s most of you know, I really don’t do Facebook. But back during the earthquakes I set up an account in my real name for the sole purpose of communicating with students, because it was more reliable than our usual email channels. Once the crisis was over, I went back to ignoring it – until I started getting friends requests from people I went to high school with, and nosiness induced me to accept the requests.
I still pretty much ignore it, other than popping in every six months or so to see if I missed anything exciting (generally no), but today I started getting all these emails alerting me to the fact that I’d been tagged in a photo. So I went and checked, and it turned out someone had posted our 7th form class photo (for the foreigners, that’s the final year of high school) from 1986.
So scary! So many poodle perms and mullets! And the best bit, it’s so obvious that we all thought we were incredibly cool and the height of fashion (in fact, I remember the outfit I was wearing – I seriously thought I’d finally nailed dressing like one of the cool kids…). The 80s really were a strange and terrible time.
I was kind of surprised how few of the faces I remember (and not because I didn’t know them at the time – it was a small country school, so there were only about 50 of us in the whole form, and we all shared a single tiny common room) – even for the ones who I was good friends with I’ve been struggling to put names to faces (actually, given how few faces in the photo have been tagged so far, looks like everyone’s been having the same problem). I suppose it was nearly 30 years ago, and it’s not like I’ve stayed in touch with any of them in the intervening years, other than a hello in passing if we ran into each other when I was visiting home, but these are people who had variously made my life a joy or a misery for five years of high school, so you’d think they’d have made more of an impact. I can’t even remember which of the anonymous faces in the crowd were my sworn enemies. Time’s funny like that.