Conforming to what?

When I was in high school a lot of us were thinking about the question of conforming—of going through life blindly doing what everybody else did.

Like many others, I began to adopt attitudes that I thought were nonconformist. I wore my hair long, blue jeans faded, T-shirts sloppy; and sometimes, I'm afraid, I wore a slight air of smug superiority!

Then one day it hit me. At my school everybody had long hair, everybody wore blue jeans and T-shirts. Was this how we rejected conforming? Who did we think we were kidding? My best friend and I got haircuts and began wearing ties to school. Now that was a nonconformist thing to do ten years ago!

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September 27, 1982

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