Monday, September 22, 2008

Ebony and Ivory and Misery and Agony

Ah, 8th grade graduation. All dolled up with hair that had been set on rollers for the occasion – solar eclipses were more common than me curling my hair. This dress barely covered my caboose ...but it's the shoes I remember. They had about a 2"heel, and a small platform, and they laced up the front, "for show," and I'm pretty sure they were the coolest shoes evarrrr.

It's hard to tell from my expression, but I was relieved and happy to be moving on. Whatever high school has in store for me, it can't possibly be as bad as junior high. Not only was there the usual misery and agony on a daily basis, but I had a nemesis, an enemy all through junior high and I was hopeful that in the much larger high school, it would be easier to disappear into the crowd.

Her name was Grace (yes, ironic) and she hated me with a passion that poisoned her soul. Why? Well, I have no idea. Honestly! She just hated me on sight, and decided that her extra-curricular activity for the next two years would be tormenting me at every opportunity. Just a bully, plain and simple. She never missed a chance to trip me in the halls, or slam me into a row of lockers, or grab my books out of my hands and send my papers flying. I must have been all of 4'7" -- it's not like there was any sport in it, for crying out loud!

Maybe it was because all us little white girls briefly had a pretend black boyfriend in junior high, and mine -- for reasons I'll never understand -- was beyond cool. His name was André and he was handsome and soft-spoken and kind. Nah, she started picking on me long before I'd even met André. And my torrid affair with him never got beyond some clammy hand-holding. (Looking back now, I'm pretty sure he was gay. Duh!)

I happen to have a picture of Grace, because at graduation, she shrieked at me, "TAKE MAH PITCHER! TAKE MAH PITCHER!" and I dutifully pointed my little instamatic, hoping to avoid triggering a global race war.

My high school years were also somewhat lonely and unhappy. (At least the first two years were; then I discovered "skipping" school and the last two years weren't nearly as bad.) But nothing compared to the agony of junior high least until cancer came a' knockin'. I don't know if the misery is comparable, but I think I have developed better coping skills.

"If you are going through hell, keep going." -- Winston Churchill


Anonymous said...

Tell me her last name. I will track her down and do horrible things to her, like ordering pizzas to be delivered to her house and signing her up for free samples of Depends and constipation medicine, so she gets on everyone's mailing lists!! I will report her as an illegal alien. Just tell me the bitch's last name!!!

La Cootina said...

Thanks for that, pal - you made me laugh out loud.

Likewise, say the word and I will kick the Ex (or the Current) in the ass. If I can reach it. The knees, if I can't. I hear the knees are more vulnerable anyways.