Checking on Mr. Skeffington

I recently got back in touch with a friend from high school.  (Lesson: don’t list your high school on your Facebook page, or else you pop up in that little sidebar that’s always telling me with whom I should be friends.  Your name might stand out like a beacon of light in the fog of “who the hell are these people?”)  It’s been great; I missed her.  We hadn’t seen each other for about 18 years.

We wrote an awesome play together for our Grade 13 drama class.  Our drama teacher was really encouraging and gave us free creative reign.  The creativity, of course, kinda got out of hand when we (okay, I ) hypnotised one of the guys in our class and then couldn’t bring him out of it; we were doing “research” for the play.  But the experience did give us a tone of terror which we attempted to work into the final script.  Then our teacher went on maternity leave, and left us in the shaking-yet-capable hands of a student teacher who was doing his practicum.  We practiced him good.  I figured we killed him – or, at least, permanently traumatised him – but my friend did a little searching and found he is still alive and teaching drama.  Mr. Skeffington, you must be the strongest teacher in the history of teaching.

Last weekend, my friend and I had high tea at the Old Mill (which we don’t recommend, and which was immediately followed by tea at David’s Tea ’cause the Old Mill tea really wasn’t satisfying).  It was a day of nostalgia… followed by a lot of confusion and giggling, as we both remember things differently.  I’d just like to point out that I was considerably more in touch with reality than she was at the time, so my perspective is probably more reliable.  So there.  I also kept all of her letters, and therefore have fodder in any circumstance where she begs to differ.  So there.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot – the time period, not her inability to remember things correctly.  It was an interesting period, as I’m sure most people find their last year of childhood to be.  There were a lot of people who had a profound and permanent effect on my life.  There were a lot of experiences that shaped my adult personality.  There were a lot of things I’d really rather not remember.  It freaks me out that we remember them differently, too, because the only thing weirder than a weird memory is a potentially incorrect weird memory.

My favourite t.v. show at the moment is Being Erica.  I like the idea of being able to travel back and check things out again (and am also desperately glad that it’s only a t.v. show, and that I only have to travel to some fictional character’s past).  I’d like to have my current adult perspective on the things that were happening.  Did we really traumatise Mr. Skeffington?  Did we perhaps traumatise him even more than I think we did?  Were my friend and I really so strange that we should have been separated from the rest of the drama class (did they not want to work with us, or were we the ones who wanted to be alone)?  Were we really just normal adolescents and it was only in the cheery setting of Brockville that we stood out as abnormal?

Unlike Erica, I wouldn’t want to go back to change anything, just to see what it was really like.  Perspective is everything.

Now that we’ve rehashed the teenager years, my friend and I can get on to an adult friendship.  She’s still good and weird, so I’m interested in seeing how this turns out.  The future doesn’t freak me out half as much as the past does.

LATE NIGHT ADDENDUM (emails):

Friend Who Freaked Out Skeffington: I have to remember that my life isn’t an episode of “Being Erica” where you can go back with your current knowledge and experience and relive/redo your regretful behaviour as a form of therapy.  I do love that concept though and am a faithful viewer of that show – just wish I had come up with it first.

Me: You were reading my blog.

FWFOS: OMFG.  I just read it.  Honest to god, I did not until I got your email.

Who needs I Ching?  We have fate.  And Being Erica.

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3 responses to “Checking on Mr. Skeffington

  1. Actually, it’s a 50/50 toss up between Being Erica and Californication. I think if I had actually committed myself to writing as you did, it would have been the latter. By the way, where’s the sex category on this blog???

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  2. Hi …it’s Mr. Skeffington (Ron)…you guys were great, i am alive and well and head of the performing arts programme at a school with a High Skills Performing Arts designation…still love directing, acting etc…..hope all the students of theat class have as fond memories of me as you do…thanks..skeff

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