Saturday, December 1, 2007
Did any of us know how lucky we were?
I got an e-mail from Darla Garber the other day in which she said I was crazy for saying she looked like a "young goddess" in high school.
Anyone who looked at our yearbook pictures from back then will see that Darla was a beautiful blonde in the full bloom of youth. Jeez, I wonder if there's ever an age at which girls look better than when they're 17.
Heck, when I looked at our senior yearbook for the first time since 1971 and saw myself in some of the activity pictures, I found myself amazed that I really wasn't the troll I thought I was.
A great philosopher -- I think it was either Plato or Spiro Agnew -- put it best.
"Youth is wasted on the young."
Ain't it the truth.
I talked to several of you at the reunion -- sorry to keep picking on Darla and Dale -- who really don't seem to have had any idea how lovely you were back then, and I found myself wondering if anyone really did. Or were we all so insecure that we could only see the flaws in ourselves?
As at adult who has fought a -- mostly losing -- perennial battle to keep my weight under 200 pounds, I marvel at pictures of a kid who was every bit as tall as I am now and weighed only about 160. When I dieted for six months in the late '80s and got down to 160, people asked me if I was ill. I didn't look ill in 1967.
I was trying to think of who had been generally regarded as the most beautiful girls in our class (by the guys, of course), and some of the names that came to mind were Karen Theurer, Susie Ludtke and Nancy Abt.
Somehow I have a feeling that even they weren't as confident about how they looked as they should have been.
In a post back in the early days of this site, I remember Dale saying that there were boys she had hoped would ask her out who never did. As a former boy myself, I'd be willing to bet that at least some of those boys probably wanted to go out with her but didn't have the nerve to ask.
Forty years probably have changed some of that. One of the happiest moments of my life was a result of my lovely wife's courage. When Nicole and I were first dating, I was seeing someone else as well. On our third date, when I took her home, she said the most wonderful thing I ever heard in my life.
She told me that she knew I was seeing someone else and she didn't think I would ultimately choose her. But she said she wanted to keep seeing me because she thought I was worth it.
Do you think any of us knew back then that we really were special, or were we all just foundering, trying to keep from drowning and hoping someday to make it to shore?