Monday, June 2, 2008

You Got Me...

My 2 oldest kids wanted to purchase school yearbooks this year. ElemenoB is in middle school and Coolister is in his first year of high school. And yearbooks are so darn expensive! I told them that they were welcome to purchase yearbooks with their own money if they wanted, but we were not shelling out the cash for such a purchase. ElemenoB ended up getting one, but Coolister did not.

I spent time explaining to them what an unwise purchase yearbooks are. Sure, while you're attending the school they are kind of fun. And it's fun to have people sign them. But you could also bring a notebook to school and ask people to sign that and it would save you a whole lot of cash. I argued that there were plenty of other ways they could spend their money - like on clothes or shoes or music downloads. I told them how my yearbooks have been stashed at the bottom of my hope chest since graduating from high school. I did concede that it would maybe be nice to have a yearbook from their Senior year of high school, just as a memento, but that was even debatable.

Then it happened.

ElemenoB has talked about boys at her school, the ones that all the girls like. I'll call them Thomas and Jeff and whatshisname. At ElemenoB's honors night last week, I got to see these boys. They were decent looking and all, but they didn't compare to the boys of my time...I mean, they were no Aaron or Jeremy!

She disagreed.

But how can you judge, I reasoned, when you haven't seen them? I am talking about Jeremy-who-was-in-a-Poptart-commercial and Aaron-surfer-boy-extraordinaire!!

You guessed it - out came the yearbooks. They prompted all kinds of fun conversations with the kids:

Kids: What does "scamming" mean?
Adults: What? You don't use the word scamming? What do you call it when you're checking out the opposite sex?
Kids: "Hitting on someone"?
Adults: No! That requires actual face-to-face contact! Scamming was more like checking someone out, seeing what's available...

Kids: Who are Michael and Joe and Spencer?
Me: I have no idea.
Kids: Then why do they say you are good-looking?
Me: What?! Someone said I was good-looking in high school?! I don't remember that...

Kids: Who is KIT?
Me: Let me see... oh, that's just an abbreviation for Keep In Touch.
Kids: Oh, like HAGS.
Me: What is HAGS?
Kids: An abbreviation for Have A Good Summer...

And on and on. And you know what? My old yearbooks are still out, being read and looked at and "Check out the tall bangs!" and "Look at those nerdy shorts!" Even I have been reading messages from old friends and pictures I had long forgotten.


Maybe I was wrong. Maybe yearbooks can be a really worthwhile investment.

About 20 years after-the-fact.


Teachinfourth said...

Crunk. Get out with it! As if you didn’t think getting a mega-cool yearbook it would be worth it in the end, Gerb! I think that it’s bodaciously gnarly that you’re able to share a totally awesome experience like this with your kids. Totally boss to the max! I was totally down in getting my yearbooks when I was in school, fer sure. I found them about six months ago and I was like, no way…these are totally radical! Of course, it’s strange to see all the photos of the poofers and goobers, but I was still totally down with it. Cool beans, homefry. I guess that a yearbook bought today will be worth it in 20 years! I mean, aw yea…can you relate?

Catch you later, Dexter!

P.S. Icy blog, homefry!

Hi! said...

Awesome comment teachinfourth.

I have been looking at my yearbooks a lot. It is fun.

Cherie said...

Reading this was a CLASSIC example of enjoying your account of an experience that describes so perfectly way similar experiences of mine last decade!! And i hardly ever wrote about them - so this is GREAT! -fond memories.
I still cringe at their terrible costs that i've had my kids help pay for many times -
but experience helped me block the PAIN out a bit more this year, and the fact that recently several of mine were again raving about the lengthy and meaningful things written in my old ones - it seams that everytime someone gets them out someone else gets into reading them for the first time again.
But still, i complained about the wretched costs as i wrote out the checks for the same 2 yearbooks your 2 asked for... as i have done each year since '98.
Hmmm - Let's see 5 of mine have been through 2 yrs of Jr high now, so 10 books there, O, S, & C have gone through PHS so 12 more there... then J = 2 more PHS yrs so I've helped purchase TWENTY-FOUR yearbooks in the past 10 years, YIKES!!
--And all for the sake of facinating and delighting another generation of readers... my future grandchildren!
Wow, i feel sheepish - Hooray for my Dad who willingly and matteroffactly paid for mine!
New GOAL for 2009:
I will pay for them earlier in the school year without negative guilt tripping my children OR i will come up with some great idea for helping them earn it!! (or have Gerb come up with a great idea).
Good night, and as they said in the Bay Area in the '70's - Have a witchin' (only w/ a B) summer!!
(I like our kids' "HAGS" more, i always hated the trendy shallow HABS thing).
PS - we HAVE to get together and hang out over the summer, k Gerb? No, seriously! i just know we'll always be friends.
PSS - sorry for taking up so much room on this page.

Rebecca said...

Cherie, you crack me up!

My dad's yearbook was a crucial tool in helping us believe that he was actually our age once. We have never let him live down the comment, "Don't beat the lips with Sue too much this summer!" from one of his high school years. Ah, it makes me laugh just thinking about that one. My dad maintains his claim that he has no idea who Sue is or was. ;)

Mom not Mum said...

LOL How fun! I didn't get a yearbook in 9th grade but I have the other 3 years. I think that is because I had to pay for them myself and that was pretty expensive on a babysitter's 2bucks an hour salary. I stroll down memory lane every now and then. There is always a need for some SSS and KIT.

Have a rad summer - my kids have another 7 weeks of school.

Gerb said...

Yo, homeboy!
I was so stoked to read your totally rad comment! I was like, oh my gosh, I so totally know what you mean!! Word.

I am still looking at mine and finding new comments between the pages. My favorite line from today: "Your hair is much prettier now."

I hope we will be F/F. Because you are
2 sweet
+ 2 be
4 gotten


I'm experiencing the same - nothing about lip-beating, but the kids keep finding messages from guys I don't remember that say all kinds of funny things!

mom not mum-
Be sure to KIT once you move back to the states! And good luck with the rest of school.

Cole's Kickn' Blog said...

I took my yearbooks out one time and my son said in all amazement, "Wow mom. You were so pretty." Nice. Thanks son.

cari said...

And the above comment would, of course, be from me and not Cole! (He needs to learn to log off.)

Farscaper said...

I totally love my year books. Only have them from HS but they are fun. My sophmore YB you will find a freshman picture of one of the girls from 90210. We've had a miss California (she moved states to compete) and several pro sports players. I get to prove that I "knew them when" with those very expensive books.

The message I hated the most "Sorry I didn't get to know you better but HAGS anyways."

Mom not Mum said...

I have one entry that just says


So for the last 20 years I have. LOL (guess I'm glad it didn't say "eat cow eyes!"

Jeannette said...

I have to disagree Gerb, yearbooks are totally worth it! Granted, at my High School if you had perfect attendance you got your yearbook for free, so I did try to do that, but I did pay for it for a couple of years and I'm glad I did. Like they say, a picture says a thousand words and there is no missing out on what Glen looked like in High School! I'm sure one day, my kids will peruse over both of our yearbooks laughing and giggling at how ridiculous people looked. Well, maybe how they looked in Glen's yearbook, after all, I was a subject of the 90's, not the 80's and we were very cool and stylish. Ha, ha, ha!