, along with a faculty member who was never my teacher but more like a big sister. Several WRHS pals are over there on my blogroll. A state and national School of Excellence many times over, those hallowed halls were where my mother spent most of her teaching career before retiring in 2001.

But would I do any of it over? For a million dollars? Ain't no way.

Two weekends ago I watched a little independent, documentary film called American Teen. I saw a preview for it on a flight back in August and queued it up in on Netflix.


Recognize the poster? They totally ripped off The Breakfast Club, which I maintain is some of John Hughes' finest work.

About 20 minutes into the movie I realized my entire body was clenched. Wringing my hands, fiddling with my hair, tapping my fingers on the remote...all while curled into the fetal position. During this film hundreds of memories from 1990-1993 invaded my brain. I was a nervous wreck.

Can you say angst?

In some form or fashion I identified with each of the five teenagers whose senior year stories are highlighted in American Teen. I was never a jock, geek, princess, rebel, or heartthrob. In fact, I was never anything that could be labeled, boxed, and sold at the Senior Superlatives store. My friends were nerds...drama buffs...artists...geniuses...athletes...marching band members...cheerleaders. I also had stoners, get-arounders (ahem!), partiers, and comedians as friends. So while I cannot pin a definite label on me-as-a-high-schooler, I recognized myself in the American Teen gang because I had a bit of geek, princess, and rebel in me. OK, so I wasn't a jock or a heartthrob...but I dated 'em...and stuff. Sigh...

For an hour and a half I sat in bed, watching the movie, vicariously reliving my senior year. The good (befriending Kelly, an anchor of realism in a storm of facades), the bad (Ric, to this day I regret that one puke-filled night...you know of which I speak. Thanks again for taking care of me!), and the ugly (two words: Sprite and Peppermint Schnapps).

Shudder.

And suddenly I'm singing, "If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus 'tis now." Indeed.

I loved American Teen, in spite of the angst. It made me nervous and jittery and brought up memories I thought I'd firmly hidden in the recesses of my mind. But it also made me grateful...'cause I know I'd never go through any of that again. Amen.

Who were you in high school? Did you wear a particular label? Would you go back and do your senior year for a million dollars? I want to hear all about it.

*I'll give a prize to the first person who identifies the title of this post. Without Googling it! Be honest! Kelly, I wrote it on your bed at Ga Tech, remember? Good times. Precious memories. Oh, and no...I don't know what the prize is. Perhaps an autographed picture of Vanilla Ice? A copy of one of the Sweet Valley High books, maybe?

53 comments:

Kristina P. said...

I really, really disliked high school.

This reminds me. I need to watch Gossip Girl.

Gina said...

No. Never again. College, maybe. Highschool, no.

Gina said...

Nope. No way I would have known w/out googling it. I guess I don't win.

Jenny and the Princess Peonies said...

I liked High School but I wouldn't do it again.

I am thinking that is a Winonna Ryder line. Is it from Pump up the Volume? Reality Bites? Heathers? Mermaids?

Am I even close or am I on the wrong track? I am probably so far off base!!

Trish said...

It's from Heather's.
Winona Ryder.
Christian Slater

I can totally relate.

High School? Yeah, I'd go back to my senior year. I had no labels, yet I had every label. I was somebody and a nobody. I did a lot of growing up that year too. More than most kids should.

Linda said...

Hmmm ... for a million dollars? Maybe. I had a pretty good high school experience I think. I didn't care about fitting in a group, I had friends across all lines. I wasn't the center of any clique, but I wasn't an outcast from any group either. It's weird and hard to explain. A lot of it I had forgotten, but it's all coming back now that I've reconnected with a bunch of old high school friends on Facebook. Do I get to take my 41 year old knowledge with me and re-do senior year? That would be weird. But I'd love to have my 18 year boobs and skinny butt again!

Trish said...

oh, and by "I can relate" I meant to your high school description, not that movie.

that movie was strange and weird.

Jenny and the Princess Peonies said...

I have a quote for you...."I like this ship; it's exciting!"

Tina said...

Altho it's already been guessed, the quote is from "Heathers", right? I loved that movie. I was like you, a bit of everything, not really fitting into one category. I rather liked it that way. But there is no way I would EVER go back to high school. Never ever ever.

TattooedMinivanMom said...

No comment.

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

I was a band geek with jock tendencies. I was also a "youth group kid"

Honestly.. for a million? yes, I would go back and do one year of high school.. But with the stipulation that I know what I know now.

Amy said...

Okay, for a million dollars, YES. I would relive a year. The year I dated Wayne (the one you shouldn't marry). When all my very oldest and best friends lived here. I'd do it for a million. I can be bought. I would have a hard time with those 80's clothes though. They make me shudder. And wait, aren't I already reliving it on Facebook? Show me the money. :)

Amy said...

It would depend on LOTS of different things whether I did it or not. For a million I'd have to consider. I hated high school, I had some tough times.

If I had the attitude and the guts I have now, it would probably be a better experience for me now.

Kelly said...

though i am far from first: heathers, and of course i didn't google it. also of course i don't remember you writing it on my bed. let's blame danny, k?

thanks for the shout out. high school was so different than the rest of the world. well, until i joined my moms' club ;). somehow lately i'm watching freaks and geeks AND friday night lights. high school fever must be going around.

Heather said...

And this explains why I have totally steered clear of Facebook.

I don't want to relive any part of high school.

I was a smart kid, in all the AP classes, never getting in trouble. But, I was friends with someone from every group, whether I should've been or not. Doing things I shouldn't have been doing. And somehow never getting caught.

Surely if I relived that year, I wouldn't be so lucky again the second time around.

Uck. Now I have a stomachache.

Veggie Mom said...

I wouldn't want to relive those Breakfast Club years, either. I agree with Gina...college would be SO much more worth re-living. But for a million dollars? I might have to think twice. At least.

Denise said...

High school sucked. I hope for much better for my kids. So far my oldest son loved it. My second son hates it. Both boys are worried about my 6th grade daughter. She's sweet and gets her feelings hurt easily and my boys are worried she'll get eaten alive by the girls in high school. Just what a mother wants to hear.

Robin said...

For a large sack of green, yeah, I would go back. I agree with most though; I would want to go back with my long-earned wisdom! I enjoyed high school, even loved it at times. I'm afraid though it limited me for later on, can't explain it any better than that. I would like to go back and be a little more flexible.

CaraBee said...

Would I relive one year of high school for a million dollars? Only if I got to pick the year. Junior year? No way. But any of the other three (9th was in HS in my town), sure. Did you watch High School Confidential? I got kind of the same vibe from that show.

PS - It was Heathers.

Sun said...

High School...UM, No. never again. . . College - YES!!!

Sun said...

High School...UM, No. never again. . . College - YES!!!

Sun said...

High School...UM, No. never again. . . College - YES!!!

Becky said...

I'm with TMVM...No Comment!

Tony C said...

Not my entire year (even though it was a complete blast), but I would like two specific moments to do over. One involved a football play where my vicious actions hurt someone rather badly. The other one involves...well...someone hurt in a different way that also didn't deserve it.

I'm thankful for a forgiving God because I used a lot of His grace that year and the college years that followed.

Elena said...

You know, I had a pretty good time in high school. Made enough mistakes that I don't think I'd do it again even for a million, but I do have fond memories. This whole facebook reconnection thing wigs me out a bit. And I am realizing that some people NEVER grow up, no matter what.

Julie said...

obviously heathers...

and I actually liked high school. I became a christian in high school and a whole new world opened up to me. strange but true

Tori said...

Totally from Heathers!

You knew me in HS (and for many years prior!) but I'll play along anyway. I wouldn't go back and redo high school for anything. I enjoyed it, but I certainly don't want to relive it. I don't think that I wore a particular label. I always felt kinda like the outsider in most groups that I hung out with. What label would you stick me with Lula?

April said...

I would never go back....NEVER!

Lula, you forget, you will be living those years over....with Libbey and Caroline! I already worry about the high school years for my girls....maybe I'll homeschool...maybe not!

Mama Dawg said...

Looking back, HS wasn't as bad as I thought. Reconnecting with people from HS on FB has brought forth a lot of good memories I had forgotten. I tended to focus on the bad back then and put the good stuff on the back burner.

I was like you. I was friends with EVERYONE. Stoners, jocks, rebels, drama, cheerleaders, popular, geeks, etc......I was never pigeonholed either. Not too long ago on FB, a few people told me how much they admired me in HS for not following the crowd on ANYTHING.

Made me feel good.

So, yeah. I'd do it. But only for a million! Nothing less!

Oh, and I've started collecting all the SVH's for my daughter to read when she's a bit older!

~Michelle~ said...

I was one of the smart kids, but unathletic. So I did a lot of activities. Finally, I've reached the point where it's OK for me to be just OK at stuff that I do.

Nope, wouldn't go back...and it was only 9 years ago... I cringe when I get facebook friend requests from HS people, many of whom I went to preschool with. Just not a part of my life that stayed with me.

But I am putting that movie in my netflix queue.

Bekah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bekah said...

i skimmed what you said b/c i didn't want to read spoilers.

i really need to see this doc, huh?

i was a semi-popular, christian, smart, musical girl in hs.. and i only was in high school for 3 years too.
Souderton Area High School represent

scargosun said...

*Sigh* I was label-less in HS. Always had a big group of friends (most of which I am still friends with) always had a boyfriend and was a B student. There was angst, yes but not of the "My So Called Life" variety.

Brandy said...

I don't think I was labeled in high school, but other people might have different memories of me. I'm sure that no one expected to me to be tattooed and riding a Harley if that tells you anything.

As for going back...no thanks. If I did though I would change a couple of things. Number one on that list is be nicer to everyone. And I would probably be goth or something cause it's just cool to be who you are.

Nicole said...

OMG I am with you! I would never go back to high school in a million years. As much as I loved those times I could never do it again.
I was kinda like you, I was friends with all kinds of people but never part of the "popular" group. Thank god.

notsosahm said...

Wouldn't do it again for a million dollars. I'd be stomping on that fairy too. Wouldn't do elementary or Jr. High either. Unpleasant memories--not of the kind you reference above though.

And, you were one of the popular girls. At least I thought you were.

Sissy said...

I knew it was Heathers, but someone beat me to it.

I loved high school. It wasn't because I was popular, because I wasn't. It wasn't because I was pretty or had a boyfriend. I just felt like I had my stuff together and was pretty well liked. I was in the band, did yearbook, had good grades and was active in my youth group. I liked it.

Jen said...

High school SUCKED! That is all have to say about that.

a Tonggu Momma said...

What was I? The New Kid.

For fifth grade.
Sixth grade.
Seventh grade.
Eighth grade.
Ninth grade.
And eleventh grade.

Yep. Feel sorry for me. And yes, I was also a geek.

angie said...

Who was I in HS?

YOU. Seriously. Couldn't have described myself better.

Would I do it over again? Just like you. HELLLLLLLLLL NO! :)

angie said...

P.S. I think I have an autographed picture of Vanilla Ice somewhere.........:)

Live.Love.Eat said...

Oh wow, you have given me quite a bit to think about. So much I would have done differently back then.

Melissa said...

Alright Leigh, I could have written this post, honestly. There's no way I would go back to high school..well maybe for a day, so I could tell my friends that they were all worried about the wrong things for the wrong reasons. I tell ya, it's a testimony to God's grace that I even made it through without getting in some serious trouble!!

I dread Olivia and Abigail's high school experiences...girls can be so mean to each other, it's ridiculous. Maybe I'll homeschool them! (Hudson would have to teach them the math and science tho.)

Melissa (Hocker) Pope

Britt said...

I was homeschooled .. so my highschool experience is a bit different than most. It was still tainted by teenage angst and drama, but I realized even then how stupid and pointless it all was. It was always fairly clear to me that life wasn't just those years, and that everything was coming together for a bigger purpose. My parents played a huge part in that.

But in my group of friends, I didn't really fit in anywhere, but I seemed to fit just about anywhere too. I hung out with younger kids, older kids, geeky kids, slutty kids, loser kids and goody goodies. And I still talk to most of them. The main group of us from our churches youth group still gets together every year on the day before Thanksgiving.

So yeah, I'd relive a year for a million bucks. =-) But I'm not looking forward to going through it with my girls. Those years are going to break my heart, I just know it.

Brenda Jean said...

High school really sucked for me--we moved to one state in jr. high, then away again for 11th and 12th grade. That's a lot of making new friends and it was not fun. I was Bella except there was no cool vamps to rescue me...just loser boys and drinking buddies gone bad. Wow, that sounded bitter. BAHAHAHAHA I'm not really!

Carrie said...

Seriously?? Everyone hated high school???

I LOVED EVERY MINUTE OF IT! I'd take a much lower amount that a million dollars if everything was exactly the same my senior year!!

I had SO much fun! A huge amount of independence with literally NO responsibilities? Sign.me.up!!

Even the crappy stuff wasn't that bad.

WOW! I am just flabbergasted that nearly every one of your commenters hated high school! I guess I'm the weird one!!

So, let's see. I was a cheerleader, but I was in choir, orchestra, AP classes, student council, and had a stoner brother. So, I got along with pretty much everyone and had friends in almost all the groups.

I suppose that's why I ended up coordinating our 10-year reunion and maintain our alumni page on Facebook. haha

I'd rather stay where I'm at, but I had awesome friends, great parents, and amazing teachers.

It certainly wouldn't suck if my Daddy were alive again!! I'd pay a million bucks to re-live another year with him...

Now that I'm done writing my novel in your comments, I'll leave you with one more factoid: we grad-yoo-ma-tated the same year Lula!

Kimberly said...

I can totally picture you being the girl in HS who was friends with all the different clicks, cuz that's kinda how you still are now :) That's why I love you.

I hate to say it... but I was the mean girl. Somehow my brain wasn't developed enough to know that I didn't want to be the mean girl, but - I was. I made fun of people, I was relentless. Oh man, I wish I could scratch that memory. So no, I would not relive it.

And thanks for checking in on me, you are such a doll!

John Deere Mom said...

Oh, I LOVED Heathers. The start of my lust for Christian Slater. *sigh* Thanks for bringing me back.
And high school? I would definitely do it again for a million bucks. I was mildly popular, had a long-term boyfriend, great after school job. Ah, memories...

Angie's Spot said...

Ok first, Heathers is one of my FAVORITE movies. Nice quote.

Second, I wouldn't redo my senior year for 100 trillion dollars. Nope, no way.

Thirdly, I didn't really fall into a single category. I was the quiet kid who ran with some occasional trouble makers. LOL. I guess some things never change. :-)

greedygrace said...

I got really excited when I saw that poster... I thought they were doing a remake of Breakfast Club!

High School was ok. It wasn't terrible, but I'm glad it's over!

Swirl Girl said...

hated it.
so much so that I graduated in Junior year and worked full time 'til college.
some fond memories - but not many.

Jennifer P. said...

Being suddenly single at 33 is SO much like being back in highschool it's not even funny! I have discovered that girls are mostly only nice when they have husbands and aren't competing for the one attractive, employed, non-crazy guy.....

I was like you though---a little bit of everyone for me. People would remember me as being a bit rebelious, but I was never a rebel---just danced to the beat of my own drum :)

Eudea-Mamia said...

Never. Ever.

My father was transferred b/t my sophomore and Junior years. Two years in one, two in another.

Let's just say it was character building.

Makes my heart hurt to think how my boys are going to have to face it all - ouch.