The highs and lows of parenting and real estate.

The Yearbook Rabbit Hole

I dragged Jason to a Texas Hold ‘Em poker tournament at an old friend’s house Saturday night. The poker part didn’t go that well for either of us, mostly because we didn’t really know how to play. Although I think Jason picked it up pretty quick and didn’t embarrass himself. It took me most of my chips, however, to realize that buying into the hand regardless of what my initial two cards were just because I wanted to see the flop is not a game-winning strategy. Also apparently serious poker playing types don’t really like it when you say, “BORING” every time a hand ends before anyone has to show cards. (But I didn’t really care because it is boring and they needed to know.)

It was an interesting and fun night for me, though, mainly because about 50% of the people at the game went to my high school and several I hadn’t seen since we graduated (except for maybe at our 10 year reunion, which doesn’t count because let’s face it, I don’t remember anything about that night. Who ever remembers anything from 10 year high school reunions? I’ll tell you who, sociopaths who don’t drink too much when they’re nervous, that’s who).

When we got home from the game that night, I pulled out my senior year yearbook and showed pictures of everyone at the poker party to Jason, who indulged me even though he obviously could not have cared less. Ah yes, that’s the guy who was my table. He looks different now. Interesting. Can we go to bed now or are we going to look at more pictures of people I just met and didn’t know 16 years ago? 

Eventually I let him off the hook, but I quickly got sucked into a deep high school yearbook rabbit hole. I don’t even think I actually read that thing when I got it way back when. In fact, I remember I had a really hard time with the whole graduating and leaving home and my friends thing senior year (I’m not excellent with change) so I did some general avoiding of the whole topic. But now I’m fascinated by it. My stalkery voyeuristic* inclinations have SO MANY QUESTIONS. For instance:

1. Does that girl who wore super white face makeup and a rose temporary tattoo on her cheek, plus a dead-eyed expression on her face for her senior photo look at that picture now and think, “God, my mother was so right, that picture is completely embarrassing.”? Or does she still look like that? Maybe she thinks, “I was just too creative and too much of a visionary for high school. They didn’t understand me,” as she listens to Jack White’s new album.

2. Were those brightly colored cowboy shirts really a thing that was ok? It’s not just one or two people wearing them. They must have been something I blocked out of my memory because it’s too painful to think about them possibly ever being in style.

3. Did the girl who in her student profile described her future ‘Dream Job’ as an ‘administrative assistant working for an executive in a large company,’ ever realize it’s not 1945 and she’s allowed to have aspirations beyond being a secretary? Or is she just really happy as a secretary somewhere?

4. Was the stuff I wrote in people’s yearbooks as weird as the stuff people wrote in mine? Of course it was probably more so.

Dear anyone who let me sign their yearbook,

Can’t we just mutually agree not to ever read what each other wrote again? I don’t even really feel comfortable reading what you wrote to me, much less thinking about what I could have possibly written to you. It’s really for the best.

Awkwardly yours,


5. Why don’t Jason’s yearbooks have a single signature or mark in them? Was it mostly a girl thing to have people sign your yearbook? Or an Arizona thing? Or is it just more evidence that my husband is really a robot devoid of human qualities like feelings and sentiment? Or even more likely, did he know that one day I would decide I wanted to read everything anyone had ever written to him in his yearbook, so he carefully switched out all of the written on pages with blank ones just to torture me?

6. How many of the people I went to high school with married other people from our high school? I feel like that should be pretty rare, but it seems like I know a bunch of people who married either high school sweethearts or people they reconnected with after high school. What if one of my sons ends up marrying someone he is already in school with? I should probably look through their yearbooks also, to pick out the best candidates so I know which way to steer them. I hope Gray marries that cute little tomboy, Trina who’s been in class with him since he was a kindergartener. She’s so spunky and smart.

And oh so many more. I should really lock away the yearbooks. I could lose weeks inside them. That’s not creepy, is it?

*OK, I just had to look up the word ‘voyeur’ to spell it correctly and apparently it has an inherently sexual connotation to the definition. Like it means someone who likes to watch other people have sex. I always thought it had a sort of broader definition that referred to a person who liked to watch other peoples’ lives because she’s nosy and enjoys gossip and drama. I feel like I’ve used that word in a really lot of inappropriate situations. Mental note: stop telling people like my colleagues and parents’ friends that I’m a “voyeur”. Also probably just stop using that word in polite company.

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