I recently had the opportunity to go up to Young Women's Camp and share a Family Home Evening with the young women in my ward. Serving with the youth is far and away the most rewarding aspect of my church calling. We have an outstanding group of young women in our ward right now. Every time I am with them I am filled with hope and optimism for the future knowing that these bright, motivated, kind, ambitious, spiritual young women will be leaders in their homes and in society. It also makes me feel reassured to know that they will also either join the workforce or support their husbands in doing so since my Social Security benefits will depend on them. This is particularly relevant since my 401-k is now worth about as much as a 1991 Geo Metro that smells like dog musk.
On a personal note, I am thrilled that the Church no longer refers to the week-long outdoor adventure for the girls as "Rough Camp" as it did when I was growing up. When I was a rude, insensitive teenager I had far too much fun harassing the young women in my ward about going to "Ruff" camp every summer. Yes, that's "Ruff" as in the noise a dog would make. And yes, I have repented and changed my ways.
This year for the FHE discussion I brought my High School yearbooks to use as part of an object lesson. It was the first time I had opened them up in about a decade. I was literally laughing out loud as I read the messages that my friends scribbled in their barely decipherable handwriting as we parted ways for the summer. If you have not busted out your yearbooks recently, I highly encourage you to do so. Please post comments with some of the funny phrases, words, etc. that people left in your yearbooks. I'm sure there are some gems out there. You can also vote in the poll on the right that lists some of my favorite generic yearbook lines.
Here are a few of my favorite quotes that were written to me from my friends at Hunter High School from 1991-1993. Many of my friends gave me advice about my future. Let's see how well I have heeded their counsel:
Comment: "You are such a stud!"
Response: If there were 300 guys who signed my yearbook, 298 of them called me a "stud". The other two tried to call me a "stud" but managed to misspell the word somehow. Have I remained a stud as a 30-something adult? Well, I have three kids. Does that count?
Comment: "Stay cool!"
Response: The use of the word "cool" was second only to "stud" in my yearbook. I think the word "rad" was probably third. As I recently documented, my family buys water park passes every summer to "stay cool". I think "cool" back then referred to dating girls, playing basketball, and listening to Kid 'N Play. Today it means floating down the Lazy River with three kids and my hot wife. Oh well, I'm trying.
Comment: "P.S. - Spark me some salt!"
Response: Using the word "spark" instead of "pass" or "get" was an inside joke I had with one single friend of mine in High School. I had completely forgotten about the word "spark" until I sparked myself my yearbook. For the past two weeks I've been asking the NMW to "spark me some baby wipes" or "spark me my ice pack for my back." I dare you to try using the word "spark" for two days and see how it makes you feel. I doubt I will ever be able to go back to common English again. The word "spark" makes me feel studly, cool and rad all at the same time!
Comment: "You're so funny, but tall. I remember when I was taller than you!"
Response: I have tried to keep a decent sense of humor, but I'm still almost 6'6". I love how my friend made it seem like a tall person can't be funny. She is so wrong! Just look at all of the tall, hilarious comedians out there. Let's see, there's.....Brad Garrett...and...uh...nobody else. And Brad Garrett isn't funny. Maybe my friend had a point. It is impossible for tall people to be humorous. We just freak people out as we lurch over them and completely block out the sun, making it difficult for people to laugh at our jokes when they are secretly fearing for their lives.
Comment: "Chemistry was a ton of fun! I don't know how I'm gonna (sic) make it threw (sic) next year without watchin (sic) your mouth hang open while you sleep."
Response: First off, I might have slept through Chemistry, but she apparently slept through English class. I have always hated Chemistry. I slept though it in High School and then took an "I" at BYU instead of an "F" when I bombed Chem 101. Ugh. Chemistry!
Comment: "Don't ever change!"
Response: Well, this person probably hates me today because I have changed a lot in 15 years. First, I no longer turn off all of the lights and listen to The Cure when I experience drama in my personal life. Second, I no longer blast LL Cool J's "Mama Said Knock You Out" in my car to get pumped up for basketball games. I now listen to "Wheels on the Bus" as I head out to church ball with my family. Third, I now have ear hair.
Comment: "I hope your life ends up great!"
Response: I would really like to track this person down and let them know that their wish for me came true. I've been married to my sweetheart for eleven incredibly happy, fulfilling years. We have been blessed with three beautiful children. We have been sealed as an eternal family in the temple. The Lord had me serve a mission to Chile and gave me the chance to learn to love Him and to serve other people. My parents, siblings, and in-laws care about me, support me, and bring happiness into my life. I have been given opportunities through education and employment that I had never expected to attain. The Lakers and Diamondbacks have won championships in my adult life and the Panthers played in the Super Bowl. BYU is on a 103-0 run over its last two games. Yeah, my life ended up great.
Whatever you want to call it.