Friday, May 20, 2011

Welcome to Middle School, Bitches. Muahahaha!

Writing for Childhood Trauma (a new group blog that recaps books from childhood, such as Sweet Valley, Goosebumps, and Babysitter's Club) has brought me back to my middle school days. Unfortunately for me, that is never a good thing. Middle school was quite traumatizing for 6th grade booknerd Sara, and I like to pretend that those memories are from a movie and not from my actual life. So today, I bring you five memories that remind me why middle school sucked balls. (And if you'd like to read my latest recap of a Sweet Valley High book, in which we all get to make fun of fat people, go here.)

1. When I was in middle school, ugly brown sandals were super in style. Obviously, I forced my mother to buy them for me. Unfortunately, she bought the off-brand version because buying a pair of $50 sandals for a 7th grader who would stop wearing them after a week was not her idea of a good time. What I didn't know about these sandals is that they made my feet sweat like a pregnant woman at a theme park. And sweat = smell, which means Sara x sandals + gym class = everyone in a 10-foot radius being able to smell the grossness of my sweaty feet. And I always wondered why I wasn't popular...

2. Speaking of gym class, in 6th grade, we started having to change into shorts and a tshirt for gym. My mom hadn't let me start shaving yet, because shaving was for kids who were responsible and could handle it AKA not me. For the first part of 6th grade, I had to spend every day in gym with my hairy, pasty white legs pressed into the back of the girl in front of me on the bleachers. I'm sure she was very appreciative.

3. In 8th grade, I went on a mission trip for church. I was in charge of babysitting toddlers at the church, with the assistance of a friend of mine. I was playing with one of the little girls and lifted my arms up in the air to play a game.

"OH MY GOD SARA. Have you EVER shaved under your arms before?!" my friend said, as my arms were raised way over my head.

"Um, well, I just... forgot, and..... um.... it takes so long? Uh, mybad." Bitch.

4. I tried out for every sports team ever invented at my middle school. Had I ever tried any of these sports for reals before the tryout? LOL Of course not, y'all. I just wanted to be cool and popular, and I figured a sports team was the way to do it. Obviously, I did not make any of these teams. Basketball, softball, track, cheerleading, danceline.... NONE OF IT. And I cried every single time I didn't make it. My poor mother....

5. In 7th grade, a new girl came to school. She was pretty and sweet and immediately well-liked by all of my classmates. Halfway through the year, she told us that she had diabetes and had to carefully watch what she ate. For the greater part of 7th and 8th grade, I desperately wished that I could have diabetes, too. I read all sorts of books on the subject, fiction and non-fiction. I related to all of the characters in movies who had diabetes (Babysitter's Club, anyone?), and I pretended to watch what I ate, so I could be just like all of those diabetic characters in books and movies.

I was pretty fucking weird, you guys. And after typing out this list, there is no doubt in my mind that there was a reason I wasn't cool. 7th grade me was a fucking creep, yo.

Share your middle school horror stories in the comments, and I'll send a prize to the person with the most horrific one! This should be fun...

28 comments:

  1. Everyone goes through a phase where they try and fake Diabetes to increase popularity.

    ...

    :|

    I grew up in Montreal, where there is no middle school. Sounds like I dodged a bullet.

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  2. I had braces with bright blue rubberbands, a pit face, & a pixie hair cut. Except I have the curliest, nappiest hair & it was the most god awful haircut of my life. I wore a hat for a week after I got it cut & hid under the blankets for at least 72 hours. I was constantly made fun of for having a "boy" haircut. (7th graders are really fucking unoriginal) Anyway, I ended up going out for volleyball & remember running down the gym floor for one of our drills. I heard a group of 8th graders laughing hysterically every time I ran. One of them was my friend's sister, so I asked her what they were laughing about. She told me that when I ran they thought I looked like a giant penis.

    Fuck. Middle. School. Hard.

    P.S. Doc Martins & JYNCO jeans. So glad that fashion trend is OVER. Cuz' I made my mom buy me both. Still didn't help my sorry ass!!

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  3. Oh my God, you poor thing!! Middle school assholes! Hopefully they all have herpes now!

    One time, a kid made fun of me because she said it looked like I had a stick up my ass whenever I would walk. I guess I walked weird because I was always worried that people were staring and talking about me. GO FUCKING FIGURE.

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  4. Dude, I had a back brace through 6th & 7th grades. Beat THAT.

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  5. My real name rhymes with "gay"

    I'm colorblind. (the one question I've been asked more than anything else is "What color is this?")

    I was raised Mormon. (no dating, no dances, no hanging out with girls, the list goes on)

    I was from a small town where everyone knows everyone. (once you are cast in a role you're stuck)

    I was smart. Like bump me up a grade type smart but I wasn't bumped up so...

    I'll leave this here and you can make up your own mind as to how my middle school years went. *spoiler* Not well...

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  6. I was referred to as "PissAnt's little sister", which is a horrible play on my real last name...& the fact that my brother was 2 years ahead of me.

    I wore pants that were parachute-like and was mocked mercilessly for them. And I never even stopped wearing them until I outgrew them freshman year of HS. I didn't even learn from my fashion mistakes! (what? they were COMFORTABLE. judgy mcjerk.)

    I had gigantic glasses - but who didn't, right? ... RIGHT?

    Everyone assumed I was super smart because I wore glasses, so they would steal my homework and copy it. I still don't think I was *super* smart...

    I didn't date or kiss a boy until I was 17 and in college...

    Middle school was torture, high school was worse. How did I ever survive?

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  7. @Suburban Sweetheart - Did it look like the one from Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion? Did anyone ever put magnets on it?

    @NTH - I'm from a small town, too, so it was the same in that once we were assigned a personality, we mostly had to stick with it. I was the smart kid, and even when I slept through algebra every single day, kids would copy off of my work. WTF?

    @Roxanne - I HAD AWFUL PANTS, TOO! They were so high water, they were borderline capris, and we weren't allowed to wear capris, so everyone knew they were just short pants. :(

    And I had gigantic glasses! They left a shadow on the lower half of my freaking face, they were so huge. People totally thought I was super smart, too, because of them. They never knew my name, so they'd just yell, "HEY! SMART GIRL!" across the classroom.

    I guess I should just be thankful it wasn't, "HEY! UGLY GIRL!"

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  8. Hmm...well the first day of seventh grade I wore red sweat pants and everyone else had jeans on. I then knew it was time to convert to jeans. Fucking bullshit.

    The one bad-but-kind-of-awesome memory was when I wrote a poem about my 8th grade teacher who I hated. I can't remember the words anymore - one line was something like, "She seats on the heater and spreads her legs...it's so nasty it smells like rotten eggs."

    Anyway, I was stupid and was showing the poem off to people in my homeroom class - the one she teaches. She asked what everyone was laughing at and I said, "nothing," as I took the poem from a girl reading it, ripped it up and threw it in the garbage.

    The fucking teacher took the shredded poem out of the garbage and began to reattached it with scotch tape. At that point I gave up and since I had memorized the poem at the time, I recited it to the asst. principal when I got sent to her office. I'm pretty sure she smiled as I received a mere two days detention. Overall, I was a good kid.

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  9. I had a crush on my older brother's friend. He was in 7th grade and I was in 5th. The 7th and 8th graders were in a separate part of the school than we were so whenever I saw them walking by I yelled hey to him. (I was so in the know about boys) Well one day he was walking home and walked by our playground. I ran over to yell hey to him and slipped and fell in the mud puddle under the monkey bars. He laughed his ass off at me. I was COVERED in mud and had to ride the bus home with my jacket tied around my waist.

    P.S. He's a real asshole now. BIG surprise.

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  10. My supposed "friends" used to tease me relentlessly for having hairy legs in the 7th grade, and my mom didn't let me start shaving until a year later because she didn't think I was old enough. Middle school fucking blew.

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  11. Oh god, middle school. I was a dreamer. I spent lunch breaks writing crappy, angsty poetry and gazing off into space. Unfortunately someone was in the line of my space-gazing and I got yelled at for staring a lot. (which I totally wasn't.)

    I used to carry all of my books and stuff ALL THE TIME because every year of middle school I ended up with a locker under the locker of a popular boy. Gaggles of popular people would hover around and I regularly got books dropped on my head.

    I also had glasses...that I never wore. I think I got contacts in middle school. Thank god or I never would have been able to see!

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  12. My friends pissed me off once, don't remember how but I'm sure they were mean. I was actually the one probably being a jerk though because that's how I used to roll. Anyways, I took this opportunity to move up the social ladder. I used my connections with a super cool guy I knew and started sitting with the athletic boys. Yeah, it was crazy seeing as how I was about 6 inches shorter than everyone. (As a boy, enterting highschool, I probably hadn't even reached 4'10.) Things were going smashingly until later, that VERY FIRST WEEK, one of them made a joke and I did a spit take ALL OVER THEIR LUNCHES. They were furious, I cried and thank god my nerdy friends took me back.

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  13. Things weren't bad for me until high school. I had gone to an all-girls Catholic school K-9th grades and begged to be transferred to a public school for high school. It was the first time I was aware of social groups and (this sounds dumb) clothing, since I had been in a uniform my entire life. I dressed wrong, didn't understand teenage politics and just wanted to get the holy fuck out of there.

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  14. New theory I am going to ponder: is the entire blogging community sort of the weird kid lunch table? My sources say, "Yes."

    Good.

    jill

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  15. never had middle school but up until 8th grade my parents sent me to a catholic elementary school. the school colors were peach and brown, AND oh yeah, im not effin catholic... i also remember square dancing in gym. cause you know square dancing is all the rage in the philadelphia area.

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  16. Oh my goodness this post transported me back to my awful middle school days. I cannot even begin to describe the horrificalness of all of that here but man.... my middle school days were cringe-worthy.

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  17. I didn't have a 'middle school' but I went to a small secondary school where everyone knew everyone else, and I was the bookish loner who wasn't like the rest of the girls. However, I guess my experience wasn't as bad as everyone else's; since I had a big mouth and a ready wit most people left me alone and didn't try to pick on me. It was a uniform school, so luckily no opportunities for fashion disasters.

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  18. You had me at the moment that you admitted to watching what you ate so that you could appear as though you had diabetes. Only in middle school does the correlation between diabetics and popularity make sense.

    Well played!

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  19. I didn't start shaving until way later than anyone else too. And I am one hairy chick, so that was fun. (Although in hindsight, I do have a better body image than average, so it was probably good for me.) I am also as flat as a board, so I didn't really have a bra for awhile. Including periods of gym where we were supposed to change in front of each other. Super awkward.

    My worst moment had to do with my period, of course. I was an idiot and totally unaware of how heavy a flow could be. I was also super embarrassed about admitting I was on my period, so I sort of just ignored it... and then I bled through my pants during lunchtime. Like... my pants were just a mess. I was somehow still unaware of it until we were walking inside after lunch recess and someone told me about it. And I immediately wished to be dead. I ended up borrowing some girl's sweatshirt to tie around my waist, which was a retarded idea and whoever that girl was is an angel. I wish I could remember who it was, but the total mortification is the only thing I really remember.

    Periods suck.

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  20. After sixth grade my mom refused to send me back to that school because I failed English (my best subject) after plagiarizing papers and basically turning into a horrid little bitch. YOU KNOW, THE ONES THAT HANG OUT AT THE MALL.

    In sixth grade I was desperate to be liked and I'm sure I have all sorts of great stories of embarrassing things I did to fit in with my cool friends, but most of those are inferior to the greater memories of the things I did that I'm actually ashamed of. I once told my 4th-6th grade nemesis to call 1-800-00-Jenny. I considered it karmic punishment when I got fat in college.

    Oh, this one is just silly: I had one boyfriend in the sixth grade. He went to another school for the first three weeks that we were dating and then he transferred to my school. During those three weeks I had a wallet sized photo of him in a wallet sized frame that I carried around with me in my pocket everywhere I went until it got ruined in the wash. That was super fucking creepy. Then, a week after he transferred, my friends received ~intelligence~ that he was going to dump me, and when he went to talk to me after school they grabbed me and dragged me away from him. The next morning in English, I was supposed to dump him. We sat in adjacent rows and I turned to him and told him we had to stop seeing each other. But I could not stop giggling. The whole thing just felt so utterly ridiculous to me, even at 12.


    When I was homeschooled for 7th and 8th my mom made me up my activity hours (more dance classes, voice lessons, all that jazz. Basically to make sure I was getting out of the house.)

    Late in 7th grade I was in jazz class. I was on my second or third period. We did this wall stretch thing where we sat with our backs on the floor and our butts against the wall and basically let gravity make us stretch. I was still using pads. When we got up to do across the floor stuff I had a catatonic meltdown and refused to go across the floor and wouldn't tell anybody why. Finally my friend Ashley figured it out and gave me her sweatshirt. So that was a really special life moment.

    I don't know, I'm sure there are more, but I'm drawing a blank. Probably every single thing I did in my quest to make Gabe like me in the 8th grade, but those memories are so traumatic that I have blocked them out.

    Long comment is long.

    And I'm not sorry.

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  21. Oh. I forgot to clarify: because I was still using pads, and we were sitting that way, it ended up getting allllll over my butt. I'm pretty sure you could deduce that, but I just wanted to make sure I really spell it out for you.

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  22. oh fuck, where do i start??

    i was homeschooled for 5-6th grade, and thus had no fashion sense whatsoever. (strike 1)

    i was the new kid in town. (strike 2)

    i technically shaved, but hated doing it, so didn't, earning terrible looks from all the "popular" girls (strike 3)

    you think i'd be out already, but there's more:

    wearing socks with birkenstocks (until a very well-intentioned girl mentioned they would "mold to your feet soooo much better without socks," thereby saving me from a terrible socks-with-sandals fate without crushing my ego)

    i was somewhat getting along with a few kids from the popular crowd for like 5 minutes, and there was this girl who reminded me sooo much of my best friend i'd left behind in another state. i was trying to feel comfortable in the crowd, getting into the laughing and conversing swing of things, and then i put my hand on her knee after she said something funny. and i'm pretty sure that's when they all started calling me a lesbian. not that they were quite wrong.

    i actually started wearing bell bottoms about a year BEFORE they were popular, attracting a lot of teasing. but i did have mine, when they came in hard as "flares" a year later!

    i was in band. i was also in the AR program, (Advanced Reading), and all the popular (preppy, aka preps) kids called us "Absolutely Retarded." not exactly sure why, since we were about 3 grades ahead of them in that class...

    i had a hideous crush on a boy, wrote him anonymous love letters, finally outed myself, and then got those letters read aloud to the entire preppy group...

    i'm sure there's more. for a brief period i was a cheerleader, and all the popular girls who didn't make the squad treated me like shit, but i didn't care about them. but there were good times, too:

    the time where, when they were making fun of me for above hideous crush, and i told one boy to stop. he did not stop mocking me. whereupon i swung my lunch box with its metal thermos directly into the back of his head, and knocked him over. he wasn't a small dude. no one ever picked a fight with me EVER AGAIN. not during middle school or high school. so i'm proud of that one.

    finally during 8th grade i found a good set of friends. so infamous were we that we were known school-wide as "The Group." i don't even know how that happened. it was also during the cheerleading days, plus i was dating a high school freshman, oh my! so at least i ended on a good note.

    i became totally infamous in high school for a wide number of reasons, but that's a whole nother story...

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  23. Glasses? Check. Except mine were too small because we didn't have any money so I wore the same pair from Grades 5-9. Even the teachers celebrated when I got a new pair. Bad nickname? Check. Heavy flow-er here....bad leakage, light colored jeans. 'Bismarck' is what they came up with. That was what we called jelly doughnuts. So yep, I was referred to as a jelly doughnut whose jelly ended up everywhere. Super.

    Unable to follow trends? Check. Did a lot of shopping at second hand stores. Had to lie about where I got a shirt when I actually did receive a compliment.

    And finally, don't forget the perm. Grades 6-8 were not okay. NOT. OKAY.

    Oh and in Gr. 4 I was in the advanced students group. It was called 'SEPEL'. Don't ask me why. The other kids just called us 'Stupid People'.

    I feel better now....

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  24. I was so glad that my mother let me shave when I needed to. If my kid is in 6th grade but hairy I will let them shave.

    And I totally know what sandals you're talking about! I had cheap knock offs too but mine did not make my feet sweat ha.

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  25. Sweet Valley was the reason for my existence in middle school and I'm pretty sure we had the same freaking shoes. I also had the shaving issue, but my family raced motocross so I was around a ratio of 1:100 (female/male). I also never wore makeup and when I did I didn't rub it in right and had orange streaks all over my face. I'm glad I blossomed well after high school because I sure didn't cut it before then.

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  26. For some sick reason, I REALLY wanted to start my "womanhood" in middle school, because all of my friends were and they were suddenly in some cool club...and I was just the little baby.

    I never did.
    Not until I got into high school.
    And then I realized what an awful thing it truly was!
    But I distinctly remember thinking, please God, let me start my period!

    Also, I was always looking for hair under my armpit. Again, didn't have it until high school.

    I felt like I was just the little pipsqueak who stayed in 5th grade while my friends went on to bigger and bette things.

    Until this day, people still think I'm 13...

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