"There are times when you just get down, you feel like nobody likes you. We're in high school forever. It's just what we do with it.” ~ J. Russell LynesI fell off of a stage in high school while trying out for the cheerleading squad (and promptly ran away... never to return). I slipped on ice and tripped over hurdles during winter track races in the parking lot... hundreds (well, I guess only tens) of faces leering from the frosty windows. I turned eleventeen shades of purple wearing a sequined leotard, red bowtie, and high-heeled Mary Janes in "Leader of the Pack" (as my voice screeched horifically through a duet). I wore a dark green felt cowboy hat and white pleather Barbie boots while hurling a green-&-gold and relatively lethal flag into the sky during halftime shows. I ran from cymbals to xylophone, to chimes and over to the marimba, clanging along and just barely satisfying the melodic percussion needs of FDR High's concert band, marching band, and wind ensemble. And I hyperventilated through my first kiss on the front steps of school, dropped every one of my books, and ran onto the bus... waiting to flail helplessly into my seat before the sobs came. And boy, did they come...
I am convinced that high school defines us forever. Now at the age of 41, I am finally and gratefully more confident than I was back then. Yet, I have zero doubt I'd fall right back into my awkward self if thrown back together with some of the people and situations that made me nervous in the '80s... I'd be the band dork, the ill-suited entertainer, the less-than-stellar athlete (heh, munching on chips and giggling at how much of an understatement that is), and the nervous girlfriend, all wrapped up in the same pale, blonde package. Only, now straightening irons exist. As do my very grounding toddlers. And 20+ years of realizing none of those high school things matter.
Oh, but maybe they do... Which brings me to reality. Television, that is.
Jake chose Vienna on "The Bachelor." Thank God. They have more in common. There, I said it. Tenley can now resume her life as the voice and fit model for all things Disney, and Jake and Vienna can have fun until it ends. And I don't think Vienna cheating or leaving will spell the end. I think Jake will succumb to damn peer pressure. Just like high school. Just like the same high school pressures that found him to be the tuxedo'd pompadour'd guy he was at age 17, and her to be the uncomfortable-in-my-skin girl she was at that same, sadly vulnerable age... They could have dated in high school. So, I love that they're dating now...
I am guessing by about 99.3% here, so please bear with me. But my heart is with J & V. It's with a tremendous amount of "reality stars", as I truly believe that hype and reality tv for those on-camera is, ultimately, sad and life-depleting. Look at the break-ups so apparently on-screen during tapings of the Housewives. Look at Heidi from "The Hills" who used to be so cute and relatively innocent and engaging, and who is now sooooo Playboy robotronic and ubiquitous, thanks to double-digit cosmetic surgery procedures. (Isn't she 24???) It makes me sad.
I want Jake and Vienna to be together at 60. I want Jon and Kate to spend more time with their kids. I want Heidi to realize she should want to hold onto any and all individuality she has left. I want the guys on "Millionnaire Matchmaker" to go for women their own age. I want Snooki to lose the bump.
Oh, stop it Jen... Maybe I'm just jealous. Hell, I'd LOVE to go to the gym, get a tan, and finally get all of my laundry done. I'd love to have big Hooters, be a great dancer, get my drink on at noon with 3 nannies taking care of the monkeys, take an on-a-whim vacation to St. Lucia, etc. etc... Maybe that's why reality tv works... Even though we're witnessing all of the silliness we were privy to way back when, the backdrop is a Caribbean island versus concrete block hallways, and it's not us this time who is being let down... We're just mere observers to the high school drama. (And I use the term "we" loosely. Because those of you who stand strong against reality tv, well... You have way more resolve than I do and I will most likely be that girl to trip in front of you in the Starbucks line one of these days. Make sure to compliment me on my pleather boots.)
It's really human of you to listen to all my bullshit. ~ Samantha, "Sixteen Candles"