Monday, April 12, 2010

isn't it ironic?

I grew up on the wrong side of town. I don't say this for dramatic effect - it is a simple statement of fact. In our small town, the four junior highs fed into the one huge high school across the street from our house. The neighborhoods that populated the junior high schools on the east and north sides of town were considered "good". The other two --- were not.

I didn't know all this, of course, when I was in elementary school, and I loved my elementary school like I have never loved any other school. We walked home for lunch every day and back again, so I actually walked past Wesleyan Village (called the Methodist Home in those less PC days) four times a day. I considered myself incredibly fortunate when my elementary school became a junior high school at just the right time for me to keep attending classes there. I went to school at Franklin School, later Franklin Junior High, for nine years. My friend Beverly and I walked the empty halls one last time on our last day of classes there. I never went back.

The following fall I started classes at the high school in whose shadow I had lived for as long as I could remember. The multiple buildings took up a whole city block, and like all new freshmen (although I believe we were actually sophomores when we started there) I was sure I would never find my way or make it to class on time. In fact, I still dream of forgetting the combination to my lock or not finding my locker or the classroom where I need to be. Common nightmares, I know.

By the time I entered high school, I already knew that I did not live on the right side of town and I had not attended what was considered a good school. And some of the girls who attended the schools on the north side or the east side never let me forget that. Others were kinder and more accepting, but by my senior year when they finally allowed me into their group, I no longer wanted to belong. The boys from the "good" schools were always nice to me, and I never knew for sure if it was because I was a pretty girl or because my dad served them 3.2 beer whenever they came over. It didn't really matter, I guess.

All this is prelude to saying that my dad told me yesterday that one of the reasons he is unhappy at Wesleyan Village is because it is in such a bad neighborhood (!) and he is uncomfortable walking around there. I will admit, the neighborhood has deteriorated in the 30+ years since we lived there, but that just irritated the crap out of me! It wasn't a nice neighbhorhood even then, but he considered it to be a good enough place to raise his family. Now it is not good enough for him.

Life is funny, I guess, and I know it's better to laugh than to get pissed off about it. But, honestly!

1 comment:

Ben said...

I think his chums are trying to get him to quit walking where he walks, and he's turned that into, "see, this place isn't so great." No worries. By next week he'll be on about something else.

Mainly this was an enjoyable trip, and he seems to be doing better. (But really, that was pretty ironic).