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I was recently lured to another social networking site, and discovered a community for my high school graduating class. Skimming the profiles of the members, I am flabbergasted by the number of them that are still in the exact same city, and the number that self-identify as deeply conservative Christians. It has served as a vivid reminder of just how much of a freak I was by the standards of that time and place.

One member of the community (hence, one of my former school mates) friended me and said, “I see you managed to escape!” Umm, well yeah. It’s not like I had to carefully time the guards’ patrol and sneak out between the sweeping searchlights. I didn’t have to tunnel under a barbed wire fence. There are maps that show all the major routes, you know. Maybe I should send her one. 😉

I can still remember the dissonance I experienced when I went from being considered a total mutant by the standards of the bible belt, to being considered almost boringly vanilla in my new home on the west coast. It was disconcerting at first, and then I learned to really appreciate it. Liberating.

4 thoughts on “

  1. danger0usbeans

    I had much the same experience when I moved here from Utah. I spent the first 30 years of my life being ridiculed for being a commie pinko hippie bleeding heart ultra-liberal. Then I moved here and it turns out I’m really just a moderate, a bit left of center.

  2. curiousangel

    Now I’m wondering who that person was — it’s almost enough to get me to join that other site. 🙂

    I know what you mean about the people we grew up around. It’s been a constant reminder to me about the importance of intentional community; just living near somebody and being the same age is no real basis for any sort of friendship. I remember having your situation open my mind to the idea that it was indeed possible to do things in a non-traditional way without giving in to the generally accepted rules. I was initially pretty pissed at the idea that you might have been breaking promises, and I still remember you bringing me up short with a talk that essentially boiled down to “Check your assumptions before you blame me” with an unstated, but strongly implied “you dumbass” attached.

    It’s amazing how much growing up I had to do when people let me walk around without a keeper. I wonder what I’ll think when I look back on today twenty years from now. 🙂

    It’s interesting (although sometimes in a “staring at the accident” way) to see how some of the people we knew turned out. One member of our gaming group wound up a Freeper, for God’s sake. I’m not so taken with curiosity that I’m willing to go to class reunions, but that’s what the Internet is for.

    1. browse Post author

      > Now I’m wondering who that person was
      I don’t think it’s anyone you know/knew. Hell, I barely recognize 1/4 of the names, and even fewer of the faces.

      > you bringing me up short with a talk
      Heh. I don’t recall that at all.

      > how much growing up I had to do
      Yeah, the older I get, the more cynical I get about when adulthood really begins. 🙂

      > One member of our gaming group wound up a Freeper
      I just found this out recently. Shocked the hell out of me. Who woulda guessed?

  3. yoopie

    you have no idea how much I relate to ALL that you have written.
    However, it is funny when people state..YOU ESCAPED!!!!! I love how you put the reality into view. I just packed my stuff and moved, the end. I was not a character in a video game dodging bullets and dragons while jumping over pits of fire to move away from my home town HAHAHAHAHA


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