Sunday, December 11, 2011
Like cheap origami
I saw this picture on Facebook tonight, and it immediately sent me back in time, specifically to my freshman year of high school. Do kids even do this anymore? I would spend my study halls, not working on homework, but writing detailed notes, sharing what happened in each class, with my closest friends in the form of a note. Of course, it wasn't enough just to write the note, you had to fold them fancy. There was always some new way to try to fold them, and that was half the fun.
Of course, my friends and I couldn't just do notes. Of course not. We actually evolved to a NOTEbook, in which we could write and pass to the next person to read. The notebook caused less drama, because you didn't dare put anything negative about a friend who was involved in the exchange, which was pretty much everybody in our little clique.
One of my favorite and most cringe-worthy memories of high school involves the notebook. I was ready to die of embarrassment at the time, but now I still giggle when I think about it. You see, our lockers were very close together, in rows, so there wasn't much room to maneuver as people jostled to get their things and make it into class before the bell. The notebook was in my possession, and it was one of the cheapo types, with the wire hanging off the end, not neatly bent over like those fancy Five-star notebooks. I stacked my books on top of my locker, shut the door, retrieved my books, and turned to leave. As I turned, the wire on the notebook, which was on top of the stack, got snagged on the jersey of the football player whose locker was next to mine. Mind you, this was a guy on whom my group and I had all had on and off crushes, and whose name appeared numerous times in the notebook that was now dangling from his sleeve. I tugged, and nothing. He just looked at me, but I couldn't meet his eyes, as I was busy turning red from the roots of my hair to my toes. "I...it's st-stuck," I stammered, in case he hadn't noticed, still tugging. I'm not sure how I managed to extricate the wire from those tiny jersey holes, all while balancing the rest of my books in one arm, but eventually I succeeded, turned, and dove into the suffocating crowd of people jammed into the locker area. I think he may have tried to say something, but the ringing in my ears would not allow for hearing, and my fight or flight response was fully in action. My friends awaited me outside the crowd, and I immediately collapsed into a fit of nervous giggles. It took me several minutes into study hall to tell them what happened.
I wish I could say that the next time I saw the football player, I had something cool and sophisticated to say, some snarky comment or joke, and that we became good friends who could laugh about the incident, but in reality, I just avoided eye contact for a week or a month or so. I was a wee bit shy.*
Isn't it funny how a picture of notes can bring back all sorts of memories, both good and bad? And some in between. That was the first of many incidents that occurred in that locker area...most of us had no padlocks on our lockers (they cost $5 to rent), so it wasn't unusual to find a random note or a nude picture taped to the inside or stuffed in a book. Or to find a padlock on your locker that you didn't pay for and which blocked your way into your locker.
Did you ever pass notes in high school or middle school? Were they fancy folded? What was the strangest thing you ever found in your locker? (Mine was either a gummy octopus or a picture of a naked man.) Oh youth...
Laugh on :)
*Understatement of the year