While the stereotypes of American high school depicted in Heathers, Valley Girl (man, I'm dating myself with that reference) or Mean Girls have some truth, they aren't quite that bad. However, I still remember the high school feeling being as enjoyable as guerilla warfare. And I had an experience that could've been truly gruesome (socially, personally) if the other guy had been a jerk, which he wasn't. I recently saw him (a friend of a friend of a friend type of thing) on Facebook and sent him a message. I wasn't sure if he'd know what I was referring to, but it was an experience that has stayed with me and I decided to shoot him a message to let him know as such. Below are my email to him and his response.
above photo: 10 year high school reunion in 2000 (I'm on far left). Strangely, I feel no need/desire to do the 20th or any other.
First contact, me to him:
"Hi Mike, You don't know (or remember me) from high school, I was in the class of 1990. I saw you listed when I was looking at a friend's friend list and had to send you a quick note - why? Because you actually did something really nice for me once and while you prob don't remember it, I have always appreciated it - and with the help of Facebook - I can at least tell you so!
I had such a crush on you (from afar of course), you were more popular than me and such a jock (such high school terminology I know, but trying to paint the picture!). I think I was a freshman or maybe sophomore, anyway I was always staring and borderline stalking (in a high-school-from-behind-the-lockers or bushes kind of way).
SO - the Sadie Hawkins dance (the one where girls ask boys) was looming and I don't know know where my courage came from - it's pretty amazing when I think about it now - but I walked up to you at your locker (we were in the same locker bay) and even though you didn't even KNOW me, I actually asked you to be my date!
And here's the thing, you could have been such a jerk, you could have laughed at me, so many high school nightmares could've resulted...but instead I think you did a really kind thing. You paused (gathering your thoughts I'm sure as it had to be a surprise) and you said, "I'm sorry, I promised my mother I'd babysit that night."
You let me off the hook - so nicely and I half-believed you - so my fragile high school confidence was left pretty unbruised for the day.
So just wanted to say I remember that and I appreciate it.
Hope this message finds you well wherever you are and whatever you are doing.
Valerie (Nikki in high school) Tanswell
PS I remember thinking if I could get your Dad to like me (he taught driver's ed), I'd have an "in" with you - cracks me up to think about it. He never even remembered my name i don't think!!!!"
Mike's reply message:
"Valerie/Nikki, I remember the above event very well. I admired your courage...same courage that allowed you to send this message...not an easy thing to do and most people don't do it. And yes, I knew you didn't believe me. The irony of the whole situation is that I was being totally honest. I have a 22 year old sister today who was a baby back then....so, as crazy as it may have seemed, it was the truth. Anyway, thanks for the message... I hope all is well with you and whatever you are doing.... Take care..."