Legacies, or Winning at High School

25 Oct

High School wasn’t my smoothest era. (Was it anyone’s?) ((Did I have a smooth era?)) I was, however, fully aware of how humorously awkward my life was, and I kept diaries with the stated purpose of reading them years later and laughing at my own whiny recollections.

Pictured: [left] Not Me [right] Not My Boyfriend

It took me awhile to come to grips with the fact that I was not the Slayer, Well-to-do Suburban Public High School (WSPHS) was not the hellmouth, and a dark, mysterious, handsome loner wasn’t pining for me from the shadowy alleys my town didn’t have. Instead I spent a lot of late nights on AIM consoling my many guy friends who enjoyed telling me about how So-and-So didn’t return his affections.

Nevertheless, there are moments I look back on and think to myself, Self, you did everything right just then.

Recently my mom attended WSPHS’s annual Back to School night for my teenaged sister, but she was tasked with an unrelated mission. See, Molly and I have been wondering how to befriend a supercool (read: equally dorky) former teacher now that we’re fancy grown ups and that sort of thing is acceptable. Mom agreed to be our wingman.

The conversation, as related by my mother:

Mom – Hello, Mr. Nerdteacher, you probably don’t know me, but I’m Polly Lastname’s mother.
Mr. Nerdteacher – [a smile of recognition and pride spreads across his face] THE CONDOMS! How is she??
Mom – [Life updates, blah blah blah] and she and Molly would love to catch up with you!
Mr. Nerdteacher – Sure! Let me write down my e-mail.

“The condoms”. Not, “award winning analytic essay”. Not, “best spirit-week crazy hat”. Not even “oh right, that strange girl who played ALL THE WIND INSTRUMENTS in marching band”.

No, “the condoms.”

And that reaction right there is how I know I won at high school.


My high school friends and I were very square. We went bowling and played board games like Diplomacy on the weekends when we weren’t busy with band or theater or robotics club obligations. But just before senior prom we decided the time was right to act out a little. And thus “the condoms” legacy was born.

At WSPHS, the student council gave each first period class a white paper bag full of Blowpops on insignificant holidays. Each would have an address label wrapped around the lollipop stick with a message like “Happy St. Patty’s Day!” or “Welcome back to school!” The teachers passed them around routinely, and after awhile it became a less-than-special occasion.

Twas the night before prom, and we armed ourselves with a list of all first period teachers, a stack of white paper bags, 10 Costco boxes full of Blowpops, hundreds of label stickers reading “Good luck on prom night! Seniors ‘07 ;-)”, keys to the main office, and 1,000 Durex condoms in assorted rainbow colors. (This was the first time most of us encountered a condom up close.) The inconspicuous bags were placed in each teacher’s mailbox, and we all went to sleep with visions of rubbers dancing in our heads.

Vice Principal gets on the Loudspeaker:

VP – [uncontrollable giggles] Would all first period teachers [more giggles] please return any [giggle giggle giggle] white paper bags to the office [GIGGLE GIGGLE GIGGLE GIGGLE GIGGLE] immediately?

Foiled!* But we did manage to give most of the teachers a good hearty laugh and something to gossip about for the rest of the day. (Except one teacher who nearly fainted at the shock of our vulgar operation.) All day we observed their whispered conspiracy theories. “Was it the stoners?” “Of course not, they’d never have the energy for this sort of plan.” “Maybe the jocks?” “Yeah right.” “My money’s on the honors kids. I knew they were a little too enthusiastic when we were discussing the Black Hand in Euro History.”

Eventually some security footage traced the crime back to us, and not long after we were punished with congratulatory handshakes from most of the faculty. One even asked us to autograph the bag of condompops he was taking home for his wife.

Nearly six years later, a teacher at WSPHS hears my name, exclaims “THE CONDOMS!” and expresses interest in getting sushi sometime around the holidays.


*(Ed. Note: Bahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ahahahhahahaha. Foiled. Was that intentional, Pol?)


One Response to “Legacies, or Winning at High School”

  1. Sotorya (Tory) December 4, 2012 at 1:52 pm #

    ::slow clap:: I am truly not worthy of being your friend.

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