Passing notes

photo of middle school notes
real middle school notes. this is not a drill.

Like most people who grew up in the ’80s/’90s, I have a memory box or two squirreled away in random corners of the apartment. I’m leaving the most recent generation out of that generalization because, honestly, I have no idea what kids do to preserve memories anymore. I would say SnapChat, but “saving” is literally the opposite of the purpose of SnapChat.

Actually, I take that back. Every generation hoards something. The ’90s babies and *shudder* people born in a year where the fourth number is a zero are probably stockpiling caches of ticket stubs and magazine articles too.

The one thing that I doubt they have nearly so many of, though? Notes.

And, yes, I did notice that one of those notes has the word “boob” on it. THISISMIDDLESCHOOLPEOPLE.

Even I was surprised at how many notes and letters I found in my memory box. I mean, it makes sense — this was before texting. (I KNOW I’M OLD OKAY.) If something happened in first period homeroom that you just could not wait to tell your BFF on the bus ride home, you would discretely pass a note through the clarinet section during band practice. Or something. Hypothetically.

After unfolding, re-reading, and then carefully refolding the notes (we were origami champs, y’all), I felt a wave of nostalgia that made me a little sad for kids today. And a little sad for myself for using the phrase “kids today.” Today’s tweens aren’t going to scroll through pages of old texts. And even if they did, it would be 60% emoji anyway. And while I love an emoji myself, a pair of dancing twins is never going to compare with a handscrawled note from your bestie telling you her life would just END without you.

The next generation of twenty-somethings won’t be able to sift through handwritten letters and (at times even more novel) printed photographs. In my memory box I found all of the following — and more:

1. Two love letters (rated whatever comes before G…this was middle school in the ’90s, after all)
2. Pictures of my first serious crush
3. A ticket stub for when I saw The Notebook in theaters (the first time)
4. A purchased photo from my eighth grade graduation dance
5. Every graduation/baptism card I ever received
6. Every letter Jackie dal Broi sent to me after I moved from California (that is LOVE, guys)
7. Both of my solo contest pins from the days of playing the flute (so maybe that band practice anecdote wasn’t so hypothetical)
8. The expertly folded notes shown above (and a few not-so-expertly folded others)

You guys. MEMORIES. I actually opened the box with the intention of consolidating it into another box, so I ended up tossing a few things. Pour one out for all those grad cards that someone just stuffed a check into and signed. (I saved the real letters with real emotions. I’m not a robot.)

Do you have a memory box hidden somewhere? What would you guess is the weirdest thing in it? If you say “a ticket stub from when I saw The Notebook,” we just became best friends.

 

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6 thoughts on “Passing notes

  1. 1) I really want to know what the “Help me!” note says…

    2) I had a professor in college (reminder: my college experience was seriously stretched out so this is within the past 5 years) who would lecture us (well not me, duh) on talking in class while she was speaking…and she’d always say “didn’t you guys learn anything growing up? if you have something so important to say, just WRITE IT IN A NOTE and pass it along…don’t interrupt me!” Despite never taking her up on that, I thought she was so cool…haha

  2. I love this, I have saved notes too! And notebooks decorated with words and pictures from magazines that I can’t throw out.

  3. I have boyfriend boxes somewhere buried at my parents’ house. Some are bigger than others but they all contain gifts, cards, notes, and maybe a picture or two that I received from my beau during our courtship. I guess I’m just a sucker for young love. And a terrible friend.

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