Stuff White People Like has peaked as a website that a specific kind of person, who often is white, likes. Sadly, this realization came after the book deal. And while I would like to criticize the site more, I am part of the demographic Stuff White People Like is mocking, and I don’t want to inspire post #95: Making Fun Of A Website Targeted At Them.
Number 83 on that list is Bad Memories From High School. A friend once said that in college, people wear awkward experiences from high school like a badge of honor. But it isn’t so much a badge of honor as a war wound.
My BFF in life was also my BFF in high school. And in those days, we had fun: We ditched school to go to New Haven once and other times, we’d skip out on art to get Chinese food. And even when we were actually in class, we managed to amuse ourselves. I had every reason to feel good in the late nineties and early aughts, but of course I didn’t. My roommate, one of the most secure people I know, also makes claims of being supremely uncool in her teen years. And I recently found out that an acquaintance from that era who I had assumed was happy wasn’t either.
There’s so much in theory about high school that’s appealing. You have no responsibility, you’re surrounded by peers and there’s opportunity everywhere. The drawback: There’s no freedom. Yes, your parents are paying for the food, but that means you can’t have oatmeal and ice cream for dinner.
Before high school, you’re trapped too, but it’s not until ninth grade that you begin to realize it. You also realize that you have no means to escape and worst of all, you’re not ready to anyway. And once you know that, it’s impossible to be happy.
The image above is my high school burning down during the 60s.