Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Everyone I went to high school with is suddenly on Facebook. They all joined last Wednesday at 12:51 PM. OK, not really, but it sure seems that way. Suddenly I am back in touch with almost all of the people from World Studies class junior year.

It's not bad, not really. I mean everyone seems to be kind, warm, good folks. It's been a long time, we've all been humbled and tossed around by life some, I guess. If you sit with a person long enough you'll find that everyone has a story that will break your heart. And most of us have had our hearts broken a time or two. It makes more room, having survived a it, you watch better, listen better--it makes you pat each other on the arm and say "there-there".

But I am finding that lost girl is still there inside me. The girl that wasn't quite smart enough for the gifted program, wasn't pretty enough to be of interest to the boys (or girls either), wasn't a good musician or artist or athlete. I was a chubby girl with bad hair and stupid clothes. And that lost girl had no idea how much she was just like almost everyone else--in one way or another, anyway.

Hearing about what all these people have done in the 24 years since we knew each other is letting that lost girl back up to the surface. Seems that all the people I knew are doctors and lawyers, or should I say physicians and attorneys. They live overseas. They have good lives that are well examined and they've probably even taught themselves to make homemade organic yogurt from the milk they get from their pygmy goats in their green urban back yards. And they play the mandolin.

OK, maybe that's a little too far.

The lost girl feels a little bit better though. This is one amazing life she wound up with. It's filled with dear, wonderful friends and a family she treasures. It has good work and good play. She lost some weight and found a good hairstylist. The love of her life shares her bed at night, and he washes the dishes almost as often as she does. It is good. Maybe she's almost found.

This could be what it will take for her to finally get found all the way. Not just the feet peeking out from behind the curtains in the big "hide-and-seek" game that is life. But all the way "gotcha" found. And then the lost girl can take her place here in the good life, where there is no more gifted program and life is real and whole. And good.

And I swear, if all those high school folks tag me in every meme that comes along, I'm gonna un-friend their 80s-loving-big-haired selves right off my profile. Yeah.

(any likness to high school friends, real or imagined, is completely unintentional)


Kristina said...

Thank goodness real life doesn't bear much resemblance to high school for most of us, once we leave behind those days and pack away our yearbooks. As far as I'm concerned, you're in the "smart, pretty, and popular" crowd. The rules have changed since high school, and what a relief, because my bangs never would do that big poufy thing, no matter how much Aqua Net I used.

Kari said...

Aww come on, we can still pouf those bangs...not that I ever really did.

I can see it, 80s day at church....


I do think High School is an awful thing, and will let my children out of it, but they CHOOSE to go. Ahhh!

Anonymous said...

I think The Breakfast Club had it right: no matter how things looked on the outside, we were all struggling. I don't know how much I got away with putting on an act (I seem to think that my hair looked pretty good, but maybe I'm hallucinating), but I remember High School as a time of alienation and depression. It didn't help that I didn't feel comfortable enough with myself to air more of that out back then, not even in private conversations with friends. In the quarter century since, it's good to have cultivated more congruency between my inner and outer selves. And not be so hung up by my or other people's appearance. Did I really go around in eighth grade with a comb in my back pocket and rush to the bathroom between classes to check my hair, or is that another hallucination?
— John-Eric, a high school and junior high classmate of Kari's

Kari said...

Oh-my-god, I SO wanted to be Molly Ringwald. I bought the pink cashmere sweater and the earrings, and tried the pink lipstick.

Finally I gave up and named a kitten Molly, that's as close as I ever got. But she was a great cat!

It is good to live a more integrated life. And yes John-Eric, you did have great hair!