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high school confidential

Yesterday I ran into someone who I went to high school with and we got to reminiscing about hanging out in the smoking section at school.  Can you imagine!?!  A smoking section in a high school is almost as bad as the days before cars had seat belts.  AND I often used to smoke clove cigarettes.  Does anyone even smoke those anymore?  I eventually stopped because I got a bad throw-uppy hangover after a night of drinking cheap sugary wine and smoking cloves and I am sure that even today the smell would make me want to puke.  On the other hand, I still love the smell of average burning cigarettes even though I quit them cold-turkey in 1992.

Being underage it was sort of hard to buy cigarettes (cigarette vending machines were often the best bet) but I somehow always had them.  My school lunches regularly consisted of cigarettes.  I either had Tab, celery and carrot sticks, and a couple cigarettes, or I had Tab, peanut M&Ms, and a couple cigarettes.  Today I would be horrified if I found out that's what my kid was consuming for "nutrition".  Well, I don't have any kids but you know what I mean....

I also listened to bootleg albums of early Clash locked in my yellow bedroom, and freshman year went to a couple high school dances where they actually had live bands play.  It was straight out of Pretty In Pink.  We slow danced to Stairway To Heaven and even made out a little if we could escape the chaperones' eye.  Dancing and kissing to Led Zepplin, locked in a sweaty hormonal embrace seems unimaginably romantic to me now after having had years of one-night-stands, online dating, and a couple failed marriages.  By today's standards high school may seem too young to be smoking but boy would I love to go back to that freshman year of innocent romance.  However everything after freshman year was, for me, a slide into booze, drugs, and rebellion which you can read a bit about here.

In general I am not nostalgic for high school.  In fact I don't remember most of it.  Certainly not the people who now friend request me on FaceBook.  But in the 1983 year book personality polls ("most likely to succeed", "biggest flirt", "class clown" etc.) I was voted "most memorable".  This was probably because I entered high school as part of the "in" crowd - the popular kids - before breaking away and turning all sullen and punk rock.  I was known by both groups, and in those days it was still considered a bit shocking and a bit of a statement to be punk.

If you went to high school in the 70s or 80s I'd love to hear some tidbits of what you remember.  What was your school culture back in those days?  We had of course The Jocks, The Burnouts, the kids who hung out on The Wall (ie. the popular crowd), The Theater Group, The Cholas (you'll know what I mean if you lived in California), The Nerds, and of course The Punks (in those early days of American punk there was not yet the subset of Goths - we were all lumped together).  I don't remember The Band Geeks but probably because they weren't even on my radar.  I wonder what the segregated groups are called these days?  Please also comment on that if you know.


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