The Great Masquerade

The purging continues….One black hardcover folder with one very special graduation picture.  Four friends standing side by side.

graduation of four friends, picture

I’ve always told my children that the friends you make during High School may not be the friends you actually share most of your life with.  After all, what factors determine the friends we choose, when we barely know who we are?

For the first time I am looking at this portrait as an outsider.  I am not the same person I was then, and my guess is – neither are they.  But let us dissect the picture and our personalities by the clothes we chose for graduation.

My tallest friend on the far left, who will remain nameless for privacy purposes – wore yellow satin covered in an overlay of yellow lace.  The color suited her darker skin tone and brunette hair, however the sunny choice did not mirror her brooding disposition.  Not that it was her fault.  I learned early on in our friendship that she too came from complications.  The kind that met us every night at the door when we went home.  School served as our great escape.  And I must mention she was beautiful, then and now.  Although I haven’t been able to reach her for over ten years.  My summary of her look in this photo: Cautious and Classic.

Just in from the far left, a dear friend who will also remain nameless – wearing white.  An unusual choice I thought – for Grad.  One usually saves white for their wedding.  But it was tasteful, a gown with straps and a sheer complimentary jacket, trimmed in lace.  I have to giggle – because her conservative choice said nothing of her feisty personality, but perhaps was a spot-on foreshadowing of who she really wanted to be.  A good girl.  She was and will always be that, even if our High School years found us causing our parent’s grief.  We were always out looking for the next big thrill even if it meant heartache.  My summary of her look; Shy and Baptismal.

The friend standing next to me was probably the one I knew the least.  Dressed in a peasant style dress, white patterned, scalloped sleeves, flower in her hair.  She was a flower child, come to think of it.  A free spirit.  Did as she pleased, broke hearts, too many.  I introduced her to her first husband.  Recently I had the privilege of meeting her current husband and they seem happy.  If I was out looking for a thrill, then she was out looking for another planet as long as it had plenty of alcohol.  Most of what we reach for in High School isn’t what we need. And then there’s hormones.  My summary of her look; sweet and virtuous.

And finally, me at the end of the row of four, dressed in a bright pink ruffled dress, off the shoulder.  Did I mention, all our dresses were floor length?  I had worked on a tan, but my hair – who decided to put it in those curls?  I digress.  My choice of dresses certainly showed my love for fashion and the color choice did speak loudly of my extrovert personality.   I talked and smiled all the time.  I enjoyed people, I thought I cared.  For the most part – they pegged me as a princess.  In reality – I was just plain scared.  Everything around me wasn’t really what it seemed.  And no one seemed to want to be real.  High School was nothing but a big game of hide-n-seek.  Our graduation probably would have been more real if we all wore masks.  Come to think of it….Graduation should be called; the Great Masquerade.   Summary of my look: innocent – but not so much.  Oh yes and short.

“It was only high school after all, definitely one of the most bizarre periods in a person’s life.  How anyone can come through that time well-adjusted on any level is an absolute miracle” E.A. Bucchianeri, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly

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