Monday, December 12, 2011

If You Are Not Me, This Post May Be Boring (Junior High)

Today, I went to my little brother's first middle school band concert in my old junior high.

It's true! I walked the hallways I hadn't walked since I was a blashful fourteen year old who didn't know how to use a makeup brush or how to talk to cute boys without turning fifteen shades of scarlett and muttering something incomprehensible while staring at my bouncing pink Vans covered in ripped flared jeans rather than looking anywhere near their faces or arms or legs or anything even remotely resembling a boy.


Honestly, I could smell the fake pepperoni pizza even though the concert was in the gym.


Anyway, I am all about nostalgia and romance and things that make hearts pitter-patter, but I'm not one for romanticizing junior high and high school. If high school is brutal, then junior high is a battle field of learning, friendship, awkwardness, and sneaking purses into bathrooms.


And so!


Since I attended a seventh grade concert tonight, here are seven things that sum up my junior high school experience (in no particular experience).


Number One:
Locker Decorations. Sure, this tradition lasted through high school. But! In the start of Junior High, I vividly remember walking to my English class and seeing one of my elementary school friends arrive at their locker, decked out in white and blue ribbons and balloons with a huge top-to-bottom sign that read "Saved!". She screamed and started jumping up and down when she saw it, causing a huge scene with her new friends and I secretly wished I had a reason for balloons and ribbons, too. Did I mention I grew up in the Bible belt?

Number Two:
Kari Fritche. Kari and I met a few days before the start of seventh grade, right after I'd moved in down the street from her and we became instantly inseperable. She was the most athletic person I had ever met (still is) and, when I think of junior high, I usually think of Kari wearing the most awful school issued red sweatsuits, laughing and showing off her newest bruises.


Number Three:
My blueish, purplish, cordless phone. Meaning, I remember laying on my bed for four hours straight every afternoon talking until my ear felt like it was on fire. It didn't even matter who I was talking to, as long I was talking.


Number Four:

Rosin dust. I played violin pretty ferociously until I was seventeen and, during junior high, every single one of my school days ended with orchestra. I wasn't the most talented and I didn't really care to be, but when I think of junior high, I think of the blue velvet lining inside of my violin case and the way rosin would fly when I put it on my bow.


Number Five:

Going by Elisabeth. If we've met in real life, chances are that I've told you my name is Elisa, Lissa, or Elisabeth. Depending on my mood, I pick and choose how I introduce myself. But! In elementary school, I went strictly by Elisa (sounds like Alyssa), even though my family always called me Lissa or EEElisa. I was really, really shy when I was younger and, when junior high started, I was too scared to tell my teachers not to call me Elisabeth. And so! While some of my teachers switched to calling me Elisa when they heard my friends calling me my shortened name, a lot of my teachers called me Elisabeth. And thus an extremely confusing name battle started and continued for the next two years. Was I an Elisa? Was I a Lissa? Or was I an Elisabeth? (ps. I am all three.)


Number Six:

Brittney Bury. Brittney became my best friend when we were both ten years old which means that she makes up huge chunks of my growing-up memories. In junior high, we shared our locker combinations, sometimes wore complimentary and/or matching clothes, and had more sleepovers than I could ever count. We went on a week long camping adventure one summer and then, the next summer, she came on a trip to Alabama with my family and we laid on the beach talking about how awesome our lives would be when we were college roommates (we were college roommates and it wasn't pretty, but that's another story for another day). We also started a cookie making tradition when we were thirteen that still comes into play whenever we get together, even though we're both married with babies.


Number Seven:

Writing. Mostly I wrote in gel pens and colored fountain pens when I walked the squeaky-clean halls of my junior high that still smell the same (fake pepperoni pizza, anyone?) but when I was fourteen and accused of plagiarizing the heck out of a paper I wrote for my English teacher, I knew that I had found one of my life callings. And that calling? I'm typing away at it right now.

photo photo

In other news, I'm finally as tall as the lockers.


Also, I now have a child that is older than David (my youngest brother) was when I was in junior high. Which works because today at the grocery store, someone asked if I was Max's sister. Um... no. Thanks, though.