Q [from RatalieNose]: Camille, we (meaning your faithful blog stalkers) have not had the privilege to hear much about your high school days. Being in high school myself I would love to hear some stories! So here are a few questions, you can pick whichever ones you want to answer:
1. Of all the dances you went to which was the best? the worst? Who was your date? What was the theme?
2.Were you ever on student council? If so, what position?
3. What was your best year of high school?
A [from me]: Hi RatalieNose! Thanks for the questions. I’ll give a lengthy overview of my high school years in this post today, and will probably return to answer your questions specifically next week sometime. Thanks for the good ideas!
Would you believe me if I told you I enjoyed high school?
You should—I did.
And in my journals I documented, quite faithfully, every aspect of my life I considered to be important. I even titled my journal entries, so when somebody decides to someday publish my writings, they’ll have no doubts about what I wanted each entry to be called. I want nothing left to chance. I thought of good titles, too. Titles like, Insights by Camille, and The Bitter Ironies of Life, and Prom is a GO!!
I was not, by any stretch of the imagination, popular (but really, is that such a shock, for a girl who titles journal entries?). Attending a high school with a student population numbering in the thousands could afford a wide range of relationships; I had friends, acquaintances, people I knew vaguely, and people I didn’t know at all. In fact, on the night of my graduation (which drew such a huge crowd it had to be hosted on the football field [as is customary with all public high school graduations in Mesa, Arizona]), I was sandwiched between two people I’d never met before in my life.
I mostly (read: only) ran around with a close-knit group of girl friends, with whom I would occasionally branch out enough to attend a few random parties every so often. Generally we kept to ourselves, and I was thrilled with our arrangement. I had neither use nor desire for a vast range of friends—it had been my brief experience that a few top-rate comrades were more valuable than a slew of “meh” buddies. Probably at some point during high school, the girls I considered my closest friends would have liked to branch out a bit, had I not been so clingy. It seems only natural that a teenage girl might want to be loved by the entire school. Me? I never even considered such treachery. It wasn’t that I didn’t like all the other kids…I just never felt like I was missing out, so I never tried making new friends.
My mom warned me I was too exclusive, and she was probably right, except “exclusive” implies that there was some sort of closed-off “circle” or club to which nobody else was invited. In reality, I’m pretty sure nobody else really wanted to join. The fact that I didn’t exactly petition for new members probably makes me seem snobby, but anyway, there it is.
That said, I absolutely believe it is possible to enjoy high school without a) massive quantities of friends, b) partying, c) clear skin or d) illegal substances. I had/did none of those things yet still managed to enjoy most days at school, while maintaining decent grades and remaining active in sports, music, and student council. Was I a dork? It depends on what you mean by “dork,” I suppose. I don’t own a pocket protector (or even know what one looks like); but I was totally random and I’m fairly certain I made a fool of myself at more than one pep rally (part of the student council territory [and my genetic makeup, no doubt]).
At some point in high school (most likely after I started dating when I turned 16), I decided to develop a main part of my personality into an outward utter distaste for boys. I grew up watching, nay, idolising Anne of Green Gables, and I can honestly say that I strove to play out my relationships with boys in a manner that would have made Anne proud.
My mission statement of the time: “All guys are jerks*. I will not ask them on dates. I will not accept any offers of dates. I will find my life’s purpose, and it will not include a jerk. *Editor’s note [jerk=guy].” I was nothing if not thorough.
I talked to boys easily and often enough, but stayed vigilantly outspoken against any manner of chauvinism—real or imagined—that ever came my way. Oh, I had more than my fair share of crushes, to be sure, but I was always bold enough and loud enough (or perhaps just pimply enough) that nothing ever came of them. Boys don’t usually like girls who are too snarky. And I was snarky.
I never kissed a boy until after I’d graduated. I was 17. [I never enjoyed kissing a boy until much later.]
In reflecting on these memories, I busted out my stack of journals I have kept faithfully throughout my life. There are fifteen, ranging from before I could write (I would dictate to my mom or dad), to now. My journals are basically the pride and joy of my entire life. It’s fascinating the details I considered important enough to record. For example, I once drew a comprehensive comparison between my life and that of Éponine, the tragic waif who never could secure the attention of Marius in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables.
Striking resemblance, no?
Don’t worry. After a brief period of mourning, I got over my 5-year crush and laid it deeply to rest. The Marius in my life became a splendid friend, but he was simply too daft to deserve my affection after high school. All’s well in love and Victor Hugo.
There are sixteen journals I’ve filled in my lifetime so far; I consider these the Original Archives of My Life, and take time to re-read various passages every so often. If there’s one thing I take pride in…it would be my washer and dryer. But if there are two things I take pride in, the second would definitely be the Original Archives of My Life. Everyone should keep a journal.
So in answer to the one question you didn’t ask, RatalieNose, I did enjoy high school. I’ll spend some time over the weekend to think up good answers to your specific questions, so stay tuned next week for more from…
…The Original Archives of My Life.