Tuesday, April 24, 2007

freaks and geeks

After watching disc one of the brilliant, but canceled show, Freaks and Geeks this past rainy Sunday afternoon I got to thinking about high school and all of the glorious humiliation it brought forth. Truly, the show breaks it down quite nicely. If you weren’t part of the popular crowd, well then you were either a freak of a geek, for no other reason than the popular kids said so.
When asked about my glory days of high school, I tend to ask people what they thought I was. The over-whelming answer is: cheerleader.
So wrong.
I’m guessing it has something to do with my ability to cheer people on and my perpetually perky attitude. But, the truth is I was closer to the freak category. I was the artsy chick. The one who dressed in my own fashion statement, I was punk rock before it was cool to be. I was in all the school plays, and tended to have a, rather worn notebook and a pen in my hand at all times. My hair has been just about every shade of the rainbow and some not found in nature.
Thinking back to the fashion statement I was, my favorite item of clothing was one of my dad’s old work shirts. Now, my dad is over 6ft tall and around 300 lbs. Needless to say, I am neither of those. So a rather large and long, fitting old work shirt that I had painted the word, “What?” on...
Actually, it read like this
Complete with splatter paint and hand prints over the boobs. Yep, that shirt, a pair of black leggings and nicely worn pair of Chuck Taylor’s. Black, of course. I was drinking, smoking cigarettes and pot before it was the cool thing to be doing; therefore getting a reputation for something that everyone else was doing by graduation- I was simply making the bell curve for everyone else.
I was called a slut long before I even lost my virginity.
I was into spirituality, tarot cards, Ouija boards therefore, I was also called a witch and a Satanist. (Just made me roll my eyes and smirk. I mean, god. How lame.)(The kids in high school. Not me. I was cool. Have you not been paying attention?) I questioned just about everything that could be asked in the form of a question to the point that I am sure I would have made Alex proud and many questions that I made up myself. I was definitely one of the more popular kids, but looking back I still fell into the freak category.
Even today as I look at what I am wearing, as a grown-up I’ve been told by several people today that what I have on looks really cool: Long black silk peasant skirt, bright red Grateful Dead retro-t, black cardigan, black flip-flops with beaded flowers on the straps, hair down and tucked behind my ears, lots of funky jewelry: big, chunky rings (retro, of course) big chandelier earrings, bracelets that I made along with my standard minimal make-up. I can assure you if I was to step into a high school I would still be the freak that I was then. As a grown-up I am cool, hip, open-minded and non-judgmental- someone people can come to when they need a friend, an ear, a shoulder, a hug, a cheerleader to tell them everything will be alright. As a 17 year old I was a freak.
So, even though we can leave high school behind us, does high school ever really leave us? There are many times within any given week when a situation, a comment, a look, a word, can take me right back and leaves me thinking, “My god. This is so high school…sometimes even junior high.” The attitudes and the mentality, maybe even how we dress, it doesn’t seem to leave us.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m certainly more fashionable, more confidant, and I would hope more intelligent than I was fifteen years ago. But somehow after watching four hours of a high school TV show that seemed to be more reality than drama, I realized I will not be attending my fifteen year reunion this summer because I am sure, to them, I would still be a freak.

How about you?


Nick said...

Definitely a geek... and in most ways still am, despite doing a lot of sports now. It's strange though... even though I'm extremely active, I still think of myself as the geek from high school in many ways.

And when a couple years ago my best friend described me as a jock... I was shocked.

My 10 year was last year, but I didn't go. I still hang out with a few people from high school, and to be honest, those are really the only people from high school I liked... which is why we still have kept in touch.

Maybe I'll feel different in another 5 or 10 years.

Bre said...

Sadly, I was an uberbitch/meangirl in high school. Luckily I got my act together in time to graduate with normal friends!

Party Girl said...

Nick: Maybe a geeky-jock?

Are your sock up to your knees for no apparent reason?

Bre: Really? Very surprising.
At least you can to your senses.

I have to admit, I was always that girl who stood up for the underdog in classes. Therefore, making me an even bigger freak. And of course, if the underdog was a boy, well then of course I was in love with him.

limpy99 said...

I'm not going to your 15 year high school reunion either.

Or my 20th.

In fact, the last reunion I went to was my wife's 5th, and some girl she'd had it out with in high school threw a beer bottle at me.

Come to think of it, I'd go to another one of her reunions.

Nick said...

It's been 10 years, but I'm probably coming into my own finally. And geeky jock definitely fits the bill. When I'm doing triathlons, I'm wearing a Microsoft Windows team bike jersey.