I was in my mother’s kitchen a few days ago deep in the heart of Mississippi on a trip home. As is tradition, I help her prepare dinner and clean up afterwards until she can’t take how awful my pan washing techniques are and takes over while I provide commentary. We were catching up on everything that had been going on when she suddenly remembered something she had found buried in a box of books.
“I found your journal you had to keep for your senior year English class.”
“I need it, where is it?”
Now, to preface, everyone changes quite a bit from the person they were in high school to the person they are as an adult—at least, I’m glad I did. I can admit I thought I was the coolest thing that southern Mississippi public school had ever seen, with my long stupid frat hair, hemp/seashell necklace, and Clark Wallabees. Although currently I’m no pillar of modern fashion, I roll my eyes and cringe at how ridiculous I must have looked.
As I flipped through the pages of the tattered composition notebook, I felt like I was reading a stranger’s words. The only thing that confirmed this notebook belonged to me was the atrocious penmanship. I felt like Indiana Jones whenever he’s slowly, then more commandingly, reading hieroglyphics to decipher an ancient message, although instead of some great civilization encoding the whereabouts of a secret treasure, it was “how sick homecoming is going to be, and “that girl is so hot.” I cringed as I read.
“What is it?”
“I can’t believe I made it this far, alive."
The journal was from my Senior English class, and each morning there would be a prompt that we were to write a response to. They were usually very generic questions and being the first class in the morning, most of my writing was practically incoherent. One of the responses I read made me laugh out loud. For your reading pleasure, I humbly present the deep thoughts of Nate Anderson at 18 years old.
The prompt: Do you think today’s television programs and movies contain too much violence? Why? Why not?
The response:(Read in the voice of a teenager of the description above, in a tone much louder than necessary, with an idiot southern accent.) This is exactly how it is written on the page.
“Yes, like, how about that Texas Chainsaw Massacre? How about a mean dude with no face cutting people up with a friggin chainsaw? Then, if they’re not dead, he’ll take them to his little basement and chop them up more? Friggin scary, and there wasn’t even a plot, it was just a bunch of people running around screaming and cursing and crying and for the love of God, why did I pay $7.50 to go watch that? It’s Christmas! Why didn’t we go see Elf? Will Ferrel in yellow tights as an elf. That is a movie I would like to go see, because it’s funny, and I don’t think he would chase me with a chainsaw.”
Although I have come a long way since high school, I can say at least two things haven’t changed. I don’t like scary movies and I love the movie Elf.
Whether you’re with family for the holidays or just to see them, take a trip down memory lane and see where you’ve come from. Even if the your awesome and stylish Wallabees and hemp necklace didn’t give you much traction on the journey.