The Notebook. No. Not the Ryan Gosling one.
Despite the fact that I am marrying the dude who sat next to me in AP Euro History, I don't remember much about high school.
I remember owning a truly excellent pair of red, black and yellow plaid pants. I remember the radio in my bedroom being constantly tuned to South Florida's New Rock Alternative, 103.1 The Buzz, I remember having an ill-fated crush on a guitarist and I remember having two truly excellent English teachers - Terence Oliga and Justin Kay - who encouraged me to write.
Above all, I remember The Notebook.
A cherished tradition that my best friend Gabby and I maintained from sophomore to senior year, The Notebook (proper noun) was a thick spiral-bound totem of friendship shared between two best friends.
Some friends share kisses in their experimental phase, many share clothes and make-up, some share joints under the bleachers - we shared a notebook.
We were yearbook staffers. We never had the monopoly on cool.
In this sisterhood of the traveling College Ruled, we wrote about the boys we had crushes on (idiots, all of them. I should clarify that I did not have a crush on John in high school. He was this nice guy that in my AP classes that I did not think about making out with...because I am also an idiot) and scribbled lyrics in the margins. We worried about the future, we encouraged each other and we pledged - in blue and black ballpoint pen - to love one another with the kind of singular ferocity that teenage girls maintain for the things and people they love.
Gabby is the person responsible for introducing me to feminism and the music of Elton John and Tori Amos. She is the one who confirmed that yes, my ex-boyfriend was in fact, a massive tool and she is the one who made me tear up when I saw her dance to Cyndi Lauper's True Colors.
Gabby made me feel more sure of my place in the world and because of her, I am a stronger woman today.
And now, she's getting married.
And I get to be her maid of honor.
I never realized how apt that title was until it was bestowed upon me.
Knowing Gabby and having her indelibly shape my formative years has been an honor and I am in breathless awe that I get to stand up next to her when she marries the love of her life next year.
The 20th anniversary of American Pie is this year and I’ve been thinking about high school more and more lately. I was sixteen when that movie came out and I was definitely the target audience - pop-culture saturated with a punky soundtrack? Hi - I’ll take every ticket you’ve got and can I get some Raisinettes for my popcorn?
It’s weird - I’ve never been one of those people nostalgic for my teenage years.
High school wasn’t the best time of my life. It wasn’t the worst either. It was just….fine - a thing that almost all American teenagers experience.
The best time of my life is now.
This right here.
I have dogs and Netflix and expensive gin in my freezer.
My life is fucking awesome.
But the roots of the joy I experience on the daily were cultivated during my high school years.
Never would I have thought that my insecurity and awkward formative years would result in a life so damn rich and wonderful in my thirties.
It’s pretty amazing and just goes to show you that you never know how your life will unfold.
It’s been a helluva journey and I can’t wait to see what’s next.
Oh and because I mentioned him earlier and not doing so would be a venial sin, please enjoy this gif of Ryan Gosling.