Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Junior High

After a whole week, yet again the only thing bringing out fierce feelings of hostility in me is the mound of Terrible Ironing that sits on the bench over there. In an effort to bring out a nice rant, I flipped through my old junior high yearbook... my family is from Costa Rica, in case I've never mentioned it, and the mentality is a bit different for those tween years. Flipping through those blank, signature-less pages was like a trip down Memory Lane. Awkward, embarrassing, Memory Lane. I always wondered how those kids (you know the ones) maintained their confidence and composure through those difficult pre-teen years. I also wondered why they loved pointing out my complete lack of such an ability. If those kids could see me now, right? 

Why hello, Jane Smith. It's Diana Paz! You don't remember me? At all? Well you've still got a rant coming and do you know what? Playing the violin is cool! It helps with math and some other things too! And you know what else? It wasn't my fault my grandma cut my hair! Or that my other grandma found all my clothes at the swap meet and she happened to love floral print and added ruffles to everything! Do you think I liked wearing poofy sleeved, lace-collared blouses in junior high? And do you know that growing out a short-on-bottom, long-on-top, Aunt Bea haircut is a slow, mushroom-headed process that is moment-to-moment agony? Especially while lugging a violin case everywhere? Well, now you know.

Ah, good times. But it's weird, I always had a hard time coming up with an "Embarrassing Moment" to share in those college orientation icebreaker games or Freshmen English writing assignments. How do you pinpoint one moment in half a decade of embarrassment? "My most embarrassing moment was walking onto the school bus every single day for three straight years." I would have had an easier time writing my least embarrassing moment.

Maybe you were all part of the In Crowd and don't have any embarrassing memories, but if not, is anyone else brave enough to post a junior high horror story?


  1. Junior High was the worst. The good thing about writing YA novels is I get to put my teenage tormentors in and take my revenge. I've tried to block most of Junior High from my mind but here is a memory I didn't forget:

    I'd been shaving my legs for a year when my cousin bought a bottle for Nair (hair removing lotion) I always cut myself with a razor so I thought I'd try it. Right before school started I rubbed the lotion on my legs then I wiped it off with a towel. My legs were perfectly smooth and I went to school feeling good. What I failed to understand was I needed to actually wash the lotion off - not just wipe it. As I sat in my first class of the day a horrible rotten egg smell permeated the room. It took me awhile to realize that it was me that smelled. I didn't say a word as some boys that I loathed wouldn't let up. They smelled everyone trying to discover who was the culprit. There noses led them to me and the girl in front of me. The boys declared the girl in front of me as the smelly. I didn't argue. That girl later became my friend and when we discussed that day and I admitted it was me that smelled she was mad. She too had been tortured in Junior High and that was a horribly embarrassing moment for her too.

    I think the adolescent years are horrible for all of us. Even the In Crowd - we just weren't walking in their shoes.

  2. Just one? We have to pick just one?

    Actually... mine is easy. I started on my period during the last hour of Junior High one day, and it just so happened to be the day when each student would stand in front of the class and do a math problem on the board. The bell rang just as it was my turn... thus saving me from some humiliation. Unfortunately, I was part of a car pool, though, and while I managed to hang my backpack impossibly low, I'm still pretty sure the hot guy I carpooled with had a lesson in females that he wished he hadn't.

    I also had a particularly vindictive popular girl make my junior high years hell, for no reason at all. I've heard she's now a sweet homemaker soccer mom. I still want to find her and ask her what she got out of that. She was MEAN. I will admit... I understand teenage angst better than I might have otherwise. She was horrible... horrible.

    I'm going to go google her....

  3. Mary that is TOO FUNNY!! You poor thing, I'm surprised it didn't start burning!

    I have a funny Nair story from my newlywed days, but it involves the bikini area, burns, and a follow-up rash. The things we do for wedded bliss.

    I agree about the adolescent years being awful in general, no matter what crowd you're in. Certain individuals, however... well, maybe they hid it better.

  4. Wendy what a nightmare!! The closest I've got to that is when my mom came over to visit my then-future mother-in-law for coffee. My mom got up from the chair with her pants completely ruined from the Dot (at the end of the sentence) and she just laughed it off.

    I can relate to the vindictive popular girl. I don't know what ever happened to mine though. Probably a supermodel married to a sports star or something.

  5. I honestly don't know how the "in-crowd" can play things off like they don't have a care in the world; I know they have their issues!

    Junior high was tough for me because I had just transferred from a small private school to public school in the middle of the school year. Everyone had their cliques and it was a little hard to get used to the larger crowds and number of students to each classroom.