Thursday, July 27, 2006

Bad Grades

I actually thought I was tough until eighth grade, where roughly half the class convinced me otherwise. Later I would discover that those same kids in Leavenworth Washington (town, not prison) thought I had come from some correctional facility, or some such place where kids with problems come from. When they found out I hadn't, they didn't like me anyway. How do I know that? That's actually an interesting story. Not now though.

I also thought I was good looking, and charming. Again, I was forced to rethink the issue in the same grade. Actually it was the grade before when the clues trickled in, and maybe even a grade before that. In sixth grade Ohio, I was ok, until we moved to Idaho. In sixth grade Hayden Lake, kids paired off in marriage; but I was never betrothed. Ty Eastman, whom I was destined to fight with on a couple occasions, almost got a divorce once. They were able to work out their problems though, and so they lasted for a couple more weeks. Looking back now, it was kind of cute. We happened upon her on the playground, and he told me, "Hold on, I need to take care of this."

Their hands were waving as they spoke, but gently. I overheard her say, "I don't want a divorce, do you?"

"No, that's silly. Of course I don't."

Then he left her with a smile, walked back to me and we strode away. Ah oui, Lamour!

In seventh grade, Canfield Junior High, I gave Lois O'Hara a Valentines card with the word "love" in it. I didn't really mean for the message to be so strong. Certainly I didn't feel that. She was hot and I wanted her to know I thought it. Taped to the card was a pack of Hubba Bubba--or was it Bubblelicious with the ultimate bubble? I gave it to her after science class. She read it Brett Maverick style, stone cold poker face; coolly thanked me and walked away. Like a puppy I followed while she ignored me, all the way to her boyfriend's locker. Oh, I get it now!

Having moved to Couer d' Alene for the second half of seventh grade, I entered Lakes Junior High in almost complete anonymity. Kristen--I thought I had forgotten her name, but it was Kristen. She gave me a leather wrist band with my name branded in big green letters. I wore it, but I covered it with my jacket sleeve. A nuance not missed by some little tart in a class I shared with her and Kristen. "You wear it to make her feel good, but you hide it because you're ashamed."

14 comments:

Ultra Toast Mosha God said...

ooh! Harsh words from Kristens friend!

I didn't really have any proper girlfriends at high school. I was too pant-wettingly scared to ask anyone out.

Hubba-Bubba is far superior to Bubblicious, which has a habit of sticking to your face and not coming off.

Perhaps these two trains of thought are related..

jason evans said...

That was a great story, Scott! Loved the divorce-averted part. :)

You wore the bracelet, man. That was huge. Screw Kristen's friend. I bet she wasn't wearing a bracelet.

Flood said...

I wanted to write something profound, but then I read Ultra's comment

Hubba Bubba is the best, bar none. A grapier flavour I have not chewed. I'm going to the 7/11 today to get some. Making this a great post.

Oooh, I might pick up some poprocks, too.

Toni Anderson said...

oohh--you moved around a lot! Sheesh. At least you learned some survival instincts along the way.

Valentines Day is always painful whether you receive cards or give them. In my youth you didn't give them to everyone, just someone special. Ugh!

Great post. Painful memories.

Writing Blind said...

Every time I read one of your stories I think it's going one way until the very end where you punch me in the gut. It's okay though, I like that. Good story.

Scott said...

Toast - I hated Bubblicious. You reminded me quite well. Funny thought by the way.

Jason - That's what I thought. Why should I get a hard time?

Flood - Memories of candy. I loved throwing those whipper snappers, but they have a different name today. They exploded when you threw them against the ground.

Rebecca - I didn't know where it was going, so it's no wonder.

Dixie Belle said...

It's good you can still remember all that. I can't recall much of anything dating back that far in my life.

mr. schprock said...

Great story!

Junior high was a dark time for me. The girls just weren't digging me then.

Moni said...

You captured true middle-schooler angst. I had a really tough time in middle school too. I loved the story.

They pretended to be married in the sixth grade? Geesh, I thought the south was bad for that. ;)

magnetbabe said...

With stories like these (I think we all have some, no one comes out of the womb looking like Brad Pitt or Jessica Alba) it's a wonder anyone evers finds the courage to actually perservere and have a functioning relationship.

Kathleen said...

Totally totally totally agree with magnetbabe.

Scott said...

Dixie - I need to dig around some more, because I do remember quite a bit of my past. How much longer will that be true though?

Mr. Schprock - Me either my friend. Dark is a good word for it. It was a transitional period for me.

Moni - I just remembered in the shower this morning that there was one guy that performed the ceremonies. That would have been a nice inclusion.

Nat - I would settle for eventually becoming Brad Pitt. It's funny, but my wife looked at Brad's ripped torso in a movie and asked me if I could look like that. Now I'm at the gym, but I don't have high hopes.

Kat - See my reply to Nat!

jamie ford said...

Great post.

Nothing says "let's hook up" like Hubba Bubba!

It brings back all kinds of angst-filled memories. I can remember holding Pam Turner's hand at a 6th grade skating party and sweating buckets...charming, I know.

Bernita said...

In sixth grade I still thought guys were for punching out...