Monday, April 7, 2014

High School

Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo. Limbo.

Imagine a world without the "Control C" command.

I remember typing reports in high school and grammar school on electric typewriters. I suppose they were great inventions at some point, but to me, stressed out sixteen year old me, they were implements of torture.

A whole page typed. The discovery of a missing paragraph a quarter page down. Retype, or scrub away at the "erasable" type with an eraser, or send the typewriter reeling back, hammering away at the correction tape.

It's 8:30 pm. It's the days before Staples and other box stores open until 9:00 pm. Roll the dice, young lady. There's no more typewriter ribbon or correction tape. Just a coarse rubber eraser in the shape of a pencil. The miniature broom attached to the opposite end is ready to brush bits of paper and type onto the kitchen floor. 

Last weekend I went to my twenty year high school reunion. Sparsely attended, but attended by many of the former classmates I wanted to see.

After hors d'oeuvres and mingling, we were called to sit for dinner. I scanned the room with my husband. Where to sit? It was a touch of high school, where will the best conversation be? Where will I be able to spend the next hours?

And honestly, it's a touch of that discomfort now. Twenty years later, I still scan a room at a party. Who to talk to? Where am I comfortable? Hardly anywhere twenty years ago. Today, a few more places, but I'm likely to drift about uneasy and feeling a little off for the first hour.

Twenty years ago, I could have tossed back some beer or a few shots and giggled, fuzzy and then madly depressed and then shaky, crazy the following day. Today, I can't rely on fermented beverages for a magic carpet ride through social situations. As I've aged, alcohol has increasingly disagreed with me, and becoming pregnant with my son three years ago so shifted my body chemistry that I cannot drink at all.

As I took a few steps across the room, a former classmate going back to grammar school said, "We're sitting over there. Join us." I sat. I looked around and saw the girls, now women (and their partners), that I sat with in the cafeteria in senior year of high school. I had a nice time.

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