From the editor: No such thing as anonymity
The best and worst part of still living (basically) in my hometown is seeing people I went to school with.
There’s no anonymity in Broken Arrow, not because I am some type of celebrity — trust me, I was never the popular kid, and magazine editors are rarely recognized — but because when you graduate with 1,030 people and live less than 2 miles from your high school, chances are fairly good you’ll spot someone at the grocery store you used to know.
Yes, just when you think you’ll pop in and out of Walmart in your grubbiest work clothes, with no makeup and clown hair, there’s your eighth-grade boyfriend. Bonus points if your kids are with you and a) fighting or b) crying, because you know he’s thinking, “Man, I really dodged a bullet there.”
For the most part, seeing old school friends is a good thing. I do a group workout with a guy who attended school with me from first grade all the way through college. A former volleyball teammate of mine cuts my hair. Another BA alumna owns the salon where she works. I even see former classmates at press conferences; Deputy Mayor
Michael Junk was a regular at my elementary school birthday parties … and they were darn good ones, just ask him. #thanksmom
Facebook has been amazing for keeping up with old school friends, though we generally keep our crazy to ourselves in that medium.
Maybe that’s why seeing people in real life can be so off-putting.
Whether online or in person, it truly makes me happy to see school friends — even those I wasn’t close with — doing well for themselves, making art, opening businesses, raising children. It makes me want to shout to the Class of 2003, “We’re really doing this ‘adulting’ thing, aren’t we? Sure, we might still be dealing with acne and some self-doubt, and we’re still paying on student loans, but for the most part WE’VE GOT THIS.”
Now if I can just get those former classmates to stop messaging me with multi-level marketing products … (I like my acne, OK? We’re old pals.)
I’d better start wearing makeup to Walmart.