I was different then.
"So. Boys. Are we for them or against them? Yea or nay?"
"YAY!" they answered in unison.
Twelve year old girls enjoy speaking in stereo. It's all about conformity at this age. Fitting in.
"Yay? OK. Do we prefer a swarthy young man or a fair one?"
"Swarthy. Definitely swarthy. And sporty. And funny. And we like blonds too."
"What if he is shorter than you?"
"NO! I don't want to, like, have to look down at the ground all the time. And be all, like, hello down there..."
"Uh huh. When you're not talking about boys what are you talking about?"
"DRAMA!... Yeah. Definitely drama with other girls. And teachers. We talk about teachers. And weird stuff that happens at school."
"Are you nervous about starting school?"
"YES! We are going to be in 7th grade and all the 8th graders are MEAN to 7th graders. Really mean. Like last year, when I was a 6th grader, a 7th grader came up to me and was like. 'Ew! 6th graders are SO ANNOYING!' "
"Wow. That's harsh. Those meanies DO realize they are merely ONE year older, right? I hope you will be kind to the 6th graders when you are much wiser, older 7th graders..."
"We WILL! 'Cause now we know how much it SUCKS when big kids are mean..."
"What's your favorite food?"
"Chinese and pickles."
"I'll keep that in mind for next time." (I unwittingly served them oven pizza and a green salad this evening. Next time pickles and moo goo gai pan it is!)
Two of my daughters will be attending middle school this year. I fear for their them. I fear for myself. The middle school years are a confusing time. It is a time when youngsters have a desire to voice their opinions and passions.
Unfortunately, young men of this age group have not yet decided which vocal octave is best in which to voice those passions. Poor little guys. Nothing worse than squeaking in front of the 13 year old woman of your dreams during math class.
My memories of junior high include hiding my flat as a pancake chest from the relatively voluptuous bra wearing girls in the locker room.
I'll never forget how badly I wanted a bra. All my female peers had the telltale straps of womanhood peeking out from their t-shirts. But not I. I was strapless.
I'll never forget how my mother eyed my scrawny body one fine day and said,
"I know other girls in school are wearing bras now...".
Here she paused and glanced at my chest again. My hopes soared. Perhaps today would be the day...
She continued, "But clearly you don't need one...".
I was crushed.
Puberty hit me like a Mack truck. BLAM! Everything exploded. Jessica Rabbit had nothin' on me. I was grateful.
Exceedingly grateful that my nightly prayers no longer began, "Are you there, God? It's me... Crystal."
My mother was the first to congratulate me on my new developments with several sturdy brazzieres.
"It doesn't matter wheather you wear a cheap t-shirt or an expensive blouse. The most important thing is that you wear a good bra underneath," became her new refrain. (It still is...)
I survived my years of puberty, heartbreaking crushes, braces, acne, raging hormones, general confusion, frizzy hair and getting smacked around by enormous, angry Mexican girls wearing gold bracelets from solid wrist to massive elbow.
I'm told my old junior high now actually has metal detectors and security at each entrance to prevent students from carrying firearms with them to Social Studies. Seriously.
I thought those days were done.
It seems I will live them again.
It's worse as a parent. So much worse.
Lord, have mercy on my soul.
PS I bought a NEW dress. NEW! As in, I am the only human ever to sweat in it! Happy Birthday to MEEE!
I'm elated. ELATED! I found it on Shopbop.com, which is my very fave website for the purchasing of super stylish, ridiculously expensive, inordinately flattering, impossibly eye catching apparel.
I am very Morticia Adams meets Angelina Jolie in her Goth Era. Now, if I only had a vial of blood to hang about my neck...
BTW, no weird comments about how I have really made up for those pre-pubescent flat chested days of yesteryear. Let's be mature about this, shall we? :)