Posted by: suek2001 | June 8, 2015

You can blame it on the rain…..

I had a relatively unexciting weekend in my wonderful hometown of Duluth, MN but my thoughts have veered to another town and another time in my life…

It was 25 years ago this morning….I walked across the platform and hugged Margeret Sirriani and got my High School Diploma…

My mom gave me a graduation card that came to fruition…It said “You know what this means, you’ll cry over a place you couldn’t wait to get out of”…and I did….but not out of sadness for leaving but tears of relief that I finally made it…

High School was NOT fun for me….It had it’s moments of joy but I just didn’t fit in…In middle school, I had my own group of friends but in high school, I never really had a peer group. The only time I did was when I attended Young Life meetings..and even there, I would hang out with the adults..although some of the kids were good to me..One of my favorites is now a top lawyer in Fort Myers…(what a waste of a great sense of humor!)…

I recall one of my first thoughts on the first days of high school, ” I have to be HERE for the next four years????” I found solace in my English classes and in the music classes and muddled my way through..Got decent grades at the prompting of my relatives as they promised me trips to Duluth and Glacier National Park…

So, when my senior year arrived, I was thrilled that the long nightmare of bullying(tame name calling) and a general feeling of being random in a crowd would go away…It was the longest year of my life..or so it seemed..

The last few months were marred by things and flashes of rebellion on my part…When a friend of the family died of cancer, I reacted by losing my temper in class..and storming out….(there was also some bullying going on at the time but I can’t recall what was said)…

I tried to explain my actions to my teacher and he would have none of it..my argument got louder and in a moment I do regret, I yelled out “F–k The World”….and that got me sent to the Dean’s office for one of the longest days of my high school career…

I regret that outburst because I should have known better and I also disrespected the authority of my teacher..and teachers NEED all the respect they can get…and as John Denver would say “That’s not how I want to be to the world”…

I spent the afternoon in the Dean’s office…stating my case..and failing to impress her..and then getting FIVE days of external suspension…

This was in 1990…and I’m betting that now, something like that wouldn’t get me an hour of detention but drugs, shootings and intense bullying were not a massive part of the landscape at the time…

…..and the suspension took place right before Spring Break..and on a day that I had planned on faking my way through an exam on the novel “Wuthering Heights”…

I talked with my English teacher..the always awesome Debbie Pollard, who allowed me to take an essay test when I got back from break….

So, my suspension and Spring Break were spent being grounded by my mother and reading from beginning to end, “Wuthering Heights”…I was even limited to an hour of music listening a day(which was the REAL punishment)…so I only listened to an Elton John Greatest Hits cassette while I read the book..

To this day, whenever I hear “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” I think of Healthcliff and Catherine..(I still hate the book but I got a B on the test)…

So, I had all that drama building up to my graduation…They had planned for the ceremony to be in the High School stadium at 7pm on June 6th…but it rained…so, it was pushed back to 7am the following morning…

Yet, we still had our Project Graduation party the night before..So, at 10pm on June 6th, we were all locked in the Fort Myers High School Gym complex…where we were supposed to party in celebration of our graduation that hadn’t happened yet…

It was just plain weird….I recall some of the chaperones made fancy foods none of the kids wanted but at 3am, someone ordered pizza and we ate it all up..Our movie was Back To the Future 2..I tried watching it but fell asleep…and the music was a local reggae band…none of us were in the mood for reggae…but then the DJ showed up from a local Pop station..and we danced…

Now, I hated contemporary music…at least what was on the radio at that time but I needed the release so we danced..to MC Hammer(Our Senior theme was “U Can’t Touch This) but we all lost it when I asked them to play Milli Vanilli’s “Blame it On the Rain”…

I think I danced with half the high school football team…yes, the song sucked..yes, the artists were frauds but out of frustration, it became an anthem for the moment….

I recall getting home about 5am..and having enough to shower and get dressed and go back over to the school…

At 7am ,we marched into that stadium…and I tortured Aaron Kentros and Nick Kaye by sitting between them one last time…We had to sit alphabetically all through homeroom and now the two kids that had been childhood best friends had to be seperated one last time…

When Fred Zigler’s name was called, we all cheered and tossed our caps in the air….Mom ran and hugged me and all I said was “Get me home..I wanna go to bed…”

So, my big celebration was going home to sleep for another three hours while Mom went to work….my big celebration dinner was ordering my free pizza from Pizza Hut…(they gave us a goodie bag)…

It really didn’t hit me that my life would change…and it did…my life was no longer structured…I didn’t have to get up early..didn’t have to go to class…

I would get some structure again in college but it was a thrill to choose my own classes….

I look back on that time..not with longing but a sense of wonder that I made it out…as college would prove to have it’s challenges…but after high school, I could handle anything…

..about the only thing I do get nostalgic for is that song…Blame it on The Rain…..

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Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing your memories with us.


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