Tonight I entered the hallowed halls of my former high school for the first time since 1990 and I about broke out in hives. The high school years were not the best for me and I am definitely not one of those people who would love to relive those "glory" days. Instead, I gave that school the bird as I peeled out of the parking lot on my last day and vowed never to return. Tonight I had to break that vow.
Not only did I have to venture back into that den of douchebags and dipshits, I went because I was bringing Adolpha to a cheerleading clinic. The irony is not lost on me.
I told a friend today that I was taking Adolpha tonight and that I wasn't looking forward to it. She replied, "What's so bad about cheerleading?"
"Nothing, I guess," I said. "Except my Friday nights will be spent in a stadium or a gym watching someone else's son play a sport just so I can see my daughter encourage him to play better. That sounds horrible to me."
I tried to keep an open mind since I knew Adolpha was excited. As we drove there I told her, "We're going to my old school. I used to go to high school at this school."
"Really? Do you think any of your friends are still there?" she asked.
"I should hope not! They'd be pretty stupid if they were still there. It's been over 20 years."
"Wow, that's a long time," Adolpha said.
"It sure is," I agreed.
We entered the school and we were greeted by a gaggle of girls with enormous bows in their hair and short skirts. "I assume we're in the right place for the cheerleading clinic?" I asked.
"Of course! Come on in!" was the perky (of course) response.
The girls had their clinic in the lunch room. The lunch room is probably my least favorite part of that entire school. I can remember entirely too many lunches where I either ate alone or in the bathroom, because I wasn't in the mood to be ridiculed for eating alone.
My only fond memory of the lunch room is the day I met Steve. He was a new student who transferred in our junior year. I found him hanging out near the bathroom looking for an escape route as well. We bonded over our mutual hatred of most everyone around us. Steve is still one of my closest friends and he is the only thing that got me through my time in that place.
I gulped down the bile in my throat and found a place where I could watch Adolpha "shake her tail feather." (Yeah, they danced to that song.) I've mentioned before that Adolpha is not a graceful girl. Tonight was no different. When everyone went right, Adolpha went left. If they stretched up, Adolpha crouched down. At one point she was doing her entire routine facing backwards. (Yup, that's my girl!) She never seemed to care that she wasn't very good. She enjoyed learning the routines and spending time with her friends. She liked all the attention she received from the teenagers running the clinic.
When it was over and we were driving home I asked her, "Did you have fun tonight?"
"Do you like cheerleading?" I asked, dreading the answer.
"Yeah, it's OK."
I felt a twinge of hope. "Do you like cheerleading better than soccer?"
"No. I like to kick the ball better than yelling."
Yes! That's my girl!
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