Remember high school? Remember the cliques, the jealousies, the maneuvering to become one of the popular kids, the incredible nastiness over trivia? Remember how distressing it was when two or three of your friends got into a particularly nasty fight, and all of them demanded that you take their side? Remember wishing that your parents would move, so you could say goodbye to the whole mess?
I thought that I’d said goodbye to the angry rivalries of adolescence a long time ago – but apparently not.
Local politics = high school.
Consider the ongoing dust-up between councilmember Sean Paige, Economic Development Corp. chief Mike Kazmierski, and council members Bernie Herpin and Jan Martin.
They’re on my Facebook page and I hang out with all of them. I wish that they’d just shut up, make nice and stop fighting.
To make the quarrel more understandable, let’s put it in the context of high school.
Sean is editor of the yearbook, Mike edits the newspaper, Jan is head cheerleader and Bernie is captain of the football team. They’re all really popular kids – in fact Sean, Bernie, and Jan are all on student council! But Sean is mad at Mike, Jan and Bernie because he’s had to cut back the yearbook staff for lack of funds. He blames Mike, who keeps putting out a 16-page student paper every week, even though he can’t seem to sell any ads to support the paper. Sean’s taken it to student council, and the other kids on council seem to agree with him…but Bernie and Jan are scheming with Mike to overturn the decision! Everyone is really, really upset!
Me, I’m just another kid trying to stay friends with the popular kids. But I dunno – Larry’s my big cool friend on the student council, and I could ask him to smooth things over, but I don’t want him to be mad at me – and Lionel, the student council president, really, really doesn’t like me, so I try to stay away from him.
I don’t know what to do! I know…I’ll just get sick for a few days! No, I can’t – I‘ll miss finals!
Last week, I had a couple of glasses of wine at the Sunbird with four lovely women with whom I had attended Colorado Springs High School so many years ago. We teased one of our company, Jean Knight, because she had always been the peacemaker, everyone’s friend, the pretty girl who didn’t act like a pretty girl, wise and gracious beyond her years. That was Jean then, and that’s Jean now.
So here’s my suggestion: Mike, Sean, Jan, Bernie – I’ll send you Jean’s number and you can all get together in a conference call. She’ll solve it for you, and you can go back to being friends!
And I won’t miss finals.