When I was in junior high and high school, it was pretty common for girls to pass notes. The notes were generally pretty inconsequential; but occasionally contained juicy gossip, or a funny anecdote from the days proceedings. I suspect the passed note (along with other forms of handwritten communication) has probably become an artifact in teenagerdom, given the ascendancy of e-mail and text messaging.
I understand and respect the inexorable march of technology, but still think it’s kind of a shame. The handwritten note conveys so much more about teen culture at any given time than any electronic-based format ever could. My cache of notes contain lots of silly artwork, funny presentation styles and flourishes, and creative folding jobs. They were designed to be a special little treat to open during a class, and made you feel special and liked. I suspect most of the notes I penned over the years to my pals were thrown in the trash at the end of the day when their pockets were cleaned out. Maybe a few survived. The people who wrote me, on the other hand….probably have no idea I’ve archived these things. As silly as some of them are, they really take me back to my youth in a more palpable way than just about anything. It’s probably because they’re so mundane that they’re important.
Here’s a few from Tiffany.
We were best pals for a spell.
This dates from 6th grade.
Billy is so weird and mean anymore. In Math Mrs. Roney said to get out a piece of paper. Then work problems. His hand shot up and asked if we could use paper. Dah!
Well better go,
Billy was on some mind-altering medication for a seizure disorder at the time, and his personality and competency had abruptly changed kind of like the Hulk.
This next one is from 7th or 8th…
How are you? I’m fine. Will you sit across from me on the bus? You don’t have to. I was just wondering because Justin is going to sit with me.
PS: I hope you will like my gift. it is kind of stupid.
Best friends, Tiffany”
exhibit 3 from 6th grade:
I’m sorry I wrote mar instead of Stacey. I can’t believe that Chad wanted to sit behind me in SS. I was so shocked! How are you doing? I hope just fine. You and I got the bestest A’s in the test (some people got As but we got the best). Maybe you could spend the night or I could spend the night with you? Maybe just maybe. Did you see Mr. Mitchell’s tie? Barf Barf Barf Barf Barf!
But it was kind of cute! Haha~ Just kidding!
In two square I only want to be in a square with you or you know who!
Love Ya, see ya, Tiffany”
This one is great! “Mar” was a reference to Marijuana. No, I was not smoking dope at age 11 or anything like that. We’d had drug education in health class and found it simultaneously hilarious and terrifying. So, we thought it would be funny and/or ballsy to have drug-related nicknames. I became “Mar” and she became “Co” (for cocaine). Totally dumb, but totally something you do when you’re 11 and into code words and trying to have inside jokes and other fun secret stuffs.
Mr. Mitchell was our science teacher. He kind of skeeved out a lot of girls. He was a younger guy, and always seemed a little flirty to us. He also suffered from a poor tie selection.
We were all about two and four square at recess/lunch at my school. It was really competitive, and people were really into picking favorites for their teams. Tiffany and I were pretty darn tough, and my heart is still warmed to this day that she only wanted to play with me (or her then current crush object.). Sigh.
and numero four, probably from 6th grade too:
How ya doing? Fine I hope. In science Ryan and Chad suspected Jason and Tara of cheating. They said that they told Mr. Brown. Well anyway then they were suspecting me too just because we three missed one and on the same question. After Math, I told Tara (you know that Tuesday assignment in SS) I told her are they going to suspect you and me of cheating since we got 100%?
Can you believe this is happening?