Decade

Written by hootenannie on August 18th, 2009

I grew up in a little town in western Colorado.  Montrose – at least when I lived there, pre-Starbucks and Target and multiple golf courses – was very typical of small town America.  We had a Dairy Queen, gossip at the beauty shop, agriculture, county fairs, rodeos, teenagers cruising Main, old trucks, and one high school.

My high school experience was like all of the stereotypical accounts shown on TV shows. The star of the football team dated the homecoming queen.   The scandalous teacher ran off with the wayward student.  There were fights, pregnancies, cliques.  There were the popular kids and the outcasts.  There were the jocks, the band nerds, the hicks, the brains.

Who was I?  I think that I fell through the cracks, never really fit into one “group,” and stayed peripherally involved with a lot of different social networks.  I played flute in the band, but was friends with the cheerleaders.  I never took calculus, but always got A’s and B’s.  I lived in a subdivision, but drove a pickup.  I wasn’t anywhere near popular, but was somehow voted the prom queen.  I had a lot of friends, but my best friend was homeschooled.  I was fairly straight-laced, but once broke into a factory with a crowbar.  I had a few dates to dances, but never a boyfriend.  I went to parties, but never drank.  I loved country songs and animals and baby-sitting and friends and ballet.

My parents moved away from Montrose in 2003, when I was in college in Seattle, and since then, my visits to my hometown have been few and far between.  The last time I was there was over a year ago, making this the longest stretch in 20 years I have gone without setting my feet on my hometown soil.

But it’s in my blood.

I mean, let’s not turn this into a Montgomery Gentry song or anything, but it’s true.  My upbringing in Montrose shaped me in ways that I cannot even pinpoint, and I feel the absence of it acutely.

After hearing through the grapevine about the class of 1999’s recent celebration, it occurred to me that my 10-year high school reunion is coming up next year.  And here were my next, immediate, successive thoughts:
1)    This is going to be so awkward.
2)    I’m totally going.
3)    I want to be in charge.
4)    I am still single.
5)    At least I’m still single.

Consider this my RSVP.

17 Comments so far ↓

  1. Aug
    18
    9:45
    AM
    Val

    PROM QUEEN!!!!!!!!!

  2. Aug
    18
    10:08
    AM
    Mary

    I was fairly straight-laced, but once broke into a factory with a crowbar.

    ohmygosh. LAUGHING OUT LOUD.

  3. Aug
    18
    10:26
    AM
    FW

    Pretty in pink…

  4. Aug
    18
    10:28
    AM
    Greta

    I didn’t know you did ballet! That explains your good posture. :)

    We both broke into abandoned buildings too! :) Annie Parsons, our friendship was meant to be. The building my friends and I got into was supposedly an abandoned insane asylum, but we could have been making that up– still, SCARIEST NIGHT OF MY LIFE. Especially when we found the scary beds in the basement with straps and buckles to hold people down. AhhhhH!!

    I was at a weird artsy fartsy school though. Jealous of your Americana high-school experience. And you were even the prom queen! You’re like your own Taylor Swift video. :)

  5. Aug
    18
    10:30
    AM
    Greta

    Oh, gadzooks, I always forget that the colon and the half parentheses make, not a subtle little type-face grin, but that hideous cartoon clown face. Excuse all the garish emoticons. Yeesh.

  6. Aug
    18
    10:31
    AM
    hootenannie

    haha, Greta… “garish”!

    I know, I’m going to see if I can turn off the emoticons somehow. The only way I would want them is if I could find an animated barfing face.

  7. Aug
    18
    10:36
    AM
    Emily

    Ten year reunion. Ugh. I am so NOT going to mine.

    But I’m glad you are going to yours. It should make delightful blog fodder.

  8. Aug
    18
    11:11
    AM
    Little AP

    Best thing about being homeschooled: You’re always prom queen.

    Always.
    Hope you have a spectacular time!

  9. Aug
    18
    11:12
    AM
    hootenannie

    Oh my goodness, Little AP.

    I LOVE YOU FOREVER.

  10. Aug
    18
    11:55
    AM
    Lyla

    I didn’t go to my 10 year reunion in July because one of my long-time friends is getting married in a couple of weeks and I had to choose how to use my vacation time.

    Plus, the wedding is bringing people together who graduated AFTER me and there are dear friends I haven’t seen in several years who will be there.

    Really, though, I already talk to everybody that I’m close to and going to the reunion would have been a long trip to satisfy curiosity.

    I did get a kick out of looking at the pictures from the reunion. There were a lot of people I had to stare at for quite some time before it clicked who they were.

    When I told one of my friends that, she said, “Me, too! But I WAS THERE!” There were people who came up and talked to her and absolutely knew who she was and when they walked away she still had no idea with whom she’d just conversed.

    I guess I’m kind of glad that at least I didn’t have to deal with that kind of akwardness.

    Maybe I’ll go to the 20 year reunion when NOBODY looks the same and then it’ll just be a given that introductions will be necessary.

  11. Aug
    18
    3:39
    PM
    megan

    yay! 10 year reunion! You should totally be in charge (that way you make sure it will be fun and not a waste of time). I had a lot of fun at mine…good ‘ol Montrose!! :)

  12. Aug
    18
    5:20
    PM
    Kates

    Its been 15 months since I’ve been to Montrose (my longest stretch) and I was in tears last week when my entire family went and I couldn’t make it.

    I want to attend your 10 year! Maybe I’ll crash… cause that wouldn’t make it anymore awkward or anything.

    If I was planning my reunion, I would force everyone to cruise from Dairy Queen to McDonalds to end the festivities.

  13. Aug
    19
    1:41
    AM
    Ginger Morby

    My class was too big. Over 1,100. DANG. I know. I could go to the reunion and not know anyone and feel awkward… until I heard the people singing show tunes outside… and I would run to them and we would request Spice Girl songs from the dj that would keep everyone who didn’t know the choreographed routine from actually dancing on the dance floor. But why pay $100 for one night of it when I did it the first time for free?

    Please go to yours. Please take copious notes. We will be waiting with baited breath.

  14. Aug
    19
    2:43
    PM
    annie

    Not only did I attend my 10-year, but I co-planned it! Really fun tracking people down.

    And not only did I plan and attend my 10-year, I crashed the one before us! I had a lot of good friends that graduated ahead of me.

    Fun stuff.

    I am glad you are going to yours and can’t wait to hear about it.

  15. Aug
    19
    9:41
    PM
  16. Aug
    20
    11:21
    AM
    Joel

    If I had a nickel for every time I broke into a factory with a crowbar in Montrose…I could wash my car.

    Montrose breeds contrast. It is a wonderful place for the inquisitive 20-something that returns for a visit. Surprises are at every turn. Well, surprises along with the axiomatic “yeah, that’s SO Montrose.” As they say in Cambodia, “Same same but different.”

  17. Aug
    22
    1:04
    AM
    Lyla

    When I return to Montrose, my first thoughts are usually lamenting the missing fields, cows, prairie dog holes, and all the other stuff now covered by sub-divisions. Then I enjoy being in a small town and seeing old friens. Then I rejoice that I get to hop on a plane back to Seattle. It’s nice to go back to my roots, but I don’t belong there anymore.

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