An unfiltered fire hose of flaming condemnation

Class of Ninety-Three

Jon and I have been watching this relatively new reality show on the WB called “High School Reunion,” and I hate to even admit this, but it’s the scariest thing I’ve ever seen. I watch it with my hands over my eyes and an emergency whiskey sitting an arm’s length away. I’m sure it’s not supposed to be scary, but my own ten-year high school reunion is later this year, and as I’ve mentioned to Sour Bob who was there in my AP English class when I wrote my final term paper on Joseph Smith and tried to prove through historical documents written by Mormons that the Mormon church was the only true church on earth, no amount of psychotherapy could prepare me for such a return to hell.

For the past couple of years I have had a recurring nightmare that goes like this: I receive a call from someone on the school board from my home town who says that because of a “glitch” in the system, everyone who graduated from my high school in 1993 has to repeat their senior year. It doesn’t matter that I have a college degree, and if I don’t go back and redo my senior year of high school, that college degree becomes null and void. I then begin screaming, usually outloud.

And in this nightmare, as in real life, it’s impossible to imagine a worse scenario. I would rather base jump off a two-story building than relive a single moment of high school. I’d much rather have that dream where you’re being chased by a crocodile as you run around in public naked but for half-socks.

Up until very recently it’s been easy to deny that I was ever the Heather who:
– once believed that Rush Limbaugh was a prophet of God.
– referred to Dan Quayle as “my man in Washington.”
– threw public hissy fits whenever a quiz or a paper came back with a 98 or 99 and not a perfect 100.
– saw Milli Vanilli in concert and believed they were actually singing.
– was reduced to fucking tears when I found out they actually weren’t.
– sang Bette Midler’s “The Rose” solo in front of 300 horrified fellow students.
– took The Cure very seriously.
– totally believed that “to be great is to be misunderstood.”
– frowned incessantly
– constantly told other people that they were being so immature.
– formed a “V” club with three fellow virgins, complete with secret handshake and ID card.
– wore combat boots because it was just so rebellious.
– confessed to my Bishop every time I kissed with tongue.
– said a prayer in my graduation speech because the evil ones were trying to take God out of the schools.
– when asked to submit a quote that said best how I wanted to be remembered chose, “Can’t keep my mind from the circling sky, tongue-tied and twisted just an earthbound misfit, I,” and thought, man, it doesn’t get any deeper than that.
– wore a padded bra
– stalked a certain boy so aggressively that he once spotted me spying on him from behind a tree in his front yard.
– truly believed that the election of Bill Clinton was a sign of the times as outlined in the Book of Revelations.

I could go on and on and perhaps talk about my one gigantic eyebrow or the nappy hair that was long enough to hit my waistline, but I think I’ve adequately illustrated why the majority of my graduating class might not be looking forward to the return of the grumpy, Book of Mormon-wielding vigilante.

  • Okay, I’m feeling really old (and slutty). Not only did I graduate high school in 1984 (!), but a club for virgins was not even considered in my school. You’ve got to pass the time some how in Small Town, Louisiana.

  • On the serious tip: Ren, if you have found God then I would suggest your comments should reflect such. Perhaps there are some non-believers struggling, searching, trying to find a fulfillment in their spiritual life. Maybe you should offer your opinions such that those people are swayed toward God and not away from Him? Maybe a hint of humbleness and peacefulness? Maybe your comments could reflect a spirit that draws others towards you and whatever “makes” you that way? I imagine many people run away, screaming, from any religious affiliation because of the outspoken, condescending pricks who stand up with malice in their speech, claiming all of their thoughts, ideas, and statements are worthy because they are God-fearing, God-loving, God-spouting individuals. You are an individual, but I don’t see any part of God in your words. I do not see the love – only hate.

    (Ahem. Stepping down from the soapbox now.)

  • gosh – REN made me want to go to church and quit being so liberal – i mean, i am clearly only hurting my (godless) self and others.

    dooce – my suggestion about your reunion is to go – but only if the venue stocks absolut kurant.

    i’m sure your old classmates would all love a little background music for their screeching re-introductions – and ‘believe’ is the perfect song.

    don’t you think?

  • “Is that the stars in the sky, or is it raining far from now? Will it burn me if I touch the sun, so big, so round?” Never again.

  • To The Husband:
    Hey dude, don’t look at me. I’m not the one having dreams with your wife in ’em.

    Oh, and then having the gall to label it “humorous”.

    Nevertheless, I’m gonna take your comment as complimentary.

  • I’m sorry but I just have to say this:

    Picture virgins with clubs some 30,000 years ago.

    We could have become extinct.

  • well said heather #2. i’ve always believed in teach by example. not shouting or fear.

  • Mal

    Class of ’93 here, too… also a Utah high school.

    Parallels too scary to be brought to light.

  • K

    All right, I’m actually not commenting on the post (I’m sorry to utilize this forum for something else) but I’m rallying for help.

    I presently keep a blog called Line Noise (click on name for link)… Yesterday a stray 6-12 year old Pomeranian found his way to my doorstep. He’s severaly malnourished and desperately needs medical attention. My boyfriend and I were not prepared for the financial undertaking but feel it’s necessary to help the dog out. I’ve contacted every vet in my area (you can read, in detail, about it at my site) and no one is willing to donate medical supplies or help to this poor little misfit — which is why I’m left to rely on the help of fellow bloggers and blog readers… Please, please visit my site for more information on how you can help save this pup. Everyone else has suggested I send him to animal control where he would most likely be put to sleep — I believe there is another way, though… And as an older dog who seems to have weathered through a lot, I believe he deserves an option other than death. Presently he is severaly malnourished, been asleep for 26 hours, refuses to eat or drink water, and is anemic due to the incredible flea population in his matted fur. If you can help in any way, again, please visit for more information. Thanks so much…

    Jacqueline Carlson

  • tommy

    to the other tommy:

    no way am i talking shit about the Replacements. there just wasn’t anything indie about them in ’93.

  • wow, ren. that’s a whole lot of anger you have there. i’m cool with critics, but it seems like an inordinate amount of emotion to be directed at someone who is merely writing funny stories about her life.
    joy is in the journey friend. her journey is simply different than yours.

    besides, it’s not like she is making really offensive comments anyway. like swearing or making jokes about god, or bukkake, or mormons, or bodily functions, or family, or dog sperm…

    hey! wait a minute…damn you dooce. i’m offended!

  • Len

    My, my, the condemnation of Ren is astounding. Everyone can trounce upon and vitiate the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Dan Quayle, but turn the criticism onto liberals and suddenly you hear cries of “intolerance” and “meanness”.

    Well, cry me a river.

  • I would love to go back and redo my senior year. This time I would pay more attention in physics class and make less bongs on pottery class. But it would still Rock.

  • Men

    I think Len is Ren.

    Same yen, same pen.

  • in junior high school i (was forced to) attend the talent contest. yup, some tall thin girl with long wavy hair sand “The Rose”. however, in high school I did like bill clinton…and pink floyd.

  • Ren/Len/Pen, whatever your name. I think the what you’re seeing is people jumping up in defense of your attacks. It is obvious that more than one person viewed your comment as a personal attack rather than a personal opinion. This forum happily accepts criticism in all forms, from all sides of the political/religious/sexual orientation fence, but we unite in abhorance of personal attacks. Leave a comment that simply reflects your opinion, leave the fucking nastiness out, and you’ll not hear a peep from us.

  • kath

    Wow — “liberals have little self respect and even less for others” — I had no idea I was such a bad person. I think I’ll go shoot myself.

  • exsouthern babtist

    Bravo and Touche’ to Heather #2, Nessa, and everyone else. Good commentary.

  • i’m so totally not above name calling. Ren/Len is idiot. nuff said.

    OK. in highschool, i didn’t look nearly as mature or old as dooce does. In my senior picture i look like a was a freshmen. My senior quotes were from the beastie boys and the stone roses. and this was ’93. i was a huge nerd back then. i must be a nerd now. geez, i’m screwed.

  • Natasha

    The sad part is, Ren/Len/Pen sounds just like my conservative, pseudo-religious brother: he refers to nearly opinion I have as “liberal un-Christian bullshit.” It’s nice to know that all of a sudden, the general consensus from the right-wing side is that all liberals are “un-Christian” or, in the case of Pen/Len/whateverthefuck, don’t have God in their lives at all.

  • Lisa

    Who gives a fuck what other people think. That goes for much of what I have read right here. If you feel you would like to go, then go. Just don’t let other people hurt your feelings or make you feel bad for who you’ve become. I am still trying to master this attitude….

    Heather#2- Thanks for saying what I was thinking. That rocked.

  • Prince Michael II (Blanket) Jackson

    You’re not wearing a necklace in this photo. Did you swallow it?

  • Ren

    I have no idea who Len is (unless it’s the Len I knew back in my less than stellar high school days who dated a friend). Thanks just the same for associating me with him (her? Lenora? Lenisha?).

    When someone puts their thoughts out on display for the ENTIRE WORLD online and allows comments, there’s no law indicating I can’t comment on their incongruent comments – or that you can’t comment on my comments. Love your double standards. And for those who think that’s not a lovely representation of God. There’s more than a few words allegedly from God several books (not just Christian ones) that point out errors people make. Sorry, He (She?) is probably not the “only full of love and okay with every little thing we do” God that we’d all love to condone our every whim.

    “Dooce” can do whatever she wants and God bless ‘er for it. May God also help anyone who could possibly state she might not be as enlightened as she thinks now.

    We all do stupid things when we are young. We also had some valid beliefs and actions. To throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater and throw out everything we did and believed isn’t exactly progress. Maybe I should have made just one statement. Okay, here it is: Find a middle ground.

  • ren – i think you make valid points, however, it’s hard to take you seriously (and non-hypocritically) when you won’t supply an email or website. there’s a certain comfort in posting anonymous comments…

    oh, and in my eyes, god is whatever you want them to be. [for the sake of full disclosure, i am actually a practicing catholic and VERY liberal]

  • This is why I never say anything one way or the other about politics or religion on my site. I find these arguments to be the least interesting thing in the entire world.

  • i agree with sourbob. insomniacs around the web could be cured by the len/ren banter.

    but back to the issue at hand: dooce, i would go. i had the same fear of reliving senior year as you, but my reunion turned out to be good… with the exception of a bad photographer who spent way too much time trying to get 300 of us in ONE photo… there were many pleasant surprises, like steve, who wore unquestionable floods and glasses like coke bottles in high school, who walked into the reunion looking fabulous, complete with a knockout on his arm, now the youngest partner at the #1 law firm in chicago.

    besides, if you hate the reunion, you can leave. at the very least it will be fodder for storytelling.

  • Everything you’ve written makes me think that I really would want to meet you again ten years after high school. I don’t think I know anyone who regrets attending their ten-year. I certainly don’t. Some of it is like opening up the curtains in a dark room and finding out that there really aren’t ghosts in there. People are much more human than we imagined them to be. Plus, think of how psyched those fools would be to find out about your most excellent website.

  • Going to my 10-year was a painfully dull but useful experience. It was like being back in high school for an afternoon, and being dunked into that icy cold bucket of perspective gave me a good sense how much the past was the past. And now I’ll never be tempted to go to another!

  • Janna

    Darsella said: “…trying to get 300 of us in ONE photo…” Dude, three hundred? What would I give for that number in my class. I haven’t graduated yet (class of 2004) and I dread the ceremony; with over 1,200 people it will last over five hours. They don’t even try for pictures.

    Dooce, Your website is great and it makes me relieved to think of how different I will look eleven years from now. Thanks.

  • Inspired by this entry, I just went back and looked at my high school photos. Jeeebus. Bad hair. Bad makeup. Overdone everything from a desire to stand out as “wierd” and “different”, when inside all I really wantd was to somehow figure out how the hell to fit in. Ahhh. The past. Byebye.


    Not that I can add anything, as so much has already been said, but…
    Oh My. I knew a few people like your former high school self, and it’s kinda weird to imagine that they could have turned out as cool as you seem to be (through the bits I’ve read on your site, at least).
    I’ve always told myself I would avoid high school reunions, but I might possibly go to the 10th. Wouldn’t it be an entertaining way to spend a couple of hours, finding out what happened to all those people stuck back in the history of your mind?

  • Bah… My high school years were definitely NOT the best years of my life, and definitely something I’m not brave enough to share with the world. Kudos, Dooce, for having the cojones to share this era of your life with us. 🙂

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

read more