Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Mystery Man Update

I've exchanged more information in the past few days with RW, who was in my high school graduating class, than I did in 3 years of high school. In fact, I have absolutely no memory of this guy at all.

Was I such an incredible snob in high school that I chose to totally overlook RW? Instead I generally picked a cute guy to sit behind in classes where I could get by with whispering or passing notes.

There was the football player on whom I had had a crush since the 8th grade. I'll never forget the day as I sat there in French class in my virginal state and he told me his sophomore girlfriend was preggers. Those were the days when girls in this way were shipped off to stay with a relative until the baby was born, as she soon was. He would also give me blow-by-blow descriptions of how much pain he had inflicted on black players on opposing football teams, being encouraged in this by his father. Yikes! (Remember this was the Florida panhandle, which did not easily embrace integration.) I actually dated this guy for a while when I was at FSU and he was a the U of F playing football. After all those years of secret love, I realized I valued him as a friend, but there was no longer a romantic spark.

Then there was my other guy friend who entertained me through many a math class taught by a fairly deaf older teacher with stories of his sexual exploits. I still remember how impressed he was with how wide his girlfriend could spread her legs.

So where was RW, while I was palling around with these guys, who were obviously on a much faster track than I was?

I've learned that RW was indeed camera shy, choosing not to have a senior picture made or to even participate in the graduation ceremony. Perhaps this was because he was much younger than the rest of us, having skipped 2 grades. However, we probably didn't realize this because he was a big burly guy by age 14.

RW was from the proverbial other side of the tracks, coming from a fairly remote little community and attending "the other" junior high school. I realize now that my friends and I were incredibly clic-ish often treating such persons as outsiders. But this was not usually to the point of making them invisible.

What is surprising to me is that I thought I had identified the "intellectuals" in our class – those people who were in the top 10 grade-wise, those who got into good colleges. Wouldn't that be right? Apparently no one knew that RW had learned algebra and geometry in the second grade, that he was a voracious reader, that he could probably match or better the IQ of anyone in our class.

My exchanges with RW, that have included discussions of many of our classmates, make me realize that I totally missed our on an opportunity to know this guy who probably had a lot to offer even back then.

I am not in the least interested in seeing most of my classmates at the upcoming 40th reunion. But I am totally looking forward to seeing my small group of friends and meeting RW, as if for the first time.

(I hear Velvet off in the distance reminding me how gullible I was in the whole BP saga...)


Blogger Kristin said...

I spent much of my 10th reunion chatting with people I barely knew in high school days. I wish I'd known them then; I'm glad I know them now. It's funny how priorities change.

3:17 PM  
Blogger steve said...

barbara you crack me up! i had a girlfriend that couldn't spread her legs that wide but she made up for it in frequency!
I'd have loved to sit in front of you girl!

3:28 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Kristin -- I am finding much to my relief that I am not the same person who graduated in 1967. Yes, lots of things change.

Steve -- We would have gotten in trouble. My boys had to behave so we wouldn't get caught.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

We were a little cut-off from the quieter so-called "dippy" kids too, but I think that's because it was a huge high school so you naturally huung out with kids with which you had a lot in common. This meant mostly kids in the same activities. By Gr. 13, we beagan to realize that the "dips" were actually cool in their own way and we all had inclusive Gr. 13 parties. Meeting them at a reunion and talking with everyone will be cool.

8:08 AM  
Blogger steve said...

OK...I'm out!

1:28 PM  
Blogger GEWELS said...

High School- Yikes! I hardly remembr anybody. When my sisters or friends ask "Do you remember so and so" I knew do.
I think I lived inside my own head too much. I actually did have a clic of friends but also had "secret" friendships that others didn't know about. Mostly the gay guys.
It should be fun to meet him after all this time. How nice for you to be remembered, though.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Gewels -- If you didn't catch the first installment of this story, this guy found me through Google (Bay County High School class of 1967), ending up on my Blog. He didn't really remember me either, although he did remember some of my good friends. So this meeting will be a surprise for both of us.

5:51 PM  

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