Glory days

I have two Facebook accounts. The one associated with this blog and the other one. While there is some crossover, the account not associated with this blog is primarily for family and friends I actually know in the non-virtual world. Right or wrong, I like to keep these two world separate to a certain degree.

When I first signed up for Facebook (the friends and family account), apparently I did it wrong. I didn’t think to hyphenate my name. I am simply Kathy Richards, not Kathy Dishman-Richards, which (in theory) has prevented old friends and acquaintances who knew me before I was married from finding me. Not necessarily a bad thing. But despite my Facebook faux pas, several people from “back in the day” have been able to track me down and “friend” me, and it’s been interesting to see what became of some of the people I haven’t talked to in so many years.

I don’t spend much time on Facebook, but recently someone tagged me in the following photo:

Can you find me?

How about in this one?:

Hint: I'm one of the few girls in the picture who didn't get the Charlie's Angels hair memo.

And yes, I did make the same Charlie’s Angels hair comment on the Facebook post. As other people began to comment on the picture, someone said something that struck me:

“The fact I don’t even remember that day frightens me. I remember the 8th grade group photo not this one.”

to which I replied:

“That’s funny you should say that. I remember the 8th grade pic as well, but don’t remember this one at all.”

Then someone else chimed in:

“I hear ya Kathy-I don’t remember this pic. either. I thought it was our 8th grade pic.until I saw northbrook class of 83! damn we’re all getting old!!!”

Why would we all remember our 8th grade class picture and not a much larger picture four years later? I have a theory based upon my memory, but keep in mind that picture was taken 28 years ago and memories are tricky things, aren’t they?

Before we entered high school, we were still the neighborhood kids. We may have begun to splinter off into our little cliches, but we all still remembered the days when we played together because our houses were within walking or biking distance. Rather than choosing community, community chose us. I have to think those circumstances helped us accept our differences if not embrace them.

I remember wondering why my friend’s family three streets over rode bicycles wearing slacks and ties and carrying books, but he didn’t seem to want to talk about it, so we never asked. I remember one friend who spent her evenings sitting at the end of her driveway to get away from her parents’ constant fighting, so we sat there with her. Or we made up some stupid game to pass the time. I remember after my dad left. My mom was working nights and I remember friends’ moms and dads taking time out to talk to me. Not about the divorce, but just enough small talk to let know someone cared about me.

Funny how those differences that didn’t seem to matter when we were kids became important when we started our journeys into adulthood.

I don’t have fond memories of high school. By the time I was sixteen years old, I was going to school half days (I was in something called Distributive Education which allowed me to do this) and working full time at a department store. I didn’t have time for pep rallies and football games, and if I’m being honest, I thought I was all grown up way before I really was. I merely tolerated high school rather than embrace it. I missed my senior prom because my 20-something year old boyfriend was out of town. I pretended it didn’t matter, but it did. I think my high school experience could have been so much better if I had allowed myself to be a kid instead of being in such a big hurry to grow up and get away from all these people. People who weren’t so bad after all–just the kids from the neighborhood trying to figure out where they fit in.

How was your high school experience?

If you could go back and do it differently, would you?

(Special thanks to Ted Reade for taking the time to  post our senior class picture on Facebook and allowing many of us to reconnect after all these years.)

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