Deciphering the yearbook code

By Kevin Wilson

In the last few days, I’ve thought a lot about dishonesty. I’ve thought about unrealistic expectations. I’ve thought about having the wrong priorities.

Elected officials, you can relax. I’m talking about my high school yearbook.

I was a recent visitor to a high school that had scheduled an afternoon for its yearbook signing party. Since we always got our yearbooks at the beginning of the following school year, it was a new experience for me to watch the seniors of 2006 signing books before their year was complete.

My senior yearbook, meanwhile, is pretty much empty because I was in college when the book was released. Instead, I just look back to the yearbook from my junior year. It’s full of signatures from the seniors of 2005 who treated me like I was a moron, along with signatures from the junior class members (the “97s,” they liked to be called) I treated like morons.

There are also signatures from the lucky underclassmen who knew me, or who had borrowed my book from another person who was also signing it.

It’s yearbook items that remind me of the way my classmates and I used to be, the dreams we had and the ideals that we had established. As I look forward to my 10-year reunion, it’s amazing to see how horribly misguided we were.

I know a little bit better now, and I hope I can impart some wisdom for the current class of yearbook signers. There are certain code words and phrases, which I will attempt to translate for you.

Don’t ever change: Don’t change, because my mind can’t handle the concept of people maturing through life experiences and I’d much rather accept the definition I’ve already created for you.

Stay the same: Please be somebody different, because it’s going to be odd if you’re 28, you still watch Chris Farley movies, you’re still living with your parents and you’re still playing Playstation.

Let’s keep in touch: Once graduation is over, let’s forget we co-existed until a reunion comes up and we have an awkward conversation.

We have way too many inside jokes: People thought we were really annoying — wasn’t it great?

I got to sign your crack: There are many people in this world who will make a good living off their creativity and sense of humor. I’ve just shown you that I’m not one of them.

I think the words of (famous person) say it best: This quote is irrelevant and I’m only filling up space because I want to take up more space than the guy who wrote below me.

Love always: You never gave me a reason to hate you.

(Year) rules!: Our experiences are ours and ours alone, and they’re too unforgettable to put in words. How about a four-digit number instead?

It was great knowing you: I can’t stand you, but that didn’t stop you from asking me to sign your yearbook.

I wish I got to know you more: Please get a personality.

I won’t forget you: I always wanted to date you, but something got in the way. My worst fear is that 10 years from now, I’ll be in a horrible relationship and you’ll confide to me that you always had a silly little crush on me and you were too embarrassed to say anything.

So, to the class of 2006, your reunion will come up faster than you think. I think the words of the short-lived television series “Ally McBeal” say it best: Reunions are for the more successful people to remind the less successful people of that. Stay the same, and let’s keep in touch.

Love always, Kevin.

(2006 rules!)

Kevin Wilson is the interim managing editor of the Quay County Sun. He can be reached at 461-1952, or by e-mail: