Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Times, They Aren’t a’Changing

This past weekend, I brought home a cardboard under-the-bed box from my parents’ house. On the outside, it just looks like a swollen, splitting, aged, sweater receptacle. But the inside is a veritable treasure chest of junior high and high school memorabilia.

In addition to approximately 568 notes from girlfriends, it contains a stack of Spartan and Falcon newspapers, dried crumbly carnations, a navy and powder blue pom-pom, a Kevin Costner “Robinhood” action figure, a Seventeen magazine prom issue from 1994, my 7th-8th grade diary, my faded graduation cap, and every birthday card I received from age 14 to age 18.

Given that the box is on its last legs, I decided to sort through it and relocate the good stuff to a Rubbermaid tub. So, the past few evenings have been spent reading notes, cards and letters, separating the wheat from the chaff.

What I’ve discovered, is that things haven’t changed much since I
was 16.

I’m still close friends with the same girls I knew then. And our conversations are relatively similar to what they used to be...
“Ohmygosh Marty is so cute, I want to attack him.”
“Ryan is being such a jerk today, I want to punch him.”
“I really like your top, where’d you get it?”
“Do you want to go to the mall with me this weekend?”
“This last hour is dragging, I can’t wait for the bell to ring.”

Yep, pretty much the same. Sure, the crushes’ names have been changed to boyfriends’ and husbands’ names. And the communication isn’t on lined notebook paper—now it’s just online. But so many of the interactions mirror those of our teenage years.

Makes me wonder if we’ll ever really grow up. Maybe not. And maybe that’s for the best.

For another great post on this topic, read Anita Stylist’s blog.

17 comments:

Lara said...

Breaking open 'The Box' was something that I so looked forward to when I was visiting from college and, 10+ years later, it still hasn't lost it's appeal.

I feel sorry for all of the kids who just text message these days. They have no idea what they're missing out on. We can read notes that we wrote to each other almost 20 years ago!

Mel Heth said...

And someday our kids will unearth "The Box" and be delighted to see how obnoxious we were when we were their age!

Diz said...

"trish...trish....yerrr nnnot trrissshh"

Anita said...

This is soooo funny cuz Liz and I always say how one day we're gonna break out our "box", go through all of it, have a laugh, and then burn them. Then we reneged and thought we'd be crazy to burn such treasures. It's so fun to go through these, in their masterfully folded glory, and reminisce about how simple our lives used to be. Also...thanks for the shout-out! It's so great to have a blog fan and you know the feeling's mutual.

Mel Heth said...

OMG Anita, the origami skill that went into sealing all those puppies is CRAZY. Last night I relearned how to tuck and rumple one into the shape of a heart. It hurt my brain a little. And I did stumble across a piece or two of correspondence between myself and Liz about the infamous R.K.

ryan said...

So...this was just brought to my attention and although it goes against my better judgment to comment, I guess I'll just leave my two cents as well. It does seem to me your torn up old box may not have recalled a couple facts accurately...

First, Ryan was, is, and always will be the cutest (even with streaks of silver now).
Second, girls LOVE jerks (even though I wasn't).
Third, I'm sure three quarters of that box is full of other Ryan related obsession notes, diary entries, pictures, etc. (am i wrong?)

Anyway, those were fun times and thankfully long gone. Have fun playing with your boxes girls...

semichrmd said...

Oh how I love taking that trip back down memory lane! Whipping out the old yearbooks & shoeboxes filled with notes! What great times those were, and you are so right - I don't think we every grown up, which is perfectly fine with me.

Mel Heth said...

Ryan - yes, somewhere in all of our hearts you will forever reside as the cutest boy with the best "wave" haircut.

Semichrmd - glad you can relate! :)

Hannah said...

I think I even have a napkin from Rocky Cola that I saved from after a Y dance.

And it is TOTALLY true how everything is the same!

Anita said...

Wait a second...I can name a hundred times that Ryan was a jerk to me!

Amy Turpin said...

My mom brought up my 'box' over thanksgiving. I had a ton of the same crazily folded notes and a ton of old newspaper articles of a certain basketball player - what a funny walk down memory lane. Sometimes fun, sometimes inciting just a twinge of sadness, all bringing back funny memories of some of the best times of my life with you guys!!!

ryan said...

I'm bringing the wave back.

To Anita, In case I never thanked you officially...Thank you for doing my AP English homework and reading assignments...

Anonymous said...

Now aren't you glad I taught you to save treasures! Maybe you can start to relate to why I save EVERYTHING. So someday, either I or everyone else will have memories to recall and make you laugh or cry.
And my the way, I never have and never will think Ryan is a jerk. I love Ryan and think he still is the cutest!

Mel Heth said...

Well Ryan, at least my mom thinks you're hot.

Jane Moneypenny said...

I do the same thing! I've kept all my high school notes (and embarrassingly, grade school ones too). I love going back to those reminders of a younger time; the best if when the same girls come over for a sleepover and we laugh hysterically at these silly things.

Lara said...

Ryan - Mel told me that she found one particular note where I referenced you, her, the CV darkroom and a little bottom-touchy! Oh the treasures of the box!

Big Sister said...

Ryan-
I believe you may have a box under your bed with pictures of me and baby Carleigh in the bathtub....I never thought you were a jerk either!