Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The joys of being a high school graduate

I really appreciate Catherine's response to my June 23 post. It was nice to get some feedback from a reader. Plus Catherine reminds me of myself as a Catholic school student afraid to shake hands during Mass.

I had elaborate strategies for avoiding the "sign of peace" handshake during Mass:
1) position myself near some of the nicer students or those too polite to laugh at me
2) sit near the aisle for a quick escape before the handshake
3) stay home from school altogether.
4) make a joke out of it and give everyone the peace symbol rather than the handshake.

As you might guess, this was a lot of work!

Later on in high school, I began using Drysol. Though it helped reduce the sweating, it also caused my skin to itch and crack. I recently learned why this happened from --my technique of applying the Drysol and wrapping my hand in plastic overnight is not recommended because it causes skin irritation--d'oh!)

Now I can go to a mass and shake hands without feeling anxious (OK, well maybe a little). My hands don't seem to sweat as much now that I'm less anxious--even when I'm not using the Drysol. Or if they do sweat, no one seems to notice. Older people (in general) are less likely to comment on sweaty palms than high school students.

More importantly, I'm a lot less worried about what others think of me now that I'm out of high school. I wish I knew than what I knew now: just about everyone in high school feels like a freak for one thing or another.

This is my roundabout way of saying to Catherine and other high school students to hang in gets easier.

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