Do you ever feel that you have spent the better part of your adulthood trying to escape from your high school persona? You may travel 500 miles away to a brand new life filled with obscurity and, dare I say, potential. But when we return to our old hometowns, the reverence and permanence of those past characterizations rain down on our heads and wash away all the newness. A quick ruffle of the mascot emblazoned towel and you feel like that same awkward kid with braces and a New Kids on the Block button in the ole’ yearbook. It’s hard to change perceptions.
No such undertaking reminds people of their former identity than revisiting Senior Surveys. You know, the ballot that the student newspaper distributes to each 12th grader in the school and asks them to assign who was the Best Dancer or Most Shy or Best Dressed.
Back in the day, most people wanted to be on the list. Except for Most Shy. I’m sure they’d turn red at the thought. Needless to say, in a class of over 500, making the list was tough. I failed to rank. It’s a shame they didn’t have a nomination for Most Likely to Have A Chip On Their Bony Shoulder After 18 Years.
When I began to read the list again several weeks ago, I started to become thankful for not being named. Who were we to deliver these lasting judgments on our fellow classmen? Can you imagine the pressure to live up to being the “Most Likely to Succeed”? Trying to define success is about as likely as reaching the end of Pi. I’ve had great success increasing my alcohol tolerance. That should count for something.
But most importantly, could the designations decide the success of future endeavors? When you’re placed on a perception mountain as high as Everest, the only place to fall is through the icy crevice of inferiority. I was stuck there myself for several years in that cold cave until I gnawed off the trapped appendage of self-doubt and climbed out into the light. It’s much easier to escape from no expectations than to be limited by the highest.
Needless to say, too much analytical thinking makes my head hurt. So I decided instead to construct a new ballot for graduates around the globe. However, instead of submitting the nominations, lets just all think of the people we would recommend in our heads. I’ve decided you’re only being judgmental if the names are in print and they can sue you for libel. I actually do live in a fancy glass house, and would prefer not to have the barrage of sharp stones shatter it.
Without further ado, may I present The Mid-Life Crisis Survey:
Most Likely to Join a Cult:
Best Attempt to Still Look 30:
Most Likely to Write an Article for Playboy:
Least Likely to Subscribe to Playboy for the Articles:
Best Facebook Sob Story:
Most likely to leave his pregnant wife for a stripper named Bambi:
Best Mug Shot:
Most Likely to Have Knee Wrinkles:
Most likely to Have Arsonists and Serial Killers as Children:
Best Receding Hairline:
Most Likely to Wear Socks With Sandals:
Best Use of a Fake Diamond in A Wedding Ring:
Most Likely to Be Eaten by Housecats after Dying Cold and Alone:
Most Likely to Be Strangled By Her Classmates for Asinine Surveys:
Please submit these nominations no later than December of 2015. Winners will be chosen based on amount of payoff. In case of a tie, the author will fairly decide the winner based on how the nominated person treated her in high school.
Good luck, and more importantly, don’t worry about perceptions of others. We define our own self worth. In the end, you can live in that same hometown and know who you truly are, whether if that might be a nominee for “Most Likely to Craft Thigh High Boots Out of Raccoon Tails ” or a finalist for “Best Al Roker Ass Grab During a Today Show Taping”. Unwanted labels peel off easily. Just take your fingernail and start to shred.