Did you all have high school yearbooks? I did. In fact, I joined the yearbook club at least two of my high school years, and went to workshops at a local university to learn how to create an awesome yearbook. Huh – I had forgotten about that until just now.
Every spring the books came out, and then kids were in a mad frenzy for signatures. We liked to find every page that our picture was on, like the choir or band pictures, sports teams, random candid shots, and autograph each one. Of course all of my friends signed my book, and those who weren’t friends but still classmates were in demand because getting lots of signatures was important - wasn't everything about high school vitally important? And then there was that one very cute boy who I’d had a crush on all year, and who I desperately wanted to sign my yearbook, but who I so shy about asking. Eventually I did ask, and he did sign. I think that the boy I was in love with during my Senior year wrote something like “It was fun giving you crap all year in English” (he sat behind me in English). Brilliant. Reading that made me happy for a long time.
There were all the usual phrases: “Stay cool” “Have a great summer” “We’ll have to party together” (rural Minnesota kids are big partiers) and of course the still popular “BFF”. We really did use that. Some of my best friends would write enough to fill up a whole page. Thinking about this now is making me smile. I know that my mom kept all of our yearbooks, and I think that she gave me mine in a big storage tub filled with stuff not too long ago. I’ll have to dig them out.
Here at the COB there is a tradition that reminded me today of high school yearbooks. We have missionaries who serve in the department – that’s their mission, to work here. They are older couples or single sisters. When their time is done, they are given a lovely coffee table book, usually of religious artwork, as their going away gift. The book is set out on the receptionist's desk, and everyone stops to sign it. Some write out long paragraphs, others (like me) just do a short “Best wishes”. The missionaries seem to like it very much. Some have canvassed the department becasue they wanted absolutely everyone to sign their book. I bet those ladies were aggressive back in high school.
By the way, us Mormons should come up with a better word for coffee tables and coffee table books, because…you know. Lets work on that. In the mean time, I’m going to find my yearbooks and read again what the cute boy wrote.