At my high school, the journalism class published a school newspaper, as journalism classes are wont to do. Traditionally, for the last issue of the school year, they'd do "Senior Predictions" which involved listing every member of the graduating class (100-ish students the year I graduated) along with a sentence about what the staff expected that each of us would do after graduation. (I was not in the journalism class, in case you wondered. Don't ask me why, because I have no clue. It might have had to do with laziness.)
For the most part, the "predictions" were the opposite of what one would expect of the person in question. Like, the conservative girl who was always easy to recognize from her long hair: [Girl] shaves her head and rides a Harley.
Sometimes they were exaggerations of EXACTLY what one might expect: [Boy who is student body president] becomes the youngest President of the United States.
Sometimes they were inside "jokes" that only a few people might have understood: [Girl] moves to the Big City.
(What might they have been getting at with that? She's a hick and she's never going to get out of a small town? She's going to become a prostitute? She has an adventurous spirit that can't be contained?????)
Even though I knew that the whole point of it was to make fun of each of us, I felt particularly abused by mine: Mindi [maiden name] writes for The National Enquirer.
To me, it was clear that someone on the staff had a not-entirely-secret grudge against me. They were implying that I was a gossip-monger. That I had no integrity and couldn't be trusted with secrets. That I was an attention whore, an overuser of hyperbole, and a hack writer to boot! (Um, no offense, National Enquirer writers. I swear!)
My mom thought I was taking it all wrong. She said it was a GOOD prediction. The newspaper staff was recognizing that I had talent! They were saying that I'd become a writer! And, hey, it's just more amusing to say, "writes for the National Enquirer" instead of "writes for National Geographic" or whatever!
I didn't believe her theory at the time, and I don't believe it now. And pathetically, over the years, I've thought about that "prediction" more often than any sane person should have done. At one point, a few years ago, I even decided to own it and make it a goal for my life: I WILL write for the National Enquirer someday, buh-zitches!
I haven't thought about any of this for quite some time. But, the other day, something reminded me of it, and I realized that I don't have to have that particular goal anymore. It's more than enough to be able to say, "Mindi Scott writes for Simon & Schuster," you know?
And that? That gives me a special kind of peace.