So yesterday the uncles, aunts, and cousins (most of them) came over to my parents' house for an evening BBQ. One of my cousins recently graduated from high school and brought his yearbook.
In the words of the The Princess Bride
's Man in Black, "I've never seen its equal."
I couldn't get over the volume's sheer, incredible size. To say it was "huge" is an understatement of scientific
proportions. It wasn't "huge" so much as "colossal." Or "Brobdingnagian," if you prefer.
In still other words: It was really, really, really big.
I tried to lift the book and felt bicep muscles kicking in that I never even knew I had (being a girl, who doesn't need them nearly as much as guys do). That, of course, was after my cousin used a miniature crane to bring it from his parents' car to my waiting hands.
The massive tome, at $85, was more expensive than the most expensive book I bought when I was in college, which was Janson's History of Art
. The yearbook also weighed over 10 pounds and was thicker than the biggest book I ever bought in college, which, coincidentally, was also Janson's History of Art
--a fact which prompted my smart-aleck brother to remark, "Well, I guess more happened in one year of K's high school than in the entire history of art."
So it would seem.
At least my cousin's behemoth container of teenage nostalgia won't get buried and subsequently lost in a drawer or desk somewhere, like most people's yearbooks have a tendency to do--probably because it just won't fit.
Back in my day, when we had to walk to school in the frigid winters of California's first and only Ice Age, while wearing animal skins and bones in our noses (hey, it was all the rage), yearbooks were designed to actually be carried around. The reason being, of course, that other people had to sign them. That was the whole entire purpose of a yearbook's existence--all the photos and indexes and other pages were simply backgrounds for notes wishing one "a great summer!" or expressing the observation that it was nice "getting to know each other" and "you're a great friend."
Well, all this talk of yearbooks has now prompted me to dig mine out, the one from my senior year in high school. I flip to the back and find this note:
"G--, I've really had fun in pre-calculus this year. (And if you believe that!) Anyway, I'm glad we got to know each other this year. I hope you have a good time at Occidental. (heart), Mary"
Hmm. Mary sounds nice. I wish I remembered who she was. I have no recollection of her whatsoever. I do, however, have many unfortunate recollections of pre-calculus. They will haunt my dreams forever.
Someone named Casmir (I think, the writing is a little hard to read) enjoyed "having me as a friend" and then thanked me for "being a great friend." He added as a P.S. "I love you!"
I don't know who Casmir is, which strikes me as sad now, considering his love for me (which I'm forced to assume was unrequited).
A girl named Bell wrote in her P.S., "Friend forever, RIGHT?"
Er, well. Oops. At least I remember her, though.
But my favorite yearbook note of all time has to be from a boy who literally took up an entire page, in the smallest handwriting I have ever seen
, either before or since that time, and told me, in rather a lot of sentences, that our souls "matched." I recall being flattered, but slightly uncomfortable, mainly because he had a girlfriend at the time, who was one of my good friends, and I thought that might be just a tad awkward to explain to her.
I wonder whatever happened to that boy? Or for that matter, his girlfriend/my "good friend"? I'll probably never know.
Since that is, after all, what avoiding high school reunions is for.
Ah, high school. The drama, the angst, the bubbly writing, the hearts, the K.I.T's, and the "Friends 4 Eva"'s... I can't honestly say I miss any of it. Still, I guess I'm glad, in a sort of nostalgic, thank-goodness-it's-over kind of way, that it happened to me. In the increasingly distant past, where it can gather dust between the pages of my easily forgotten (but somehow never thrown away) yearbooks of normal, non-hernia-inducing size.