oh, high school

I've been feeling really young this weekend.

Not in a positive way, like when women in their 30s and 40s get goofy because the cashier boy at the liquor store asks them for their ID. It's more like I've felt like I was in high school all weekend.... Friends leaving town gave me a yearbook to remember them by (a scrap book telling the story of our lives so far in Edmonton, which I absolutely adore); boys at my rec volleyball game today seemed just a titch like those guys you knew in high school who were actually good at the game and kind of mad at you for showing up for gym class; and a good friend of mine seems poised to start an I Hate Trish Club. Maybe I'll luck out and find something gooey on the underside of my combination lock tomorrow.

All this just goes to show the steps between adolescence and adulthood are unfortunately few and rather stilted. One of my favourite authors capitalizes on this knowledge -- that you actually are who you were in high school, but without the stutter -- and uses it in Smart Women to tell the myriad tales of immature mothers and their over-mature daughters.

But the book I most link to high school?

Winter Dreams, Christmas Love. This, my friend, is the tale of a girl obsessed with a boy for years -- it's absolutely the perfect story for any young girl who goes through high school boyfriendless. I read it every single year from Grade 7 through 12, whenever the snow started falling.

(Note: Snow has not started to fall in Edmonton. But I saw a few drifts this morning as I made my way down Jasper to meet friends for brunch.)

Even now, I get a ridiculous grin when I think of this book. Basic storyline: Ellen Marlowe, freshman, falls for Michael Tyler, junior, pretty much on the first day of school. He's a massive tease. He leads her on throughout high school, all of which she spends trying to get over the guy, to no avail. Finally, at the end (um, spoiler alert?), he admits he's loved her for years, yadda yadda yadda, and she totally goes for it. Which actually sets no good example at all for adolescent girls, but when you're a teenager you feel all warm and fuzzy because you totally get why Ellen's thrilled. She cries tons, and as you're reading it (when you're 13, remember) you're crying too.

The Scholastic edition pulls this from the book to entice you:

At Ellen's door Michael lifted her chin, and looked at her for a long moment. Then he leaned over and touched her lips with his. In that moment, she realized that no other kisses but his could ever mean anything to her. Something almost like electricity tingled in her lips and down her entire body. She couldn't breathe but she didn't want to. She only wanted to hold him tight and keep that trembling excitement coursing through her forever. But almost at once, he had pulled away and was smiling down at her. "Merry Christmas, Ellen, and I hope the rest of your freshman year is great."

My, my, my. Pity the 13-year-old boy who has to live up to that.

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