I got a special package in the mail yesterday. My friend Quaid (Hey Q, Holla!) sent me a set of DVDs. They were transferred from VHS tapes that were nearly 20 years old. I thought the average life span of a VHS tape was 10 years, so I was super excited when I found out that he had these done, and asked him to send me copies. The first was the video of my high school graduation. May 18, 1992. The second was the night of my graduation, on a trip called “Trojans Travels”. It was a thing put together by the parents of the graduating class, and we went all over town on buses and did different activities along with way, all the way through daylight.
I spent the better part of my evening yesterday (okay, my entire evening) watching these videos. I was overwhelmed by memories that had been long hidden away and emotions that I hadn’t felt in years. I was exhausted by bedtime (which was a couple of hours LATER than usual, due to the full screening party I had with myself. My kids watched a little bit of the graduation, long enough to see Brandon S.’s speech, which was truly inspired, and my husband came home near the end, and after a few minutes said, “How much longer IS this thing?” So, I went to bed a few minutes before it was truly over.
I couldn’t wait to blog about it. I had all these memories and commentaries in my head that I wanted to get down on virtual paper, and then this morning I had the pleasure of taking all four kids to the dentist, which left me a little shaken and stunned, and I almost lost my train of thought. I almost came to my computer and started blogging (again) about how overwhelming having four children is and how inept I am at motherhood in general…. But who really wants to read about that stuff again? I’m gonna scratch that for now. They’ll be plenty of days and events with my ginormous family that will lend themselves to my own demoralization and your humorous reading pleasure. I’ll have to endure another 6 hour viewing fest to feel this way again, and I just don’t have that kind of time on my hands, people.
Okay. Graduation. Brandon S.’s speech was fan-freaking-tastic. I had completely forgotten about it. I hate that I have forgotten so many awesome things. His speech made the other three speeches (no offense, Co-Validictorian Quaid, Cheryl F. or Lisa H.– you guys gave valuable advice and were very well-spoken) negligible, to be kind. I mean, come on, really? He did an impersonation of Yoda, Jedi Master, for goodness’ sake! An awesome speech writer, he is. [To be read in your very own best Yoda voice]. The rest of graduation is already again a big blur. However, I must mention that the girls of the graduating class of Alexandria Senior High School of 1992 had collectively the largest hair that I have ever seen in my entire life. Only those of us with short hair (me, Michelle A., and Tina W.) and straight hair (Aimee B. and possibly a few others) saved ourselves from the utter shame of this replay nearly 20 years later.
Watching the Trojan Travels video was much more emotional for me. As I recall, we were constantly trying to act cool in high school to fool the other awkward kids into thinking that we had it together. Well…not on THIS night, Johnny! We were a bunch of screaming, jerking, ADHD kids who didn’t give a rat’s ass about looking or acting cool. We let it all hang out, and it’s archived for eternity now.
The background music to these antics was all period-relevant, as it were. I am a music lover, and by my nature, a song from my past immediately brings me back–emotionally–to where I was in life when the song was heavy in my ear. Welcome to the Jungle: Brought back the smell of the fall air on football game nights and the sound of the ASH band in the background. You Down with O.P.P.?: Brought back the sights and sounds (and smells) of awkward, sweaty, gym school dances. The emotions and memories welled up inside of me with such force that I wasn’t prepared for it. Prom night. Spanish Club trips to New Orleans. The Bonfire I had for my 18th birthday party out in the woods. It took me nearly 20 minutes to finally fall asleep last night. I usually am asleep before I even get into the bed. I was just a baby then. I’m old now. I felt old day before yesterday. Now, I AM old.
But the ride was well worth the toll it took on me.