When my senior year of high school ended I took most of the various memorabilia and notes I had written with friends and put it all in a box. I don’t know why I did this, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. The box moved around with me, and I never really went through it, except to open it, see it was my high school stuff, then close it and put it back in whatever closet it was being stored in.
With Oldest One in her senior year I thought it would be fun to pull all that stuff out and look at it with her. When I went into our storage closet I couldn’t find it. I thought I found it, but it was actually college and post-college letters, cards, daily planners and other miscellaneous fun stuff. It was great going through that, and reading letters from people who are gone now, such as my Dad, my grandmothers and my great-aunt was just wonderful. I showed Oldest One the cards and letters, some college items I had saved, and the personal ad I placed during a free promotion in the Jewish Newspaper of the city I had just moved to after graduating college. There were a couple of high school items, such as my graduation cap and tassel, and a couple of ID’s, but not all the notes.
I really wanted to find the high school stuff, and a couple of days ago Husband and I were going through the closet looking for something else, and I found all of it. It is now in a soft-side business briefcase. I was so excited to find it that as soon as we found what we needed and put everything back I sat down with it all and started to look through it.
Which was a mistake. Wow, was I an idiot. Yes, I was a 17 year old girl getting ready to leave home for the first time to be on my own (hmmm, this sounds familiar), but apparently all of my brain cells were dormant. If I wasn’t going on about a particular boy (and it seems I was a bit of a stalker from the sound of the notes between my girlfriends and I), I was looking to meet guys, or going to parties, or bored. Sometimes all of the above at the same time. I came across a note from one of my good friends talking about her parents going out of town so she was having a party, and could I bring the alcoholic beverages? What?! Oh wait, right, I was the only one the drive-through liquor store would sell to without asking for ID. As if I want to share that.
Then there was my handwriting. I know I used to dot my i’s with open circles, but didn’t realize how small I wrote. I had this really rounded writing that didn’t even take up half of the available line space for height, which made it really hard to read. I owe all of my teachers a huge apology. Back then most assignments were written by hand, so they must have hated reading my assignments. My handwriting looked ridiculous.
On a positive note I did read an essay I had done on a poet. Since I’ve helped several seniors with essays, and see how they write, I had an idea of how I ranked. The essay was actually pretty good. It was coherent, put together well, and made sense. So I must have had some brain cells triggering somewhere in my head.
I have put everything back in the briefcase and on the highest shelf in my bedroom closet. At some point when I have time alone in the house I’ll take it down and spend time reading more of the notes. Maybe I’ll find it really isn’t that bad and the handful I glanced through were the oddball ones. I’m not holding my breath on that being the case. I’m also not sharing with Oldest One, because she already is questioning my intelligence, and this would only confirm the worst.