yearbookSummer often brings with it the chance to reconnect with old longstanding friends, and in August I was fortunate to make a few such connections. As often happens, these visits inspired me to haul out my high school yearbooks. Once you get past the fact that I am incorrectly identified as “Ann” in my grade eleven yearbook, and that the same yearbook charmingly immortalizes the humiliating moment when my math teacher used his map to scrape pigeon poop off my raincoat on a London street, the yearbooks are quite an interesting anthropological study.

Here are a few of my observations:

  1. Bad hair days weeks months. Did we honestly not KNOW how bad our hair looked in the late seventies? Or did we just not care?
  2. Political correctness– clearly not an issue! A student council fundraiser in the form of a “Public Slave Auction,” the  auctioneer a teacher looking like a Christmas Pageant Wise Man gone rogue in a campy “arab” costume.
  3. And while we’re on the topic of questionable activities. A mock beauty pageant with a bevy of adolescent males parading across a stage in their Speedos. Hmm.
  4. How did we not trip on our pants? I estimate that you could produce two pairs of 2014 skinny jeans out of a single leg of those wide-legged numbers I wore back in the day.
  5. Angsty poety. Doom. Despair. Death. Deeply symbolic trees. Don’t laugh– you wrote it too.
  6. Fuzzy black and white photos. Given how atrocious our hair looked, perhaps a blessing in disguise.
  7. Lame photo captions. Did we actually believe those quotes would stand the test of time?

yearbook2And yet, what I mostly see when I page through these books are the people. Some with whom I’ve long since lost touch. Some with whom, thanks to the magic of social media, I have been able to reconnect. (Some of whom are likely even reading this blog.) I see people who were once a part of my daily life, but whose journeys have taken them to the four corners of the earth, and on to all manner of different adventures that none of us could have imagined back when we were imagining who each of us was “most likely to become…”


4 thoughts on “Yesteryearbooks

  1. The most fun in looking at old yearbooks, is to read all those sappy things people wrote in my book. It was very important to get as many people as possible to sign your book, even those you didn’t know very well and those you really didn’t like. The total number and the lack of blank spaces were the goal. That was social media in its infancy.

  2. Ah, the late seventies memories this resurrects. The Bay City Rollers. The thrill of having the boy I had a crush on SIGN my annual! Wonder what ever happened to him. The days of having the future stretched out ahead of us, full of dreams. And of course, the hair and cat-eye glasses. Great post.

  3. Gloria

    With so many moves over the years and small apartments, my high school yearbooks were tossed. My high school now has a facebook page which has been fun to read comments from people I knew, but it can also be bittersweet because I was not a happy teenager and it can bring back some painful memories. I was ecstatic when I graduated in 1972. Thanks for the memories of the 70’s pants and hair.

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