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Yearbooks: An insight for future generations (so make it good)

I was working at the book fair in the middle school a while ago when a friend said something strange to me.

We were looking at an advertisement for some school yearbooks that were still available.

"I burned all my yearbooks the other day," she said nonchalantly.

"Why?" I asked incredulously.

"I don't want my kids seeing some of the stuff in there," she said.

I thought back to my yearbooks. Aside from some hairdos (mall hair and mullets), there really wasn't much in there that would be objectionable to my kids.

Apparently, 1980s fashion wasn't what my friend was referring to. Without going into detail, she revealed that there were some things in her high school days that she would be embarrassed for her kids to see.

My parents managed to buy us each a yearbook from seventh-12th grade -- no small feat when you think that they had four kids. I remember being so excited to have my friends sign it each fall. Plus, it was a splendid excuse to talk to my crush of the month to get a signature.

However, my high school feats were not the stuff of legend. Most of my friends' recollections would probably bore my kids instead of providing insight into their mom's "wild side."

My husband likes to tease me that I was the perfect daughter when I was in high school: I didn't smoke, didn't drink, didn't swear, didn't drive (OK, that part may have been nice for my parents so they wouldn't have had to pick up/drop off all the time).

As for any dating, I was the only freshman to go to the junior/senior prom. My status in the school elevated a bit with that news (the "only" freshman going), but my date was a good friend whose first choice already had a date. Did I mind settling for second place? Strange as it is to say now, but no. We were good friends, and neither of us stepped outside those boundaries.

I did have a boyfriend for a couple weeks in my junior year. After a date at the movies -- with his mother driving us -- he asked me to "go" with him. I really wasn't that interested, but he was a good friend so I decided to try it. Since neither of us drove, our dates were confined to talking on the phone and seeing each other in our mutual art class.

It all ended rather abruptly when he gave me a four-page note on the last day of school. I was out with some friends (who drove) at a local pizza place when I had a chance to read it. It was a rambling declaration of his undying devotion to me (!) and to prove his affection, he signed it in blood.


To make matters worse, when I spoke to him again to break up with him, he was flabbergasted at my reaction because he thought his signature was "funny."

Note to anyone who is contemplating doing the same for their sweetheart: Don't.

I suppose I would have been classified as a nerd in school. One of my friends used to call me a "schoolie," which I always thought was a weird term anyway. My school wasn't too big, but I managed to be involved in sports, forensics, choir, drama, the newspaper and the honor society.

Compared to my friend, my high school life was fairly tame. I wouldn't have any problem if my kids wanted to read my yearbooks sometime. Maybe they would see then that when I remind them to do their homework or stick with a commitment, I've put my money where my mouth is. I guess I was a good role model even before I had any inkling of being a parent.

Nope, I won't burn my high school yearbooks.

My college diaries, however, are another story.