With school starting in 10 days and my 12 year old going into 7th grade I find myself not only worrying about how he'll do but also remembering my own awkward advancement into Jr. High.
I vividly remember nearly everything from Jr. High on.
Which means Peyton could too.
Which is exactly what has me awake at 4:30 am on Monday morning.
When I started 7th grade it was 1989!
I wore skin tight jeans, the kind with zippers at the ankle with a little bow, with baggy guess shirts with shoulder pads, and the sleeves rolled up, tied in a knot at the waist or one of those buckle slides.
Keds were my shoe of choice with the double layered slouch socks and I carried a big Guess bag. (or was it Esprit?)
scrunched hair and the bangs, that stood straight up, finished off my look.
the locker room smelled like aqua-net and aussie sprunch spray.
The thing that has me up at night now, was not the homework or friends. or the big hair.
it was my self esteem. This was the year it took a nose dive, added to the fact that,
to say my home life was less than ideal was an understatement.
PANIC! will Peyton someday recall our home life as unstable and stressful? I hope not.
So in order to get past my stress, I have to blog about it. (you know this is my free therapy.)
already just thinking about it at the computer I realize...
Peyton is a boy. lucky for him, my issues are not and never will be his issues.
My major stressful memories stem from sexual harassment more than anything.
Remember , this was Pre- Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill trial, when sexual harassment suddenly became something that wasn't tolerated in schools or the work place.
I was naive, looked older than I was with legs a mile long.
You've seen Liberty (my 11 year old)? Imagine her with longer darker hair in the above mentioned outfit, and you know exactly what I looked like.
I started out the year wearing cute, tight trendy jeans. I had a great butt. I wasn't flat chested and I carried myself well. Sexy.
I was fresh meat for the older 8th and 9th graders.
Since this I only know my side of it, I can only assume some of the guys at school took notice of me and sort of liked me, or at least how I looked in my jeans.
Pretty soon guys were bumping into me in the halls, enough so that I would get pushed into someone else or up against the walls. Others were smacking my butt when I walked by.
I took this as boys being mean to me.
Turns out it was a LAME ATTEMPT at boy flirting. Which I had absolutely no clue about.
Pretty soon, and I mean a couple weeks into the year I'd stopped wearing my SUPER FLATTERING and really cute expensive tight jeans and started wearing my older brothers baggy jeans, pegged at the bottom or even safety pinned.
I didn't want anyone to notice me. or smack my butt.
If they couldn't see my assets, I was good to go.
this didn't make me invisible but did change the demographic of the guys who were into me.
8th grade skaters were rumored to dig on me. The skater boys at my school weren't the kind to smack your ass-ets when you walked by. They were shy and the guys that hung out with the band members of Jimmy Eat World. (yeah they went to my Jr. high and high school)
and while I had my share of crushes and mini romances throughout junior high and high school NO ONE saw me in skin tight jeans. They were more into my sense of humor than into how good I looked in jeans.
I remember, there was a big uproar one day Jr. year when I did wear a pair of black stove pipe ankle pants. My friends boyfriends all had to mention they'd never seen my legs and butt in fitted pants before.
(which is funny because I wore short shorts ALL THE TIME.)
Of course with legs a mile long, regular shorts ARE shorty shorts, every skirt is a mini skirt, and girl jeans, well they were usually floods.
The guy I'd gone out with for awhile (the only one from my high school) had to make sure and stop and mention something about them too. When we were hanging out we would somehow end up in coordinating outfits at school, gray shirts and the exact same guys gap jeans with vans.
I took the attention that day poorly and made sure never to wear form fitting jeans the rest of forever. ( I might have even gone as far as going home to change at lunch)
I wore those pants exactly ONE TIME!
Other guys lame attempts at boy flirting (read: horrible teasing) made me think they didn't like me.
To me, if you like someone you say so, you don't tease, or push or make up nicknames for them.
Apparently I'm fun to tease. I always have been. Guys thought this was extra delightful. and teased me unmercifully.
Later I found out guys don't even notice girls they aren't attracted to and don't like. The teasing meant they liked me? i still struggle with this concept. and now I look back and wonder holy crap(!) did those guys like me?!
The other day I got a Google+ invite from an old friend from Jr. High. (he was asking if anyone wanted one on FB). So i spoke up and got one.
When he replied to my request I remembered this guy always made me smile. ALWAYS.
He was always around. He was one that teased me but we were friends and he never made me uncomfortable like some of the other guys.
So I asked him, why we never went out? When really I knew why, he teased me, that and we couldn't date in Jr. high, and went to different high schools. He said, " I don't know, I was always crushing on you".
Maybe he was just blowing smoke and being nice, because at this point it doesn't matter, but he did hang out with us lots and said he enjoyed it.
Of course I was a full head taller than him, so maybe that was a factor, I always thought he was into my best friend. He admitted both of us were on his "list" . Which happened more than anyone wants to remember.
I had a "great personality" but I thought my friends, had the looks. Guys everywhere would come up to talk to my friends, but stick around for my personality.
There were years where I'd talk to guys on the phone, but they liked my best friends. Those guys were always nice to me.
The guys that liked me, teased me daily, one called me big bird for all of my Junior year, and then wondered why it didn't work out?! Still mad about it 15 years later. He had no recollection of being mean, just that he liked me.
WHAT? If this is what you do to girls you like what do you do to girls you hate? They ignore them. LUCKY GIRLS!
It did get better. most guys figured out how to express themselves better. Looking back, I guess, guys liked me, probably more than I realized.
It's one of those things I'll never actually know.
I was beautiful, people told me so but I always automatically discounted it.
Guys liked me but I didn't see past the the way they made me feel when they teased me.
I wish I'd heard this quote back then....
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself. ~Thich Nhat Hanh
crap, I still struggle with this now.
My husband still likes to tease me, it thrills him to no end and if I don't react he keeps going until I do.
I guess I worry less about Peyton and 7th grade.
I just realized this had less to do about him and more to do with my issues with boys. Huh, glad I worked that one out.
I'll admit, now I'm really excited about the uniforms at the school Peyton is going to, simply for the fact that Liberty's chances of being sexually harassed next year are slimmer. Khaki's and a polo are hardly sexy. She's smart enough to know that boys tease the girls they like, AND She knows she's cute and doesn't care what other people think. AWESOME!
quotes I want to remember....
Self Esteem begins here: anyone who does not like you is an idiot. Really -aren't they? You are gorgeous, talented and fabulous. ~Chellie Campbell
Having a low opinion of yourself is not "modesty". It's self-destruction. Holding your uniqueness in high regard is not "egotism". It's a necessary precondition to happiness and success. ~Bobbe Sommer
there is a quote I keep seeing around FB about raising your price.
anyone know it? pony up. I need a dose of that one.
Now, just to get over my parenting fears that I'm scarring my kids for life. I guess I'll just have to do the best I can and offer to pay for therapy later.
what's funny is I refused to wear skin tight jeans when I had the perfect body for it and yet, I wear them now?
whatever Mama's workin' it!
wishing you a great self esteem and skinny jeans,
© 2011 crazymamaof6