An Itch Better Left Unscratched

Do you ever scratch an itch and later regret it?

Way back in 1969, when I was a senior at a suburban California high school, I missed the notice about reserving a copy of the yearbook. Maybe I was distracted. Maybe I was home with mononucleosis. So when the yearbooks were distributed later that year, I didn’t get one.

Being 17 and relatively unassertive, it didn’t even occur to me to ask if there were extra copies available.

This has bothered me ever since, not in a big way, but in an itchy way. That’s why I looked on eBay recently to see if anyone was selling a copy of La Mirada High School’s 1969 edition of La Capa (why anyone would use the Spanish words for “the layer” or “the coating” as the title of a high school yearbook is a good question, but probably says something about the quality of language instruction at La Mirada High in the 1960s).

Surprisingly, someone who specializes is selling such things was.

My used copy of La Capa arrived two days ago. It once belonged to a sophomore named Lenny. So far as I know, we never met, but I hope his yearbook didn’t end up on the open market because he’s no longer with us.

After a brief look and some excited sharing, I put my new possession aside until this morning.

Having paged through it now, I’m wondering: 

Who the hell were all those people? Only a very small percentage of them looked familiar at all.

What motivated the La Capa papparazzi to document the activities of a small social elite?

Why didn’t I participate in the amazing assortment of clubs and activities that La Mirada High offered? (Apparently, I was vice-president of one organization, but you couldn’t prove it by me.)

Why didn’t I talk to the completely charming Debbie Anderson as much as possible? Especially since I was considered intelligent back then (there are clearly different kinds of intelligence, some more valuable than others). 

And how could I ever have been that skinny?

I’m convinced it would have been better to have kept my $50 (including shipping) and avoided this excursion down memory lane. The past is past for a reason. 

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