Middle school more fun as an adult


            I went to my local town’s middle school production of Willy Wonka, Jr this last Friday, and there was a lot that looked eerily familiar: kids weaving around chairs chasing each other, a popular girls circle looking everywhere but the stage, too much make up, spilled drinks, and a personality filled cute kid starring in the leading role. These activities stirred my own memories of Junior High in what was probably the most unpleasant period of my life. That awkward phase of adolescence was bad enough at the individual level, but to go through it in front of 700 classmates was really uncomfortable. Whether getting your first jock strap or hiding an embarrassing hard on during your first official slow dance, everyone knew about it. You had expectations from classmates that if not met, could mean a miserable few years alone at a lunch table, or even worse, keeping stats at the big game because you had nothing better to do. Funny thing though, when you go back and you are six foot, 200 pounds, you are pretty sure you could beat the pants off the entire student body in dodgeball. You suddenly have the opportunity to relive the best parts of Junior High (now middle school) without the slightest angst or fear of judgement. Snowball fight in front of the gym entrance? Grab a handful of snow and toss off a round. Why not? The kid that would have looked like a giant apeman when you were 13, now looks like a first grader. I sat through the entire hour and fifteen minute production without a concern humming along to the classic Wonka songs, tapping my feet as adolescent politics raged on around me. What a relief to not have a care in the world the second time around.     



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