Monday, June 17, 2019

Roxanne, Meet Karma Chameleon

With musical opinions to spare, I admit I was curious.

What could a Facebook algorithm tell me about what kind of high school stereotype I was, based solely on my choices of '80s music? So I took the quiz and got my grade.

The way you've covered every '80s genre makes us think that you were the studious type in high school. You may not have appreciated the label when you were young, but being a nerd paid off. You are intelligent, well-rounded and all the awkwardness has disappeared. Though you were a nerd back then, you're a nerd no more.

Hold it right there. I am still very much a nerd and no wanna-be judgement calculator is going to tell me otherwise. But if you're going to fit me into a high school box, I'll be the first to admit that nerd is where I belong.

Straight As? Check. National Honor Society? Check. Graduated a year early? Check. No question, I was a nerd, even if we didn't have that word back then.

The way I see it is, apparently if you're a nerd in high school, you're smart enough to listen to a broad range of music. If you're smart enough to have teachers asking what they can do to challenge you, it seems you're open to the Police and Culture Club. it's that simple.

Of course, this wasn't news to anyone at my parents' house, where I'd gone today to celebrate Father's Day with the man who produced this nerd. Also in attendance was Sister #2, along with her two sons, both of whom are teachers. The one who teaches high school had brought along the school's yearbook and offered me a look-see.

"I still have mine from Parkdale," my sister noted as I opened the surprisingly hefty book. I still have mine, too, but it's nothing like what I was holding now. Besides being in full color, every senior not only had a senior portrait but right next to it was each one's baby picture, too.

Seemed a bit much to me.

But what gave the yearbook so much more heft than my own wasn't the baby pictures, it was page after page of candid shots of kids at school. Now mind you, my high school had close to 3,000 students, exactly the same number as the school where he teaches. But no one was documenting our every move on a daily basis, much less combining them into photo-montages that seemed to go on for dozens of pages at a time.

The other thing taking up untold pages was documentation of the sheer number of clubs and groups at the school and I'm talking everything imaginable and then a bunch that never would have occurred to me. Like the Dr. Who Society, a group that watches their favorite episodes and eats snacks. A Millionaire's Club (don't ask). An Environmental Defense Club to teach the importance of up-cycling. And don't get me started on the Do Something Club.

Maybe all this struck me as a bit much because I didn't belong to any clubs in high school because I was too busy being a nerd doing homework, studying, reading and wondering if my life was ever going to start.

You know, like nerds do.

Meanwhile, my Mom mentioned that the mother of my childhood best friend had died and insisted on pulling up the obituary on her tablet to show me. The picture I saw looked nothing like the woman I remember from childhood, although my Mom insists that only her hair is different in the picture.

Well, that and she's 50 years older than the last time I saw her.

Far more interesting than a photo of a woman I didn't recognize was the listing of survivors, which included my childhood best friend, Cindy. She'd applied for the job by showing up at the side door of our new house on moving day, inquiring of my Mom, "Do you have any little girls I can play with?"

At the time, she only had four to choose from: a 4-year old, a 3-year old, a 2-year old and a 3 1/2 month old (two more were yet to come). Guess who she offered up?

But what caught my eye scanning the obit was that Cindy now spells her name Cyndi, which she most definitely did not do when we were children.

Now that I think about it, Cindy and I parted ways even before we were out of elementary school as it became painfully clear that she liked boys and breaking rules while I was perfectly happy being teacher's pet and helping with bulletin boards.

Which leads me to believe that her taste in '80s music could never be anywhere near as broad as mine. Spoken like a true nerd.


  1. Hahahahahaha!! I’m surprised you didn’t mention your band of choice for retro 80’s look and sound… which I can’t remember at this moment. (Two sips of coffee hardly offer much of a jump start to my morning brain.)

    Now that your life has started, I hope you’ve broken a few rules by now.

    ; )

  2. Sweet Justice, baby!! Never forget those nights at the Sportsman dancing to YOUR music.