Even though I haven't yet mustered up the courage to read my teenage diaries (maybe while Noel and the kids are out of town next week?), I continue to think about my dreadfully naive, self-conscious teenage self.
I was reminded recently of the tradition of signing high school yearbooks by two things: (1) Miss American Pie, which features at least one diary entry where Margaret Sartor reports what various people wrote in her yearbook; and (2) the Comics Panel's review of Alex Robinson's latest graphic novel, Too Cool To Be Forgotten -- the title being both a stereotypical yearbook inscription and a reference to Kool cigarettes.
After my senior year of high school, I frequently hauled out that year's annual and reveled in the notes my classmates had written me. I was never a popular girl, but I found my niche that year by expanding my circle of geek friends out into the theater and reject -- and to some extent, rebel -- communities. To me it seemed that the endpapers of that book recorded the highwater-mark of my standing among my peers. (It was also the coolest yearbook design I could remember, with the little black ribbon we all had to wear on our school uniforms actually threaded through holes in the front cover and tied in a bow.)
What I can't remember is what I wrote in anybody else's yearbook, although the terrible pressure to pen something memorable and impressive is seared into my emotional memory. I wish I could collect those books from my friends and see what I thought counted as memorable and impressive back then.
Did you have a standard yearbook inscription? Do you remember what other people wrote to you? And how did you feel about that particular high school tradition?