Memories are interesting things. I was spinning my wheels again today and would rather have been curled up in bed for some reason.. The day stared okay, I got up at 8:30 and was down at the church for Mass by 9:00. got to thinking about high school and how that was a normal day back then. getting up a few minutes before I had to be at school. After Mass I did not hang around to talk with friends but headed out to Price Chopper to get some fishy things for dinner. just not feeling very social today. Did some thinking about self assessment during lent and taking time for reflection.
Once home, I went In the backyard to dig my compost bin free of snow so I could put stuff in there, then I felt overwhelmingly tired and laid down for thirty minutes. after lunch I went upstairs and took some pictures of the pictures in my photo album from when I was little through high school. It was interesting there were pictures from elementary school and jr high school but nothing from High school. There might be another album and I know I also have a scrapbook from the middle school years. but then I got to thinking about high school. I have Facebook friends from middle school but not one from High school.
All that says a lot about my high school years. We moved to Scarsdale the summer of ’59. And on the way we went to Ontario to visit with the family and that was grand. We were not able to get into the new house right away so we lived in a rental house in Scarsdale for a few months and my mom had to drive us and pick us up every day. Before school started there was a new student welcome party at a house right down the block from where we were going to be living. I remember meeting Nick Hollis that evening, he played hockey so we had lots to talk about. Three years later I found out that that evening was the beginning of the end of my high school career. What I didn’t know was that in our class of about seventy students there were two girls for every boy in the class.
That was the key to the lousy social life I had through out high school. turns out that wonderful conversation and the friendship that followed with Nick did me in. when I was a senior and going to religious Ed at some retreat house North of Scarsdale with a group of girls from my class one of theM told me that since that night I had been blackballed by the key group of girls in our class. They, I guess set the social standard for the class. I was never invited to any parties, dances etc for all three years that I was there. I had some friends but never heard anything about it from them.
The really one bad experience was when I was a senior or junior. I invited Nick to the Vise-Verse dance where the girls invie a guy. One day the week before the dance he came up to me before one of our classes and told me that he could not go to the dance with me. he did not remember that he had been drunk on New Years Eve and had agreed to go to the dance with the other girl. strange that she only told him about it the week of the dance. That caused me to blow up and have a royal temper tantrum. I wrote something on the blackboard about Nick and then went into the bathroom to have a melt down. Not sure if I ever told anyone about it. recently when I saw Nick down in DC he told me that he never went to any dances and claimed that he made that all up about going with another girl. If that is true then what I wrote on the board was true but it really could have been the other story.
anyway during those years what saved me was two things. first that my aunt and uncle had moved to the area the year before we did. my cousin Maureen was my age and we could hang out together so the lack of a social life at school became less important. and secondly her mom took me with them to Canada during the summer and some long weekends and once we had our Drivers licenses we were able from time to time to drive up on our own.. Our cousins Mike and Paul had a great group of friends up in Kingston so we were never lackng for dance partners or guys to have crushes on.. we would be out at the Aunts summer farm and the guys would come out and we danced, played cards, or went swimming or fishing. it was a great time and I was treated like a normal human being. At Edgement HS I was definitely treated badly and left there on graduation and was so relieved to be away from there. I went back to one reunion and thought maybe I would find that they had grown up and become nice people. the guys were okay and some of them very nice. but as the day went on I found I just needed to get away from there so Denis and I left and went to a bar to see if any of our old friends were there. don’t remeber if there was anyone there but it was friendlier than the folks I went to High school with.
Nick and I have talked about this and the last time I was invited to a reunion I refused to go. he went and later told me he regretted it. It was a strange experience but one that taught me a lot about human nature and about myself… it is still a small school and I sometimes wonder how kids who move there from normal middle class communities make out there.