Dear Daughter: two

L to R: Brian, Moi, Lee, Mandy

L to R: Brian, Moi, Lee, Mandy

Prom: 1997


I remember having THEE biggest crush on Lee Vanhauldron in highschool, and not just for a couple weeks – omg he’s so cute – like, I love him so much crush. It was full on – butterflies everytime I see him, blushing, embarrassing, awkward moments, all through high school kind of crush.


So naturally, I would dream that he would magically notice me in our graduating year and he’d see how totally freaking amazing I was and just HAVE to go to prom with me. (Hey, a girl can dream) So here’s the deal:


I was a band nerd, I was the only person in my entire class that played in band and was an athlete. I knew I was a special gem. I’m not sure why everyone quit band when they reached high school? Maybe that ‘cool factor’ just got the best of them. Not me, I was queen of nerd, I didn’t fit in anywhere. I think to the rest of my fellow band geeks I was cool because I was really good at basketball and was always the first girl picked in P.E., and to my fellow athletes I was secretly cool because they envied the fact that I had the guts to stick it out in band class. (That’s in my hopeful romantic mind) But, either way I became completely aware that I was friends with everyone and no one. And I ended up spending a lot of time alone; in the halls, in the library, in the gym. Which may sound really sad, and I’m sure at the time I wanted nothing more than to fit in and be ‘cool’, but I just wasn’t. High school for me, I think, were the greatest learning years of my life. It was like being inside the most grande social experiment, with no escape, and you just had to tolerate all of the torture and your prize at the end? It shows you who you really are at the end of the tunnel.


I think that it is so crucial for you to learn to love being alone, it is where your greatest voice can find you. It is where you can find true love for yourself, true love for your surroundings and complete respect for the powerful force that is nature. That is what being alone means. It doesn’t mean you are simply alone and no one is with you, so you should feel lonely. It means you should crave to be alone, it’s a natural state of being, to explore and wonder and ask yourself questions, and just think. Where you find you, it’s quite beautiful.


So, I sat beside Brian Correia all through high school, we both played the Alto Sax(super cool huh) and we always had so much fun in class everytime! We’d gently make fun of people and talked about Beavis and Butthead and all stupid things that teenagers talk about. What was important is that we found a great, reliable friendship, we both tested each other’s wittiness and we could be smart and stupid together, we simply enjoyed each other and made high school just a little more bearable.


When the dreaded graduating year came along, and I mean that, dreaded, I wanted to just hide in my room under my blankets and then have my mom make me pancakes, that’s all I wanted in life, not to actually graduate and have to decide on a “career”(what an unpleasant word). You see, I was one of those people you could call a lollygagger, procrastinator, day dreamer, late bloomer…call it what you will, I was not ready to make responsible life altering decisions for myself. While everyone around me knew exactly what their five year plans were, I was clueless. Clueless as to what it was that I actually wanted to do with my life, and not knowing made me feel like some sort of failure. I felt completely left behind in the dust. But let me tell you a secret: it was the greatest decision making of my life, choices that I made, all by myself, me. I wasn’t ready to go out into the big scary world, so I didn’t. I took my time then, I take my time now, I cherish every moment of my journey and every part of it is necessary and inevitable…


Back to my prom year. So here I am, heading into graduating year, and it’s fall, the very start of the year. I’m thinking I have an entire year to worry about prom and who the hell I was going to end up with. Let me tell you that some of my freak friends had made deals as early as grades nine and ten as to who they were going to prom with. Stupid. These girls weren’t playing around, prom was the first topic of discussion and I was not prepared. As you can imagine I just avoided all discussions and when asked the question as to who I was going with? My dreaded answer: I don’t know. So I had one final attempt to make Lee fall in love with me and ask me to prom. I needed a plan. ?? But that included me going out on a limb, risking my dignity and putting myself in a very vulnerable position. That was enough for me to not make any moves. There were no letters slipped into his locker, no stopping him in the hallway, no sitting at his table in the library…nothing.  Just a whole lot of weird admiration from a far. In the meantime, the year flew by and springtime was turning to summer – to graduation.


I remember this day clearly, I headed into band class, I sat and assembled my saxophone, next to Brian, we warmed them up, and then we heard prom talk seep into our band class.  We looked at one another and he asked me if I was going with anyone. This is how the conversation went:


Brian: Prom.

Me: Yah.

Brian: You going with anyone?

Me: No, you?

Brian: No. Wanna go together?

Me: Yah ok.

Brian: Cool, ok


And that was that, we had a most relieved band practice together. We saved one another again. What a great friend. And we enjoyed all of the things that involved prom, we got matching corsages(I know), we shopped for his suit and tie together. It was fun. He picked up my Moms Toyota 4-runner to spiff it up, it was going to be our shiny limo, we were going to make a day of it. Want to hear something funny? Lee Vanhauldron was Brian’s best friend, and we ended up all going together along with his date Mandy McGuiness, apparently their date was a last minute thing too. Sure I considered Mandy to be a very lucky girl, she was absolutely in shock that she was going with Lee, I was genuinely very happy for her. We had a great great time. Actually, we had a blast. I don’t much remember Lee, my crush pretty much died that prom day, I remember his personality was so dull, maybe he was just really shy who knows? Either way, Brian and I had so much fun and he took care of me and made me feel like a prom queen, it was even sealed with a thank you kiss. I think of it now, and it was perfect. It was two friends who grew up together, who sat beside one another for four years, and took the seriousness out of high school together. We were just able to be ourselves in a place that was heavy on the idea that if you conformed it would be an easier ride. Thank goodness we didn’t, we were too cool. I will say this, everything will always work out, everything will always be ok, even when you think it isn’t, even when it seems disastrous, it will always a find a way. As long as you’re sure of who you are with the people that you surround yourself with, you will always find yourself in the right place at the right time.