Thursday, February 09, 2006

junior high

Here's a little Game...
Which Of These Is The Most Pathetic? (cue applause track)

The following five (5) scenarios are actual events taken from Mary’s junior high years. These years represent the emotional equivalent to passing seven kidney stones at once while listening to a live recording of Barry Manilow, all without anesthetic, five days a week for 36 weeks. Your job is to pick which scenario ranked highest on our Pathetic Meter®.

Grand prize winner receives a complimentary urine odor-ridding recipe from

Let’s Play!

1) In 1987, after finishing her sack lunch in the library, by herself, just her lunch, and her book, and her notebook filled with weepy confessions of acute loneliness, Mary was confronted by Derek Kumugai, Trent Suntrapak, and Brian Marklund (ask me if I care that I’m using their actual names) near the geography reading section and proceeded to “fake” pick up on her while the rest of the guys watched from a music booth to see if she’d fall for it. This initial experience was to be repeated at random throughout the remainder of the school year, particularly in public places where onlookers could laugh at all the colorful “pickup” lines used by these just silly boys out for a good time. Mary’s favorite was the New Year’s Eve Party she was invited to (because the girl’s parents made her invite the whole class) and at midnight Trent tried to kiss her on the dance floor, pursuant to a dare.

2) Earlier that year, Daniella Hicks (ask me if I care that I’m using her real name), her one-and-only friend for the first few months of 7th grade, asked Mary to play a game of twenty questions which ended with the correct answer: “Yes, I do want you to move out of the locker we’ve been sharing, because I can’t be your friend anymore.” Daniella then handed her a note (written by Adrienne She Is So Lucky I Can’t Remember Her Last Name) explaining on behalf of the spineless Daniella that Mary was just too different, and that Mary needed to find friends more like Mary. Mary then went home that day and read the 3-page note over and over trying to figure out what she’d done wrong, and cried a lot.

3) After the event noted in Scenario #2, Mary went to befriend the deaf and hearing impaired kids, where she tried hard to learn ASL. After a short while, they ditched her too.

4) Mary became “Hairy Mary” to the girls, immediately after Hillary and Kristen noticed the abundant blond hair on Mary’s legs during Physical Education class. Hillary and Kristen didn’t seem to care that Mary’s Mom wouldn’t allow her to shave her legs until 8th grade.

5) Finally, we have the 8th Grade Graduation Dance. The one where Mary found the perfect dress, got the perfect red pumps, styled a perfect curly side ponytail which according to photographs resembled a large furry rodent that had attached itself to the side of her face, put on her new pink lipstick, and showed up at the gym ready to forget the past two years and have a good time. The DJ announced the last slow song, and Mary, who had been hoping all night to be asked to dance, got tired of waiting, mustered up all the courage she had, and asked Brian to dance.

Mary: Brian? (He pretends not to hear.) BRIAN!

(Brian turns around)
Do you wanna dance with me?

Brian: No.

Mary: Kay.

(Mary runs to the bathroom and cries till the end of the dance until her mother and father pick her up in the minivan.)

Mom: Hi, pretty girl!

Father: Well how did it go, kid?

[Mary breaks into more sobs]

Mom: Oh, I’d just like to line up all those damn kids and shoot ‘em one by one!

Father: It’s okay, honey.


There you have it folks. Five choices. Which is the Most Pathetic? Cast in your vote today.

[Postface: You know, when I started out to draft this post, I originally thought it would be way funnier than it turned out to be. Because, come on, wasn't junior high the Black Period for most people? I was surprised at how truly awful and sad it is when it's all there written out.

But I decided to post it anyway, because it's real, it's me, (or what used to be me) and maybe some other social reject who is all grown up now will feel a bit less isolated in their tragic pre-pubescent memories.]
YOU HUNG OUT IN THE LIBRARY TOO?! Only I can one-up you. I got hit on by Lesbian Lydia who threatned to kill me when I said I wouldn't be her girlfriend.
I'm gonna have to go with Scenario #5, just because it makes me laugh that mom wanted to mow down a bunch of 13 year olds for you.
Oh, and remember the days that you and Dad would try to drop me off at school in 7th grade and I was crying so hard at the thought of facing one more day of isolation and ridicule that I couldn't make myself get out of the car???? Ahahahahaha....oh wait, that's not funny either! :)
Loved your blog. Stumbled upon it and others in your group this morning. I am an LDS stay at home mother of 4 in Seoul Korea (husband is military). Anyways I enjoyed spending my morning laughing at all the funnies. Thanks!


PS look up our blog at
I vote for #4 because I never shave my legs ever and they are blond so anyone who gives anyone crap for not shaving period or especially when you can barely see the hair is pathetic and should be mowed down by my mother. I remember when you hung out with deaf people Mary! And I wrote in my 4th grade diary about how you were on a date you weren't supposed to be with Morgan He-Better-Be-Counting-His-Lucky-Stars-I-Don't-Remember-His-Last-Name. So you couldn't have been that loserish! These were all really funny by the way.
I think I didn't really have horrid times in middle school. I know elementary school was terrible for me. It's all a blur. I blurred in, blurred my way through, and that's probably why it's all a blur today. I can't remember anything. Besides getting hurt during PE or sports all the time. Because I'm a feeble little pansy. Head injuries, too. Wait a minute. Head injuries, blur... oh my gosh. NO WONDER.
I would have to vote for #5 too because i LOVE that Janet said the word "damn".

i hear ya...Laura and Mandy know how much i hated school Mary. they've been subjected to many an hour of my ramblings regarding all my unhealed teenage scars...

can i just throw in a favorite thing that happened to me (in 7th grade at Ahwahnee Jr. High)? I was leaving to walk home from school and right before exiting the campus the cool girl named Amy LeFores called me over to talk to her. Wow, I thought...Amy has NEVER talked to me before......!
I stop, turn to face Amy feeling somewhat honored to be standing in her well dressed presence and in an instant she yells, "Don't Fall...!" and she pushed me hard and i fell backwards over her friend who had knealt down behind me to become my temporary stumbling block. I landed on my back in the MUD. Then, i "got to" walk the 20 minutes home alone with mud all down my whole body and in my hair and i cried the entire way. Is that just so rotten? how did we ever survive it? or did we??? I swear I still have many of the same fears and insecurities that i had back then. Why - and HOW - are kids that mean to other people? it's amazing. okay.......where's that big bag of peanut M&M's? :(
Ack... the bad memories come flashing back. I have to agree with hobo about the hairy legs one being the most pathetic though. But that's probably also b/c I rarely shave, especially in the winter. I tell myself that maybe if I find a nice boy I'll shave again, but maybe not since a nice boy wouldn't care.

But this brought back so many baaaaad memories. School was just torture during those years. And the years before. And the years after....

Although in college, I ran into one of those people who was way cooler than I was in 6th and 7th grade (you know... like 98% of the school), and who I probably never spoke to at all despite the fact that we were in nearly every class together. He was trashed, and pretended we were long lost best friends. Then he disappeared and dropped out because of too many drugs. That made me feel a little better about being such a loser during my formative years.
Kim: I also went to Ahwahnee. The evil must be there. Why is cruelty so funny to some people? I still get lumpy thinking about some of the stuff from decades ago, so I's hard to get over sometimes. Isn't it in Hope Floats, that line: "childhood is what you spend the rest of your life trying to overcome." So true.

g: it's a strange phenomenon, isn't it, but it seems that most popular people in high school/jr. high don't really make it that far after graduation, unless they're popluar AND brainy or something.

manda: I totally remember hating dropping you off with Dad. I remember knowing EXACTLY how you felt, and helpless to do anything.

hobo: now everyone knows precisely why we call you hobo. and i love you for all your hair, and your lack of concern about it. good on ya, richard. I remember the elementary school trauma, and that evil teacher. Mrs. Shipley's day of reckoning won't be pretty. I don't think I want to be there for it.

anon: so glad you wrote in! It's great to meet you! Hope all is well with your family in Seoul.
Come-on Laura, how bad coulda Mickey Cox been with me around? I do remember being so releaved to find a friend who didnt push me around (I've had a lot of those over the years) But Sarah is a doormat no more! Liberation!

I do remember Danielle whats her name stealing a very important necklace from me and threatening to beat me up because I apparently thought I was better than everyone else because I didnt swear like a sailor. Oh and being ridiculed by a well dressed group of girls for admitedly getting my clothes at a thift store. Yes, I realize those were the days of matching Guess outfits, but I was just way ahead of my time.
Wow, Mary, your Daniella was my Charity Kraus, who was not only my friend through the first few months of seventh grade, but also my best friend since the 4th grade, and even a little before that when her family lived next door to my grandma's house.

She didn't hand me a note, but she did tell everyone that I was "dirtier than the 69th position," which was then gleefully spread throughout the entire junior high. Yeah. Fun times, junior high.
Oh, and you should watch Freaks and Geeks on DVD if you haven't. Did you ever watch that show? I watched an episode or so back when it was on TV and loved it, but didn't have TV in our house at the time and missed most of it. It's PERFECT at depicting the high school angst of the outsiders like us.
Kim, your story made me cry. That girl has psychological problems. Man, how do kids learn that, do that, actually live with their little selves when they do that? Maybe "back then" the cool thing to do was make fun of losers. But I feel like the cool thing to do these days are to be a loser. Know what I mean? Like that Weezer song, that's popular, about how he doesn't dress well, his car is a piece of crap, he's a loser, etc.
Mary, wow, you remember Mrs Shipley and what happened. I didn't know that. It actually means a lot to me that you knew and care about that! I got knocked around by my 1st grade teacher. She got "fired" but then the following year, my class was pen pals with her class at Lawless Elementary and we took a field trip to meet that class. And I didn't know it until we met at the end of the year and I saw her, faced her and I'll never forget it. She's got fiery eyes of heinousness and just stared at me with this look like "do you remember me?! MUAMUAMUA!!!" OK, blog therapy over. Sorry dudes.
P.S. and when I say "losers" I only meant people like us who are way way cool but seen as losers only to those loose bags we had to face back in the day.
I LOVE Freaks & Geeks and agree with Stacer that you totally need to watch it. In fact, I think I may need to watch it again. The books by their creator, Paul Feig, are also very entertaining and I highly recommend them.
Oh man, the memories. The bad, bad memories. Sadly, the torture didn't stop for me until 10th grade. And then I ended up being companions on the mish with one of the cruelest girls. And you know what? She never did grow up. She was just as mean when we were 21 as she was when we were 14. The only thing that made it livable 7 years later was that I had perspective and our other companion thought she was a total idiot.
I pick #3. Wow that had to be tough hanging out with the deaf kids and then they ditch you. I am going to share this with my son. He is in Junior High and sometimes has rough days. He told me last year that it really wasn't so bad just as long as he doesn't turn his back otherwise his "friends" would run off.
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