Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Last month I wrote about experiences in elementary school. Now I move on to junior high. How majorly traumatic.

Seventh Grade:
I moved to a new school. It was a junior/senior high school. 7th through 12th grade all together under one roof does not for wonderful experiences make, especially for the 7th grader.
Nothing prepared me for this major change in my life. I looked hideous, of course, with braces still on my teeth and acne covering my face like moss on a tree. My mom would take me to ther dermatologist. They tried everything, medicine, ultraviolet rays, finally ending with acne surgery. They would cut into zits and blackheads, leaving my face very red and puffy. Then she would take me to school from there. I would spend the car ride filling the newly cut holes in my face with liquid foundation. Now, I'm sure that really helped the zits!

There was no other word to describe me: I was ugly, ugly as hell. Ever seen Never Been Kissed? Josie Grossie, that was me! There was no boyfriend for me that year, believe me! Looking up from below at some of the senior jocks was a scary experience. They were giants! My locker was in the farthest building, down the very last hall, to the very end by the exit door, outside of Mr. Cornelius's class. About two months before school was over for the year, I wised up and paid an upper classman to use her locker, but it was not much closer (just around the bend) to really make a difference in my being late for class. Most of the year, I just stumbled between the three buildings (one of which was two-story) with my arms LOADED with books for almost all of my classes. It was really the only way to not be late. I had no room for a lunch in my arms, so I would have to wait in the long lines for a "hot" lunch and have about five minutes left to eat it before I had to go back to classes. I was in the school band, but decided I wanted to do something else to have fun and make more friends, so I joined the pep squad. I remember nothing whatsoever about that experience, nothing.

My most humiliating class was gym. I hated changing clothes in front of others in the locker room. And I HATED the outfits. It was a white, button-up blouse, with long "knickers" that ballooned out in both directions from the legs. We all looked like clowns. And where did we sit dressed all in white? On the dirty gym floor, that's where! So now we all had black circles on our butts, to boot!

In gym there were two bad girls, Jocelyn and Natalie. Man, they were bad ass girls. They were always teasing girls like me. One day, somehow, that got a hold of my purse and stole my billfold out of it. Then they tried to flush it down the toilet in the locker room. It was full of photographs of friends from my old school, and they were ruined. I was devastated. This is where I had heard rumors of another lesbian, one of the coaches. It didn't phase me one way or the other; I really could have cared less. I was just trying to make it through 7th grade.

This was also the year that I learned about death. My best friend's grandfather died that year. She was so upset. No one close to me had ever died, but I still remember how she described hearing that he died, like "fire going through your entire body." And when I learned of my own grandfather's death when I was 20, I remembered her young words at that very moment, and she had described it perfectly.

Sometime towards the end of my 7th grade year, I got contacts and was on my way out of the "ugly duckling" phase come hell or high water! Not sure how much I will write about 8th grade because it is pretty much a blur.

No comments: