It might be hard for you to believe, but I wasn’t cool in high school. I hung out in a group about two tiers down from cool, with some newspaper staffers and theatre nerds. During break, the cool kids stood on the balcony overlooking the common area. I usually stood underneath it. Sometimes I’d wander up there and say hey to a few select people, but I didn’t usually stay long. I felt self-conscious amidst their Abercrombie hoodies and Citizen jeans. I was tall, too, so it was hard to disappear, to stand unnoticed in the crowd.
My best friend’s name was Lauren, and she was like me. We spent most of our weekends hanging out at one of our houses, watching that scene when Dawson and Joey finally kiss overandoverandoveragain (I can still sing the song that played during that scene). We ran lines for whatever play we were in at the moment, talked about the future, executed ridiculous schemes to walk the six miles from my house to hers (and then get her mom to feed us cake and drive us back to mine again). We picked up sweet potatoes out of the harvested fields behind my house and put them in all my neighbours’ mailboxes. We thought we were hilarious.
There’s something those cool kids had in high school that we didn’t have. But when I come home to visit my mom and dad and I see them in Wal-Mart, I can’t for the life of me figure out what it was.
In 2012, Lauren lives in Washington, DC and has a pretty legit job with a political science organization I can never remember the name of. She’s just as hilarious as ever, wears really great shoes, and dangit y’all, she is hot.
In 2012, I’m married to a man who works really hard at marriage with me. My son is sweet as pie. I am part of a community I love. I do work I enjoy and am good at.
As far as I’m concerned, whatever we thought we lacked in 2000, we’ve more than made up for in the 12 years since.
In 2012, we are cool.