This week I went on an EXCITING ADVENTURE back to my old high school. It’s their 50th anniversary this year and they need volunteers to help them do stuff to get ready for it.
Normally when I get prodded to volunteer for something, I’m all like, “NO THANKS YOU CAN EITHER PAY ME OR DO IT YOURSELF HAVE A LOVELY DAY”. This is in large part due to the fact that said 50-year-old school spent four of my adolescent years forcing me to “volunteer” or else I wouldn’t graduate.
I was required to give up seventy-five of my valuable teenage hours in order to get my diploma.
It drove me absolutely insane, this concept of involuntary volunteer work, and has left a bitter taste in my mouth about volunteering for anything ever since. Which is why, if you ever tell me I should volunteer for thing or blah, it will likely induce a facial tick wherein my eye twitches and then I glare at you for an hour.
HOWEVER, despite their awful confusion about what it actually means to “volunteer”, I like my old school, so I perused the list of available stuff to help with. Most of it looked as exciting as volunteering to stand still while someone shoves bees in my pants. But then I saw that they needed “History Hounds”, people to go through old yearbooks and memorabilia.
I volunteered the crap out of that job.
So that’s what I spent three days of the past week doing, going up to my old high school and looking at old yearbooks. I remember when I was still attending school, getting to look at an old yearbook was akin to someone letting me hold a million dollars in cash. I absolutely LOVE seeing pictures of people with wacky hair traipsing around the exact same halls I traipsed around with my much cooler hair*. I am fascinated by watching the progression of things around the school going from “non-existent” to “there”. It intrigues the ever-living crap out of me to learn things I didn’t know about the place in which I spent so much time as a kid. For example, I found out that in 1981, my school became the first in the US to require computer literacy to graduate**. And then I exploded from the awesome.
Anyway, at one point a parent of a current student also showed up to poke at yearbooks with me (and the two current students who were doing it grudgingly for their involuntary volunteer hours, the poor things). We got to talking about our various high school experiences, and I mentioned that I wore duct tape and plastic bags to my senior prom.
She asked me if I ever watched Project Runway. I was like, I don’t watch TV ever. She told me that sometimes on the show, they give the contestants interesting challenges, like creating high fashion from stuff in a thrift store, etc. The idea intrigued me, so I pulled up Hulu and proceeded to watch the entirety of season 7. And then I had to explain to Green why I was wasting my time watching Project Runway. And then he watched some of it with me.
As someone who never watches TV ever, it is really tough for me to come back and watch it, even if I’m genuinely interested in the subject matter. I can’t help but pinpoint when they’re inciting drama for the sake of drama, name dropping product placement as if we won’t notice, or using stupid catch phrases. This stuff is not interesting to me, it’s irritating, and it’s especially prevalent on reality shows.
BUT. I kept watching Project Runway, because at the heart of the show, it’s about starting with raw materials and creating something beautiful. It turns out that watching the creation process of so many unique garments is really pretty cool. During one episode, the contestants had to make high fashion using only materials found in a hardware store. That episode turned out to be my favorite, just ahead of the episode where they had to make fashionable clothes out of a burlap sack.
Fashion is interesting to me from an artistic creation standpoint, not as a status symbol or anything like that. I don’t think it’s worth keeping up with and I’m not interested in “top designers” or big shows or what have you, but I think it’s so COOL to see what people come up with, especially when there’s a strict deadline like on Project Runway. I love creation under pressure, it’s making me want to participate in another creative challenge.
Or maybe learn more about sewing.
*This is a complete fabrication. I’m pretty sure I did nothing even remotely cool with my hair my entire high school career. Except for maybe when I dyed it pink with Kool-Aid, except that wasn’t cool as much as poor judgement. Or maybe the time when I braided a bunch of extensions into my hair, except that wasn’t cool as much as very strange for everyone who previously knew me to not have braided extensions in my hair.
**I’ve tried to look this up online to find out if it’s true or not, because yearbooks do like to lie. I haven’t found confirmation one way or the other, but I did find this article from Info World in 1981 about it, which I also find friggen’ awesome.