Anya is sort of a "new friend," but I hate to call her that because it sounds like she's on trial or something. We first met Anya at my local dentist's office. Certain people "shine" like Dick Hallorann said in "the Shining," and she gave off that glow. Often I see people like her at work, the mall, or on the bus, but I never want to go up and go, "Hey, I know you're weird like we are, wanna join our weird circle of friends?" because I haven't developed a resistance to mace and sound beatings.
Luckily Christine has. And like our friends hear so often, "I thought you looked so interesting, but I never got the nerve..." and so we met Anya and her husband Matt. of course, both of us have busy lives, but we finally got to sit and chat yesterday (well, Matt was with relatives). Besides being a cool person in general, Anya shares one very special gift with me: she went to my high school.
In this area, that's like finding a piece of your actual childhood being sold in a flea market. "Hey! That's my wagon from when I was five, living 500 miles away from here! I know, it has the bad wheel, and my name is still on the handle!" I have said in several diary entries before that graduates from McLean High School are rare sites indeed. Not that many failed, only 6 in a class of 344, but it's just most of the kids had very transitory lives, ebbing with the political tides every 4 years. I'd say that only 4 out of 10 kids I was a freshman with were seniors my graduating year. We were all a bit heady, high on the fumes of the trickle-down economy that made our parents rich, and had a general sort of apathy towards school spirit in general.
Anya was class of 1995, eight years after I graduated. And we talked a lot about the insanity that was McLean High school. At the center of this circus was a truly clueless woman, our principal, Ms. Lodal. I could go on and on about her, and how truly bad she was. But Anya topped me: Lodalpalooza.
In the mid 90s, for those readers who might be a bit young, or just out of touch, there was this rock festival called "Lollapalooza." It was a venue of new rock acts that played 29 concerts in 25 cities in 1995, and spawned dozens of imitators. Imitators and jokes ending in "apalooza." Even Weird Al got in on the act. It was a kind of corporate-pushed Seattle 60s free love and peace Woodstock wannabe, and Ms. Lodal wanted to be cool, too. Well, instead of being herself or trying to fit in with respect, she lacked the strength to resist looking cool like a drug pusher for a 1972 Health and Education film on the pitfalls of marijuana. No McLean bands would play, so she hired bands from other high schools to play, and maybe a handful of (Anya said 3) people showed up. Out of a school with maybe 2500 students.
Kate, my very best friend in high school ever, if you're reading this, you are so vindicated for Ms. Lodal's comment in 1987 where she said you'd look adorable in a dress. And the blank look she gave when you told her that was very sexist. She probably thought you were swearing at her.
Oy. You fair and gentle readers have no idea how weird junior high and high school were in McLean. Someday, I plan to totally blow that whole part of my life wide open, for that circus contains so many curious, artifacts, and legends that would boggle the average mind.
This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000111.html