Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Freaks and Geeks, Diabetes had nothing to do with it!

OK- It's been a few days since my last blog, recovering from the whole holiday and catching up with friends and family thing.

OK get this: I went to a High School class reunion After Party at the Borgota Casino in Atlantic City this past weekend. Not my H.S. reunion - that was in October, but the other local high school in my hometown. Let me preface this story with the fact that I'd grown up in a small beach town and that my parents had sent me to a Catholic High School 13 miles from the where I grew up. 90% of the people I had gone to kindergarten through 8th grade with had gone to Atlantic City High, and I hadn't talked with most of them since. I was a crasher for sure, but technically I was invited thanks to my old friend from back in the day, Jami. She and I had recently reconnected, and Jami (as well and a few other old friends) had given me both an invite and the courage to attend. I decided to go and check out memory lane. The last time I 'd seen these people the girls had been taller than almost all the boys and and no one had heard of Madonna - as in the performer, not the heavenly images holding the Christ Child in Italian Renaissance paintings

Thinking back to those days, I was so insecure about absolutely everything. My looks; my hair, my clothes, the craziness that was my family, AND the fact that I had diabetes. Diabetes made me different and I hated it. I wanted to be tall and pretty and be able to eat as many chocolate cookies as I wanted. I mean seriously, what adolesent wants to have a spotlight on them because of a medical issue?? Not me. I used humor to disarm my classmates when it came to my diabetes and myself. If I could make them laugh with me instead of at me when it came to the "Big D", then I wouldn't be such a social outcast. At least, not because of the diabetes. The wardrobe, glasses, and lack of grace, yes, but not my diabetes. ;)

Talking with these folks who I hadn't spoken with in 25 years made realize a few things.
Yes, they all remembered my diabetes, but more importantly they remembered and pointed out what good kid I was. Nice to those who needed it, funny and quick witted, and cuter then I ever thought. Personally, I thought I resembled Alfalfa (with long hair) from "The Little Rascals"during my middle school years. But my old classmate Jason pointed out to me that " I was pretty girl with an 80's hairdo, like the rest of our classmates."
Back then, each and everyone of us was insecure about a variety of different things and each of us brought our self doubt with us to school everyday.
We were all so focused on what our own problems (like parents divorcing or money issues, diabetes, asthma, drug addicted siblings, and not having the right designer jeans to wear,etc) that none of us realized that everybody had issues.
My diabetes was my "issue," my classmates were great with it. I was the one who had a problem with it. Each one of us dealt with things that nobody else even considered.
No longer were we divided into the "cool kids" and the 'freaks and Geeks" We were men and women who had grown into adults with careers and accomplishments, both personal and professional. Some had families, others had medical issues, many had both, and all of us lived to tell our tales.
We came from the same small town and had known each other since childhood.
We'd survived the first day of kindergarten; the fashions of the 70's, the hairdo's from the 80's, friendship breakups and makeups, our first game of spin the bottle and first broken hearts, and everything else in between. I had a blast and I'm glad that I had the opportunity reconnect with my past.


Anonymous said...

Hi Kelly..Great job, really enjoy the blog and applaude your insights in helping us understand diabetes and its role in your life..:) Cathy

theshinster said...

But y'know, Kelly, I saw you everyday throughout 4 yrs of highschool and I didn't know you were diabetic then --- but then I didn't know what diabetes was (...and I'm sure most kids felt the same way), ... that is til I myself became one a few yrs ago.

Our wardrobe sucked because we had to wear that stupid uniform. I (and at least a few guys) went a step further to be cool by folding and rolling the pants at the bottom a bit. Don't laugh, it was cool at the time.... gee, I remember you girls sticking out the shirt collars straight up outside the sweater, while 'volumizing' your hair with a load of ozone-depleting chemicals and/or Depp.

Early 80's designer jeans were awful.
OK, I admit, I got heavily into the
mid-80's Guess, Bugle Boy and
the late-80's Girbaud + Cavaricci
that had logos right at the crotch.
That's pretty much what I wore outside
h.s. and in college. Sue me.
Acid-wash. Shoot me.
But none is as horrendous
as the 90's "Hammer pants"
or the Grundge-era xtra-baggy
"shorts" that go below the knees...
I hope you never got into those
disastrous faux pas. (I didn't).