So, listen up, Class of 1996 (and whatever year K graduated): we took names and held grudges and still, after all these years, we wish you ill. Now that we can use myspace.com to monitor your misfortunes, we are counting your divorces, imprisonments, and remaining teeth with unabashed glee.
If you decide to undertake a similar project, or if you already have, I would be very interested to learn which recurring themes caught your attention. For my part, I was impressed by the number of Bible verse headlines, headlines containing misspelled platitudes, fantasy-themed backgrounds (wizards, fairies, castles, etc.), quizzes about Disney characters, two-in-one profiles (e.g., “Christy and Brad”—because I guess when you find your soul mate you lose your identity as an individual), and baby-centric profiles (for similar reasons, I reckon).
Let me walk you through the highlights of my journey:
MC: I knew that M was special when I saw that she wants to meet “people who speak the truth.” Then I noticed that she uses her myspace blog to publish her poems. Judging from her use of Random Capitalization, she is working in the tradition of Emily Dickinson.
Here I will reprint my favorite piece, “Paralyzed,” in its entirety.
Life is changing
Moving So Fast
I can barely breathe
Drowning is NOT an Option
I will keep fighting
I won’t stop
I just feel paralyzed
Why can’t I wake up?
Clearly, she some kind of blighted superwoman: she is suffocating, fighting, and paralyzed...in her sleep! Under those circumstances, one wonders why drowning is NOT an option.
KG: I was mildly disturbed to read his single blog entry, which posed the question: “WTF is a blog?” I don’t think he was being meta, people.
ME (née MS): I knew that M’s profile would be a treat as soon as I saw her headline, “Married life is AWESOME!!!!!!!” Her name is listed as Mrs. ME and her picture is of her and her husband on her wedding day. (All this even though the wedding was a year ago!) Her pet name for her husband is “Bobo,” her favorite song is “Every Day” by Rascal Flatts, and her background is a heart motif rendered in bubblegum pink. Impressive, no?
MG: As something of an outcast, I had a special place in my heart for the handful of gay people at my high school. M was out since, like, elementary school, so I admired him even though he was dumb as a brick. His myspace page, which listed “Sweet Caroline” as his anthem, his occupation as a trainer, and the person he most wants to meet as Jake Gyllenhall, made me smile.
A: I knew A as the fat quiet kid in orchestra; I might have described him as a loner. Then, a few years after we graduated, I found out that he was a drag queen at the local gay bar, which made me regret that I hadn’t known him better. Now, judging from A’s 751 myspace friends, I guess he knows everyone.
One concern, though: A’s headline (“I am changing”) and profile suggest that he is, um, taking things to the next level. If so, I think that’s pretty neat, but I wonder what it means for his career as a female impersonator. (Does it still count once you’re the real deal?) Also, as a sidenote, A might be the second person in my graduating class to have a sex change. What are the odds? I guess Johnson City really is the San Francisco of the South.
April Ice*: In sharp contrast to A, April, my high school nemesis, has a mere six friends. I suppose I should applaud her progress, since that is at least four friends more than she had when we were in high school. If that sounds cruel, perhaps I’m still reeling from the time in biology class when April, who weighed around 300 pounds, picked up my desk and threw it across the room...with me in it. You’d never guess she was such a bully from her myspace page, which is decorated with babies and fairies. I guess motherhood (her “occupation”) has softened her.
*NB: I refuse to protect the identities of nemeses.
E: I didn’t really know E (who evidently is also known as “Filet Mignon”) in high school, so I feel a little mean-spirited laughing at her. But if thinking that her page is FUCKING AMAZING makes me a bad person, then so be it.
Where to start? A good jumping-off point might be “I Am God,” the Christian rap song that plays when you click on her profile. I’ll have to say that I love this song title because it so effectively combines the egocentricity of the rap idiom with the whole Jesus shtick. She carried through the God theme nicely by considering the people she most wants to meet both here and beyond the veil. When Filet Mignon gets to heaven, she looks forward to meeting Mary, Mother of Christ. Here on earth, she would like to meet the cast of Friends.
Finally, I’ll let this excerpt from her “About Me” manifesto speak for itself: I met my husband the summer after graduation at Taco Bell. We both worked there and were introduced by my lil' brother. I knew from that moment that he was the one for me...and we have been together ever since.
And that about sums up my cohort.
Unfortunately, my college classmates were not nearly so interesting, though it pleases me to report that my crazy ex-roommate seems to be going by the name “Sensual Cocoa.”