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Have a Rockin’ Summer: Adding Yearbooks to the Endangered Species List

My twenty year high school reunion is in the works.

I am getting old.

Also, I am not going to the reunion. Basically, I know what’s up because I am on Facebook, and I do not want to relive twenty years ago, unless I am torturing myself with distant memories to make fun of as Drew in Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl. It’s not that high school was really all that horrible (no more than for anyone else, I’m sure), but I prefer to leave the past in the past.

Unless it involves looking through my old yearbooks.

These are my high school yearbooks from WCHS

These are my high school yearbooks from WCHS

Seeing reunion posts on Facebook reminded me that I found my yearbooks a few months back when we reorganized and remodeled our home office. Those yearbooks are especially special to me because I was part of creating it from my sophomore through my senior year. From headlines to deadlines, to awkward picture caption writing and slow Macintosh computers using Pagemaker, I did it, and edited it.

Having recently taught at the high school level, I sadly realized that yearbooks just don’t have the same importance and emotional attachment (I used to use mine as reference books) that they used to. In my day (see- I told you I’m getting old), for at least a week after yearbooks came out, they were academic distractions. Often teachers, if they were cool, just gave up and let us have time for part of a class period to look at them and trade to sign them. For some reason people who hardly spoke to each other suddenly felt the need to have each other write silly things like “K.I.T.” (keep in touch) and share their phone numbers so they could “have a blast together over the summer, just like in science class,” or wish each other to “have a totally rockin’ summer, dude!” We would reserve special blank pages for our close friends where we would have space to write super meaningful notes to each other, and even draw pictures, and possibly use ten different colors of ink without the pressure of writing around someone else’s work of art. I think technology has killed some of what made yearbooks so special. Social media chronicles our lives for us now, so we don’t have to wait all year to see the highlights.

But I won’t be sad about it; after all, my senior quote in my yearbook is, “Hakuna matata!”

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My Valentine to You…an excerpt

Ah, Valentine’s Day, a dreaded holiday for many, indeed. Drew is no exception. The following is the Valentine’s Day chapter from Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl: Fresh-meat Year.

Your True Colors

I guess it didn’t really matter what day of the week Valentine’s Day fell on.  Even if it had been a weekend, the SGA would have found a way to force us to celebrate it.  All week long during lunches people could buy various colored anonymous hearts for their friends, crushes, girl or boyfriends, which in turn would be delivered during classes that Friday, the official V-day.  Every delivery held the classroom occupants captive, everyone secretly hoping it was for them, but trying to be nonchalant about it, while those who were recipients would feign embarrassment. I had contemplated faking sickness myself that morning just so I could miss this torturous routine, but I could only miss four more days for the year in order to be exempt from any of my exams (I would also have to have an A or B average in the classes), so I decided to soldier on.

White meant someone thought you were cute.  Red was love, of course.  Pink was a crush, and yellow was for friends.  It was sweet that my friends didn’t let me down, but a white or a pink would have been nice, you know, for variety and all.  But, alas, only yellow came my way that day, and I had to watch so many others loaded down in pinks, reds, and whites.  Anne was so adorably happy in chorus with her red hearts from Shane that I didn’t vent to her at all. Yet I was so frustrated with Mona flaunting her twenty-nine pink hearts, and I wanted to get out of that class as fast as I could, that I completely forgot to stop at my locker before photography.  When I entered the room and didn’t see Adrienne, I unhappily remembered that she left early for a dentist appointment.  Lucky!

Mrs. Ansel kept us busy that day, but Dustin kept sneaking glances and smiling at me.  It was weird, even for him. In the last five minutes of class, three last minute heart deliveries were made, and somehow I received a white one.  Someone thought I was cute. It was my turn to act like I didn’t care, but I was actually thrilled to be cute to somebody, even though these hearts were sent in secret and I didn’t know who it was.  And then I remembered I would have to stop at my locker, the opposite direction from the bus.  When the bell rang, I bolted.  Without Adrienne, I would miss the bus on my own, and mom would be less than thrilled.  Make-out girl, with more pink and white hearts than I had seen on any one person all day, and a huge teddy bear with several balloons, was lip-locked with yet another guy when I got to my locker.  It took a while to nudge them out of the way, and all my belongings I had been hurriedly stuffing in there all year came tumbling out.  As I scooped it all up, pulling aside what I needed and cramming the rest back into the locker, Dustin showed up beside me.

“You need some help?”

“Yes, please.  I’ve still got to catch my bus.”

“Uh, they just pulled out.”

I closed my eyes and threw my head back in annoyed disbelief. “No!” I cried out to the ceiling.

“That’s pretty dramatic, Drew.”

“Not really.  My mom is not going to be happy with me for missing the bus. “We practically live in another country and she likes to plan trips into town like they did back in pioneer days.”

“There’s a guy down my street who owes me.  He gets home at about 5:15. We can give you a ride home then.”

“Ok.  I still need to call her though.”

“Sure.  I got a quarter,” he said, offering up the coin and gesturing towards a payphone at the end of the hall, close to the gym.

When I called my mom, she was unsure about a stranger giving me a ride home, but I told her Dustin would be there and I think her not wanting to drive into town won out. “Ok.  Be careful.”

“Of course, Mom, always,” I replied. As I hung up the phone, Dustin grew a smile.  “So, what are we going to do?”

“It’s actually a kinda nice day.  A little warm for February.  Let’s walk.”

“Ok.  Where to?” I asked.

“Wherever.  We’ll just go and see where we end up.”  Flawless strategy.  So we walked the opposite way from Dustin’s house and ended up under the bridge and by the river.

Along the way, I asked, “So, no plans with Alyssa today?”

“Nah, you were right about her.  She’s with Jonathan.  I’m trying not to get mixed up in all that anymore.  She just makes me feel bad, you know?”

“I do.  Have you ever been here before?” I asked, certain he must have been at some point since it was close to his house. It was a stupid question, but a distraction from the Alyssa topic.

“Yeah, but not in a while.  This tends to be a redneck hangout. I’m surprised there’s nobody here now.”

“I discovered the rednecks last time I was here.  Let’s hope they don’t show up again,” I said as I sat on a boulder.  Dustin took a seat on another nearby rock. “It is nice out here though,” I said.

“You going to keep wearing those hearts?” he asked.

“Oh, I actually forgot about them.  I guess I must have gotten one from Adrienne, Nadine, Anne, and Carmen.”

“And the white one?”

“It’s a mystery.”

He laughed at me.  “Not anymore.  That one’s from me.”

“So, let me get this straight. You think I’m cute or pretty or whatever, and you know I like you.  You have to. So why don’t you want to go out with me?  I feel like there’s something wrong with me.”

“Yeah.  You’re too good.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“I’m not good, and I don’t really want to be good either, and I don’t want to corrupt you.  I’ve thought about it,” he said, eying me up and down with his left eye, “but I,” a pause, “respect you too much.  You know.  You’re sweet and innocent, and I want you to stay that way.”

“Dustin, that’s a load of crap!”

“No, it really isn’t,” he said as he threw his hands up in defense. “I’m a typical teenage guy and there are certain things I want out of a girl, and I’d love that with you, but it’d be wrong ‘cause you’re not one of those girls.  And don’t tell me that’s crap again because it’s hard to do the right thing with this, but you really do mean a lot to me.  You’re the kind of girl I’d want when I’m done being a jerk, but I don’t have that kind of self-control right now.

“All those girls with all the hearts today are more or less targets,” he continued.  “You know, the ones who put out. Once they’ve all been used up, guys will want a challenge, so be careful, ‘cause they’ll move on to girls like you. But you’re better than that. You’re special, and I need you to be my friend and keep me in my place.” His eye did not stray from mine through any of that, so I knew he was being genuine, even if the intensity of it made me uncomfortable.

“Yeah, I’m always a friend, never a girlfriend.”

“You don’t need all that anyway.  You’ve got talent and a big heart.  Hold onto your values and be careful. Trust me, more guys are going to start noticing you soon.” What was with the guys I liked being so full of wisdom?

“So, you’re going to hang out with easy girls like Alyssa, and I have to just be good, even though you might like me.”

“Yes.”

“That’s a double-standard.”

“Sure it is, but that’s how it works, because guys are driven by pretty much one thing, so they do stupid stuff.  I don’t want to be stupid with you…well, I do,” he said with a twisted smirk, “but I know I shouldn’t.”

“You are really confusing me, Dustin,” I said, annoyed. “You always confuse me.  I even wrote a poem about it.”

“Really?  About me? Can I read it?”

“Well, it’s kinda stupid.” Why did I bring it up?  It just slipped out.

“Nah, I doubt it.  Do you have it with you?”

“Well, yeah.  We got our journals back today,” I said as I dug through my backpack, sifting through all the crumpled papers floating around in it. I opened my decorated spiral notebook to a specific page and handed it over reluctantly.”

“You’re not going to recite it to me?” he asked.

“If you don’t want to read it…” I said, grabbing for it.

“No, I’m just kidding.  I can read it to myself.” And so he did, and I sat uncomfortably waiting for his reaction, and feeling like it was stupid to let him read it in the first place, especially after our conversation, but I couldn’t very well time travel, so I had to just sit and wait and avoid eye contact.

 

When Will Your Sun Rise?

When it is bright and sunny out,

What is it like inside your heart?

When everyone around you smiles,

Do you insist to wear a frown?

When all the world hears music playing,

Why do you keep the sound out?

When you are asked to join in something,

Is that when you run and hide?

When everything is over,

Why don’t you let it be?

When you hear the birds above,

Do they seem to turn to vultures?

When the day grows pale and dim,

What is it like inside your heart?

Tell me now about your life.

When will your sun ever rise?

 

“Wow,” came Dustin’s reaction.  “Sure this isn’t about you?”

“Maybe we’re a bit alike, but I was thinking of you when I wrote it,” I said quietly to my feet as he handed back my notebook. “Like I said, you’re confusing. I never know where I stand with you.  Well, I didn’t before anyway.  And you’re always at least partly sad, like there’s so much going on, but you keep it all inside.”

“Not all of it.  I meant it when I said you were special.  I guess you’re really my best friend.  I mean, I’ve told you stuff I don’t talk about, and when I was feeling so down at Christmas, I was thinking of some bad stuff, man.  I was in a dark place.  Knowing you were there helped me not…kill myself,” his voice quietly trailed off at the end of the sentence.  “I wanted to talk to you about it the night we all went to Joey’s, but that douche Danny was there, so I didn’t get a chance.  And actually I’m sure he’s a nicer guy than I am, but I just didn’t like him liking you.”

“Well, if you don’t want to go out with me, you can’t hate everyone who comes along and might like me.  And he went home, and we talked and are also just friends.  Apparently that’s what I’m good at.  But I’m glad if it kept you from hurting yourself,” I added.

Dustin checked his watch.  “It did, and now we should head over to my neighbor’s.”  He stood and extended his hand to help me up, and then he gave me a big, yet short hug. “You’re more amazing than you realize.  Thanks. And can I get a copy of that poem?  I’m a big fan.”

“Uh, sure.”

So I had endured another satisfying yet confusing heart to heart conversation with a guy I liked, who needed to keep me at a platonic distance.  I was cursed as a nice girl.  I cannot even go into the details of the romantic gestures that came all the way across the country to Angela from Ryan that day.  It makes me ill just to remember. And, yeah, she rubbed it in.

 

Copyright 2014 Terri Klaes Harper

 

 

Memoirs Christmas Excerpt- Wonderland

Here’s another little sampling of Drew’s life at Christmastime from her awkward freshman year. If you enjoy this, check out the link here.

I couldn't stop laughing. Drew could have had this poster.

I couldn’t stop laughing. Drew could have had this poster.

Another Trip to Wonderland

During the week of school right before a big holiday break little happens educationally, except tests.  Teachers figure kids will forget everything over the break, so they pack in the tests while it’s all still jammed in their flighty teenage brains.  Or they have parties.  The last few days before Christmas break were a confusing mix of both.  The worst thing was crashing from a party in one class when there was a test looming in the next, such as I did in pre-algebra.  It must have shown on my face because Chip even offered to share his test answers with me, but I knew I would have a better score even if I just made something up about a, or b, or x, or whatever stupid letter I was supposed to find a number for.

Chip was still hobbling around, but it didn’t stop him from giving me a bear hug as we parted ways that day.  “I’ll see ya nixt year, little buddy, cuz we’ll be havin’ New Years and all.  Git it?”

“Oh, Chip, you are clever.  Have a good and safe break,” I said as we parted ways.  Apparently, we had become quite good friends since he broke it off with me, or whatever it was. Chip even gave me a Christmas card with Rudolph’s head mounted over a fireplace. Classy. But at least he wasn’t flirting with me anymore.

Chorus put me back into party mode, but then again, that was usually all we did.  Of course, we had done some Christmas songs and caroled around one of the elementary schools earlier in the week.  Mona and Violet had made dozens of cookies and put them into little goodie bags to give out to everyone in class.  I overheard Mona laughing to Violet and Julia, something about plumping up all the other girls so they’d be fat in comparison.  I should have known there was a sneaky evil agenda behind the cookies.  The three of them made a pact against all holiday temptations.  If they wanted to sweeten up their celery sticks, they were allowed a small dab of peanut butter only. Interestingly enough, I felt no guilt over my plans to eat all the sweets I could acquire.

When class ended, I bid goodbye to Anne, whom I was fairly certain I would see over the break at some point, and Ally, whom I probably would not see.  Her parents were planning to send her away to a boarding school because her grades were so bad, and because, according to Ally, her stepmom was evil. We hugged and exchanged Christmas cards, in which we had each included our addresses, hers being at the new school. “Bathroom breaks from photography just won’t be the same without you.”

“I know.  Take care of yourself, and make sure you kiss Dustin today.  Seriously, he needs something to think about over the break…you.”

“Yeah, sure thing,” I lied with a smile as we parted.

Adrienne met me in the hallway before photography.  “We need to miss the bus today.  My mom already said she could pick us up at Dustin’s at five.”

“Uh, ok, but we don’t even know if we can go to Dustin’s.”

“Yes, we do.  We talked earlier when I caught him staring at Alyssa in the hallway.  You need to make an impression on him before the break.”

“Weird.”

“What?” Adrienne asked.

“You’ve never met Ally, right?  But she pretty much said the same thing.”

“She’s obviously very smart.”

Dustin approached with a smile.  “Hey.  So you ladies are coming over to hang and play some Nintendo today?”

“Sure.  You really know how to kick off a holiday break,” I teased.

“I know.  But I might also have some mistletoe around if you get bored,” he replied with a smirk as he passed us and walked into the classroom for another holiday class party.

When the bell of freedom rang, Dustin said he had one thing to take care of before we left and that he’d meet us at the corner down from the school.  Dustin had a real eye for photography and he had made some great prints earlier that week.  One was of Alyssa.  I had seen him pull it out of an envelope for a few seconds earlier, when he thought nobody was looking, and he wrote her name on the front of the envelope.  As Adrienne and I walked down the hill, I found Dustin in the crowd, slipping the envelope into Alyssa’s book bag right as she boarded her bus.

A small, thin woman in red was heading out the front door of Dustin’s house when we arrived.  I could see him tense up as we all approached each other.  “Dustin, Sweetie, I’m off to run a few errands and then to my work Christmas party, after I pick up your father.”

“It’s not an open bar is it?”

“Dustin, now is not the time,” she said, almost under her breath. “Who are your friends?” she said more loudly and cheerfully as she smiled at Adrienne and me.

“Adrienne and Drew,” Dustin replied as he gestured towards each of us.

“It’s very nice to meet you girls,” she said as she limply shook each of our hands. “Don’t mind the mess.  I haven’t had much time for tidying up lately.”  She reached up a hand and touched Dustin’s cheek.  “Be good.”

“Yeah, you too, Mom.”  We watched her climb into a large old blue station wagon, start the sputtering engine and drive away.

“She seems nice,” Adrienne offered as we entered the house.

“Yeah, but she’s not the problem.”

In the corner of the living room was a sad looking Christmas tree.  It wasn’t one of those charming Charlie Brown trees or anything either.  This had been a nice tree, but a large chunk had been chopped off one side of the tree, ornaments scattered on the floor beneath, where not a single present sat.  I tried to act like I hadn’t seen it, but Dustin caught me looking.  “My father used part of the tree for kindling to start a fire last night.  We had kindling wood, but it was out back, and the ax was closer.  I hid the ax this morning.  Good thing he wasn’t drunk.”

“So your dad is a drunken douchebag?  My dad sucks too.  Drew’s just about the only person I know with two good parents,” Adrienne said.  It was true too.  I tried not to take it for granted and sometimes I even felt guilty because most of my friends had weird parental situations of some sort.

We managed to escape the world where parents mattered while attempting to rescue Princess Toadstool, later known as Princess Peach, in Dustin’s attic bedroom.  Guns N’ Roses blared from the stereo.  We stopped between levels as “Don’t Cry” came on.  “I love this song.  I know it’s a released song and everyone knows it and all, but it’s still one of my favorites on this album,” Dustin admitted, and we listened without speaking, all the way until Axl Rose held out the final note, his voice wavering up and down, and then we resumed the game until Adrienne’s mom showed up.

As Dustin walked us toward the door, he caught me gently by the hand, letting Adrienne walk out ahead.  “I couldn’t find the mistletoe, and I couldn’t afford to get you a gift, so I hope this is ok,” he said as he leaned in and gave me a quick, soft kiss on my lips. His hand let mine go, he smiled, his beautiful dark left eye showing more of the green flecks than usual, and wished me a Merry Christmas.  I turned and walked into the wall.

“Yeah, Merry Christmas,” I said as I corrected my position and practically ran out the door.  How clumsy!

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved

 

 

No Hablo Español Porque…

Jajaja! Lo siento.

Jajaja! Lo siento.

I took three years of Spanish in high school, and four semesters in college, yet I retained almost nothing, something I now regret as I attempt to relearn the language. But why? ¿Por qué? Realistically, it’s likely because I never found reason to use it earlier in life, and that saying, “Use it or lose it,” truly applies when learning a foreign language. However, there may have been other contributing factors that should fit nicely in the retelling of Drew’s high school experience. After all, she is the fictional version of me (Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl series). Here are some samples:

1- The girl who sat behind me in Spanish the first year, the one who didn’t even know who the current president was during the elections of 1992, sucked it out of me by the vacuum of her empty head. That year I usually made hundreds on all my quizzes, so she attempted to copy my answers.  Once I caught on, I would purposely write the wrong answers, give her plenty of opportunity to copy them down, and then change them quickly before turning in my own work. Maybe playing stupid for so long actually made a more long-term impact of irreversible damage than I was aware.

2-Spanish III could be a whole book on its own.

  • Or teacher was an older woman who had taught elementary school for years and just switched to high school. She talked to us like children. High schoolers do not appreciate that sort of thing, so we began to call her by the wrong name.  To this day I am not certain if she was Ms. Thompson or Johnson. Apparently, she had a much worse class than ours, and after having us answer inappropriate ads from the classifieds of some Spanish language newspapers, it is rumored she had a nervous breakdown and left with no warning after just under two months.
  • We had a substitute for another two months (one who did not know Spanish).
  • My friends and I played card games, such as “Ochos Locos” (Crazy Eights) and listened to Beck’s “Loser” for our Spanish practice during class.
  • During our time with the substitute, we were expected to take a midterm exam. The sub felt sorry for us and left the room during the exam while we all looked up the answers and helped each other cheat.
  • We suddenly had a retired military man as our teacher. He was not sympathetic to our plight.

 

Oh, high school.  You ruined me…or did you just give me fun material for my writing ventures?

 

 

A Title-less Chapter from my Sequel in Progress

I’m almost finished writing the sequel to my Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl: The Middle-ish Ages, and I feel like sharing a teaser today.  If you were a student anywhere around the time I was, enjoy the nostalgia.  Otherwise you might need to Google stuff.  I’m hoping to have my follow-up ready to release by mid-May.  Enjoy and spread the word:

The phone rang only one more time that night, and it was Adrienne.  Feeling defeated, I hadn’t even bothered to rush to the phone and just lay on my vermilion carpet, staring at the Spirograph-looking design on my ceiling until my mom yelled that Adrienne was on the phone for me.  I shuffled across the hall and all the way around my parents’ bed (normally I would have flung myself right onto it, grabbing the phone while I landed) to pick up the phone.  “Ok, Mom.  Hang up. I’ve got it,” I yelled then put my ear to the phone, not saying a word until I heard my mom’s line click.  “Hey, Adrienne.  Are you back to the world of the living?”

“Not quite.  I feel a bit like the undead.  I think there was a point where I almost went into the light, but my future husband Kurt Cobain called me back.”

“Are you coming to school tomorrow?”

“Probably not.  I also still look like the undead.  I was calling to give you my locker combo so you could grab a few things for me.”

“Adrienne Pierce!  You’re not going to do homework, are you?”  Adrienne was smart, but she was mostly lazy and she didn’t usually care enough to bring home work.

“I might.  I know I’m going to be really behind.  You know, if I can pass my tests and quizzes, I should be mostly ok, but I probably couldn’t do that right now.  I do want to actually pass.”

“Wow.  High school has changed you.  You’re growing up right before my eyes,” I feigned the whole choked up and crying thing.

“Yes, Master Drew.  I learned from you.”

“Ah, very good, young Grasshopper.”

“Anything non-academic I need to know about? Mom said you stopped by the other evening while I was all out of it.  Usually you just call, so I figured it might be a biggish deal.”

“Uhh…” I hesitated, embarrassed.

“Drew.  It’s me.  What’s up?”

“I don’t know.  I’m stupid.”

“I need a story to corroborate this claim.”

I told her everything, sparing not a single detail in the process, but I did it in record time because I just wanted it to be over.  And then I paused to give her time to consider.

“So he hasn’t called?”

“No.”

“Well, you’ll see him tomorrow.”

“I know!  What do I say?  I wish you were going to be there so I wouldn’t have to face him alone.  I made such a fool of myself.”

“Maybe.  Maybe not.  You’ll find out tomorrow.”

“That’s your wisdom for me?”  I asked incredulously.

“It’s all I got.  Undead, remember?”

“Oh, all right,” I whimpered.  “I need you feeling better.  I’m a disaster on my own.  I need my wing-girl.”

“I’ll be flying next week.  Just get my books and drop them off tomorrow.  I need socialization with someone outside my family or I’m going to have to drink Windex or something.”

“Will do.  See you tomorrow afternoon, if I survive.”

“You will.”

And I did, though I was only bodily present in each of my other classes that day.  Ms. Finch noticed right away, but we were fortunately given time after our vocabulary quiz to either write in our journals or read a book.  I reread the same page of Petals on the Wind about a hundred times.   Why did V.C. Andrews find it necessary for every member of the Dollanganger family to have a name beginning with a C?  I thought I’d sorted it out in the first book, but now I was getting the characters blurred and thinking about how my name, Danny’s name, and Dustin’s name all began with a D.  Of course, we weren’t nearly as twisted as that incestuous brood, but it did make my mind wander. She reminded us that our journals were due on Monday.

By photography, I was ready to face Dustin, no matter what.  The uncertainty clouded everything else.  I arrived with a smile on my face, which faded as the warning bell sounded, and disappeared completely when the final bell rang without any sign of Dustin.  Then relief spread though my entire being.  This explained it.  He was sick, or some horrible thing had happened to a family member and he was unable to attend school or call me last night.  The circumstances were entirely out of his control.

I expressed this theory to Adrienne as I dropped off her books that afternoon and we watched Paula Abdul and Keanu Reeves in her Rebel Without a Cause style video for “Rush Rush.”  Somehow we found her to be an acceptable pop artist, and we both drooled over Keanu, just as we had while watching him bring down surfer bank robbers in Point Break.

“Yeah, that makes sense,” she coughed out and then blew her nose.

“Man, you’re still sick.”

“Actually, I feel much better.  What are the dress-up days for next week?”

“You’re suddenly feeling the need to express your school spirit for Homecoming?”

“I like a chance to wear weird stuff.”  Adrienne had never really needed an excuse to do so before, but it would be easier if it was sanctioned.

“Uh, let me see,” I said as I opened my own bookbag.  I had come straight to Adrienne’s after getting off the bus and had walked with Emily.  At some point earlier in the week I had shoved the Homecoming flyer into the bottom of my front pocket of my hunter green Jansport.  At least four pieces of paper were uncrumpled in the process before I found it, straightening out the creases on the edge of Adrienne’s coffee table.  “All right.  Monday is pajama day.”

“Done.  Got that for sure,” she replied.  “Next.”

“Tuesday is crazy hat day.”  I paused, but Adrienne didn’t add any commentary that time, so I moved down the list.  “Wednesday is cross dress day.  No.  Wait.  They had to change it.  Apparently some parents complained because some of the senior guys were planning to wear miniskirts or something.”  We both looked each at each other and laughed.

“So what are we doing instead?”

“Uh, I can’t remember.  They announced it today during photography, but my mind was elsewhere.”

“Inside out and backwards day!”  Emily shouted from the kitchen.

“How do you even know that, Emily.  You’re in middle school,” Adrienne called back, annoyed.

“I hear stuff,” was her simple reply as she walked in front of us with a brownie to get to their bedroom.

“Hey!  Where’s my brownie?” we both asked in unison.

“I think they’re in the kitchen,” Emily said as she shut the door behind her.

Assuming we were both too lazy to make our way to the kitchen for brownies, I continued with the list.  “Thursday is blast from the past day.”

“Cool!  We are totally going to raid my grandma’s closet this weekend.”

“And Friday is spirit day.  School colors and stuff like that.”

“Yeah, I’m not doing that.  I don’t own maroon outside of gym class, and I don’t really wear it then either.”

“Same here.  I better go now though.  I came straight here and Mom will worry I missed the bus.  I’ll see you tomorrow if you feel better.”

“Cool.  Later.”

(Obviously you should consider this as Copyrighted material and not try to pass any of it off as yours)

Sneak a Peek at My Sequel

I’ve been busy writing my sequel to Memoirs of an Ordinary Girl: The Middle-ish Ages (sequel title to be announced).  Here’s some proof:

Learning What Ails

After the annual ceremonial sacrifices of our dignity, otherwise known as three weeks of square dancing, we got a little more time off from dressing out for gym (as if I often did anyway) as we had an interval of health class where we learned about cleaning ourselves properly, certain muscle groups, and eating nutritious food. Carmen and I were passing notes back and forth.  She was in the drama club and they were getting extra credit if they helped backstage at the upcoming talent show, and if they recruited other people.

Her note read, “Vile Contagion is playing, so Adrienne already said she’d help because she thinks Joe Spano is hot.” Adrienne had been talking about this all week.  Joe Spano was a junior and played drums in our high school’s local rock band, Vile Contagion.  I had to admit, their name was catchy.

“I can do it as long as Adrienne is because we’ll just catch rides together,” I wrote, and then refolded and tossed the note to Carmen. It came back to me quickly with a huge smiley face.

“Who remembers what the gluteus maximus is?” asked our all-year shorty shorts and whistle wearing gym teacher.

And in that unfortunate moment, Julia from chorus’ sister, who happened to be an office aid, walked in with a message delivery. As soon as her wide hips cleared the door to exit, Lance, Mouth-Breather from photography, shouted out, “That young woman is burdened with a prime example of a maximus gluteus maximus!”

Instead of scolding Lance, Mr. Baxter said, “Yes, exactly.  The glute is the butt,” and Lance and Todd, his greasy haired cohort gave each other high fives.

“But, wait,” declared my normally lip-locked locker neighbor who had recently been transferred into the class in order to avoid an old boyfriend. “I thought Gluteus Maximus was like a Roman god or something.”

After paying attention to those few minutes of class, Carmen and I resumed our note writing.  It seemed safer for our brain cells.

More to come.  I wrote around 7,000 words this week.

My Time Machine

lunch box

The things we hold onto in order to remember our youth!  I carried this lunch box to school for two years during high school, until I got my Lion King lunch box when I was a senior.  After I retired this as an actual lunch box, it held my cassette tapes in my car, until I finally got a car with a CD payer.

This started out as my dad’s lunch box when he worked for United Airlines.  My sisters and I had put a few little stickers on it for him, like one that said, “Dad Thinks I’m Cute.”  The original handle came off, so Dad used a discarded airplane cabinet handle in its place.  At some point, the latches seized to work correctly, so Dad took some kind of wire and made a sort of huge safety pin out of it to hold the latches shut.

When Dad no longer needed the lunch box, it became my project.  I put every sticker I could find on that thing, and now almost every sticker on this masterpiece has a story.

My sister used to joke that this lunch box would one day be on display at the Smithsonian.  It no longer serves any other purpose for me, but I cannot bear to part with it.  It sits atop a shelf in my closet, and I glance at it on almost a daily basis as a reminder of who I was, and it always makes me smile.  No other sixteen year old girl had a lunch box like mine!