not the same, but easily recognizable.

As Casey and I were leaving dinner at La Carreta, we saw two of them. As we were driving downtown to The Garage, we saw half a dozen. As we were entering Krispy Kreme, we saw another half a dozen. As we were wandering around Wal-Mart, we ran into a couple more.

Stupid high school kids in prom clothes.

Was it just me, or did we happen to run into the most annoying ones? Maybe it's just the fact that the minute I left high school, all high school kids became inherently annoying. Was I that obnoxious? Did I look that ridiculous tottering in my high heels and chewing gum? I watched and listened to these kids and I knew exactly what kind of kids they were. I could put a name on them that corresponded to another kid that I went to high school with. Different high school, different city, different time, but same exact kid. In my day, that guy was named Mitchell, and that girl was named Ashley. That dude over there was Brandon, and his date was a different girl named Ashley. I didn't like them in high school, either. Ridiculous people who think that tuxedos and sequined dresses make them adults. Sorry, kid, but your mom's borrowed Visa gave you away. And when one couple had a Krispy Kreme employee take their picture standing in front of the "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign holding up their respective half-dozen boxes, I'm surprised my eyes didn't roll right out of my head. The Krispy Kreme workers seemed to be having similar difficulties trying not to laugh out loud.

Ah, but who am I kidding? I am only four years removed from those girls in shiny dresses and matching eye shadow. Am I wrong to think that they were four important years? I have a degree now, and major kitchen appliances, and a credit rating, and a job that doesn't include an apron in the dress code. I worried then about my GPA, what I wanted to major in, and the size of my hips. Now I worry about my 401k, whether I majored in the right thing, and the size of my hips. Maybe if I'd run into the right group of kids, I would've looked at a girl and thought she would've been named Sandra at my high school. The scarier idea is if she'd be able to look at me and tell that she is me, just four years later.

I can't deny my high school self, nor would I necessarily want to. She did about the best she could given her resources. She wasn't so bad, for a kid in high school, and she remains part of me. I'm not the same, but I'm easily recognizable.

But the funniest part was watching those kids with their dates and then looking across the table at my once-upon-a-time prom date; he had doughnut glaze on his chin. Some things never change.

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