Friday Wrap #18 – Writes of passage

Tonight was prom night for one of the kids. It’s a right-of-passage, so I am told. One of the kids missed out on prom, or that other right of passage – grad – thanks to the start of the pandemic. Prom was encouraged this year, as have many other activities since the world reopened. I won’t say the kid was pushed, more like actively encouraged. Not having access to things for a while makes you appreciate the experiences more. It feels a bit hypocritical to encourage these activities, when I openly boycotted my own years ago.

High school was awkward for me. I always felt more comfortable talking to adults rather than my peers. The only time I felt like I fit in, is when my peers thought it was cool that I was causing shit. I ran for MPP when I was 18 – cutting class to go put out flyers in the riding. During a co-op at my local newspaper, I told the truth about what our school’s principal said – and was threatened with legal action. Said principal told me later I wouldn’t amount to anything… kids always love being told by authority figures that they are nothing (note the sarcasm please). I was a teen who wanted to be an adult, but rebelled against the establishment adults. That gave me some acceptance by my peers – so weird.

My prom was spent at a field party, boycotting some of my peers and all my bullies with cheap wine coolers and high alcohol content beer. I’ve never touched a wine cooler since. My grad was spent at the movies, as I was boycotting graduation too. The official reason was I was not going to share the stage with a guy who threatened to sue a teenager; unofficially I hated public events like this and couldn’t deal with the anxiety of going in front of a group of people I didn’t like, at a school I didn’t like, with peers who I didn’t like I was a part of, to get a piece of paper that I was mandated to attend school for 14 years to get.

The hypocrite dad encourages his kids to have the experiences, even if they were not great – at least you have something to compare great experiences to. Parenting by doing the opposite what you did is difficult and nuanced.

Still, a little part of me wishes that I had gone for having those experiences. Stepping into the decorated gym for prom, crossing the stage to get a rolled-up piece of paper from a person who had no business working with kids. It would have given me a good baseline to gauge other experiences from. Who knows? Life might have been different, or not.

Three things:

Something to Watch – One of my favourite blues musicians is Samantha Fish. I first learned of her on youtube, when a random search brought up a performance on Don Odell’s Legends.

Here is a Samantha Fish from 90.9 The Bridge in KC.

Something to listen to – Two musical performances from Samantha Fish could count as listen and watch, but no. I have to go all music rabbit hole on the readers of this newsletter.

This is amazing guitar work by blues artist Popa Chubby.

Something to read – This is a review of the “new” Indigo book store in the Rideau Centre in Ottawa by Paul Wells. Wells is a former blah blah with Macleans and wherever else. To me, his writing is like listening to Howard Stern. Sometimes I like it, much of the time I don’t, but I look and read in case it is interesting. Wells wrote this review of the Indigo store, and having gone into that very store Friday morning – I completely agree with this assessment. That store sucks!

The Last Word – Finishing high school is a bookmark in your life. It’s a place to look back at, or remember that it’s there. A bookmark isn’t a stopping point, nor is it an anchor. Most of the time we never go back to reference the mark. The point of high school is to get through it, and on to the next things in life. It’s better to dwell on the future than on the past. And if anyone can tell me how to do that, please let me know.