High Schooler’s Self-Importance Syndrome

(Also applies to college students, albeit in different ways)

It’s been 6 years since I’ve been out of high school (thank the gods for that). I’m feeling it ya’ll. The gap? It’s widening.

You’ve seen it, I’m sure, when you go out to Wal-Mart in a small town and encounter the numerous roaming packs of gigglers and gruff-talkers (rural truck boys I’m talking about you). I see it every time I run to the store after 10 pm. They apparently have no where else to go at this time of a school night. There even used to be a unspoken reserved plot of parking lot for the circle-jerk of souped up trucks, complete with wrangler jean-clad boys and their respective tight plaid get-up girlfriends and paramours. That’s a summer thing I think, though. Now in the dead of winter they walk in with the standard ugg/sweatpant (or shorts, yeesh) outfit.

I write this begrudgingly because I used to be one, a band-geek if you will, and look back on those days with shame and trepidation (lest I should stumble upon something that makes me cringe, again and again). A couple days ago a friend, now in the air force as a mechanic, wrote on his Facebook about seeing a gaggle of band geeks in the store and apologizing if he ever behaved as ghastly as they did. “Were we this bad?” he said.

Yes. Yes we were.

I saw a young couple cutting through the baby-stuff aisle (dangerous, I know huh?) and they were basically falling over each other. My first thoughts were “aw, so cute (gag please).” My second thoughts were “ugh why do I have to see this? Contain your young and impulsive need to be seen!” Then when I passed by them, I thought, “hey, let them think that they’re being scandalous in the diaper aisle of a small town WalMart on a Saturday night, soon they’ll be sucked into the real world.” And after that, there’s no going back.

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