Monday, September 03, 2007

The Dorkitude Of Nostalgia

September again. Goddammit. My birthday month stopped being a good thing once I reached the legal drinking age many dozens of moons ago.

Get this: I’ve been in a story-drought at work lately. A couple weeks back not only did I have but one story to turn in; it was, quite possibly, the lamest piece of writing I’ve ever put my name to. (I was tempted to ask my editor to give the byline credit to Alan Smithee, only I didn’t know how to do that without sounding whiny.)

But things are looking up! The drought is not yet over but I see rain clouds on the horizon; soon the various branches of local government will reconvene from their summer recesses and resume their life’s purpose of doing stupid stuff upon which people like me can wax snarkastic.

Last night (or rather this morning), after the Man Of The House went to bed, I locked myself in my office to work on a piece about the latest bit of buttholery from the fine folks at the TSA. While distractedly researching a couple of things online, I actually clicked on one of those annoying banner ads you see for “Classmates.com.”

Odd. I was absolutely miserable in high school, and viewed childhood as an annoying phase to be finished as quickly as possible so that real life could start. But I was curious to see how friends and others turned out, so I applied for one of those free memberships and filled out the multiple-choice questionnaire.

When it asks for your political viewpoints, there is no “libertarian” option. You’re either a liberal or a conservative, in the Classmates universe. (Artificial restrictions of options. Hey, it is just like high school!)

Once I registered, I went through the lists of names, occasionally clicking on one to read the profile of some person I haven’t thought about since graduation. Here’s something I found a little sad: with rare exceptions, those people who seemed the most unique and rebellious in school are now the most likely to have settled into the standard mortgage/office job/2.4 children adult-life template.

On the other hand, they’d probably feel horrible pity for me, if they knew I’m a childless woman who’d just made a midlife career change to a low-paying entry-level writing job where my most notable achievement to date has been getting fired from a phone-sex line. Whereas that’s exactly why I consider myself so lucky these days, current drought notwithstanding.

P.S. For my birthday present I’m buying a digital camera tonight, and as soon as my next Good Hair Day happens I’ll take a new photo for my profile. In twenty years I can look at it and think "God, I was so young."

8 Comments:

Anonymous smartass sob said...

Some of us kinda like the profile photo you presently have posted; I guess we had better capture it while we may - if we like it well enough.

I know precisely what you mean by being miserable in high school and thinking of it as something you just want to be over. I've been there, and I suspect my reasons for being miserable were somewhat similar to your own. You're a person who is above average in intelligence, but not only that - you're also a very independent thinker. You are not one to just accept what you are told. Such people never have it easy in high school, and for a girl it must have been really rough.

Don't feel bad (you probably don't) for not having led a conventional life. I haven't led one either, but when I look around at my peers and see the kinds of mess most of them have made of their personal lives, I don't envy them one bit.

I don't recall what day of the month your birthday falls on ( though I do recall your age), but have a happy birthday and stay away from those high school reunion sites - they're depressing as hell.

3:53 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I don't recall what day of the month your birthday falls on ( though I do recall your age)

Hmm. I'd prefer the opposite. Here: it's the 18th.

And thank you.

5:09 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

In twenty years I can look at it and think "God, I was so young

Done that. Have my college grad picture over 20 years ago. "Damn, I had hair then!"

I actually had a good time at the 20 year HS reunion. Don't know what I expected, but it was better than what I expected. Didn't go to the 20 yr college, just didn't feel the love for that one.

5:46 AM  
Anonymous NoStar said...

Jen,
You are too young to have had a mid-life career change. I am 53, but as I plan to live to be 110, I have 2 years til mid-life.

You are still a spring chicken.

NS

10:01 AM  
Blogger Timothy said...

I could try to make you feel old if you'd like, but somehow that doesn't seem quite appropriate. Happy Birthmonth!

My only suggestion for the new profile picture is to try looking at the camera :-)

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Stevo Darkly said...

Here’s something I found a little sad: with rare exceptions, those people who seemed the most unique and rebellious in school are now the most likely to have settled into the standard mortgage/office job/2.4 children adult-life template.

Oh, but that's just what they do by day.

But by night, they slip on the leather pants and cape, and prowl the city in search of wild, uninhibited pleasure. You never know.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

Timothy,

She clearly is looking at the camera - from under her brows. She's just got her head tilted forward a bit, giving her a smoldering, glowering look. I think it is a very striking pose, and don't see how Jennifer could possibly improve upon it (except maybe to supply a larger one on her profile, rather than a low-resolution bitmap).

Oh - happy belated birthday, Jennifer.

4:15 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

... giving her a smoldering, glowering look.

I think you've described it perfectly, Anne. As I recall, she said she was having a "bad hair day" when that photo was taken. She probably was not too pleased about it. But you're right - it is a very striking pose.

12:31 PM  

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