Remembering All This Keeps Me Humble

February 12, 2009 at 4:48 am 5 comments

Last night, I joined a group on Facebook called “Whitten Jr. High Alumni”. 

A guy I went to school with started this group so that those of us who attended Whitten can look back and revel in our coolness. 

Unfortunately for me, there was no coolness to be found in my early teen years. 

So later on in the evening, I chatted with my friend Jennifer. She was my friend who helped me navigate through the dangerous, murky waters of adolescence and came out pretty much unscarred, except for a rather unfortunate nickname, “Sketti”. She was quite the slim one, that girl. 

I, on the other hand, did not fare so well. I’m sure it didn’t help that I started Jr. High with the nickname “Coonanne the Barbarian”, straight from the best of sixth grade boys. 

Then there was my dad’s van. It was big. It was white, with an avocado green stripe down the side. It had green carpet. It had a refrigerator inside. We actually took it camping when I was a kid, and that still goes down as one of the worst nights of sleep in my life. But dad liked it, and it carried all the stuff any good Minister of Recreation could ever need. So he took me to school every morning. Here’s a visual for ya:
whitten-jrhigh

This was my school. Along the front, there was a low stone wall. Every morning, kids would stand by the wall and wait for school to start. That wall was the thorn in my flesh for a good two years. (By ninth grade, I didn’t care anymore.) Between getting out of the big green and white van, and then walking up a LONG sidewalk and then trying to find people you knew and would be nice to you…it was torture for a 12 year old. And this 12 year old was not known for beauty and grace. I always felt so awkward and weird walking up there, like everybody was watching me and waiting for me to drop my books or something. 

Junior high was when I discovered that boys are cute. This is normal, I was not alone in the endeavor to get somebody to “go with” me. My problem was, I was in gifted class with some MEAN boys. Boys that would read my confidential notes (folded ever so carefully, with the little tab tucked in) out loud to the class that the boy I liked was in. Boys that would tell me everything that was wrong with how I looked, walked, talked and acted. It’s amazing that I’m not in therapy. I credit my very secure home life for that. 

Then in eighth grade there was the travesty that was THE PROM. Yes, our school had a ninth grade prom, because 13 and 14 year olds need to spend lots of money on dresses and tuxes and dinner and then go out to a country club and try to bust a move on the dance floor. It’s a rite of passage (insert sarcasm here). Seriously, I had a rockin’ blue dress. Royal blue taffeta, with a shirred bodice and a HUMONGOUS bubble skirt that was high on one side and low on the other. Talk about mixing trends! And my shoes. Oh, the shoes. I didn’t want to be taller than my date, so mom bought me ballet shoes and spray painted (yes, really) them blue. Add that to the bow in my perfectly hot-rolled hair, and you had one fancy getup, let me tell you. I was asked to go by a ninth grader that I wasted a perfectly good crush on, and we double dated with some friends. I wasn’t allowed to date, but mom and dad let me go if we stayed in a group. We loaded up in a big white car driven by a dad, and went to the Widow Watson’s at the MetroCenter for dinner. After learning to pronounce quiche, we headed out for a night of Bon Jovi and Vanilla Ice.  Earlier in the day, I was at the MEA clinic, because I had walking pneumonia. So I spent the whole evening trying not to cough in date dude’s face. 

***Here it is…the blue dress. I had to go into the attic this morning for this: I hope you all get a good laugh from all my efforts. 

sc005e45d1That posted much larger than I thought it would. But I don’t have time to change it. Anyway…date dude has been cut out because if he ever read this…I don’t even want to think about that. 

If I remember right, the next week was the event of my first broken heart. Date dude had his FRIEND call me and tell me he was not interested. I love Junior high buddy loyalty. 

So I’ve established that between the van, the wall, the blue dress, and silly boys I developed some major insecurities during this ever-so-important time in my life. But there were the good things too, like getting to have pretty big parts in some school plays. And getting involved in my youth group at church and going on some really great trips. I won some awards, was nominated for a big deal thing at the Odyssey of the Mind competition. I made some great friends. Once I got over my need to please people and be popular, I realized that just being nice was a much better policy. So I found some wonderful Christian friends who liked me just as I was (and some of them like me just as I still am!)

Then there was the funny, funny stuff. Like my dad teaching me to roll a yard. Or dressing in all black on exam day. Or getting up from the lunch table and doing the wave in the process. Or walking the track every day after lunch. Or my 13th birthday party at our church gym that turned into a really great slumber party. 

So it wasn’t all bad. It wasn’t mostly bad. And I certainly had to go through that time to start becoming who I am now. I still carry a lot of those insecurities, but I know what to do with them. And I don’t need the approval of boys anymore, because I live with 2 guys that think I’m pretty great. (I’ve got them fooled!)

I teach some beautiful, wonderful girls in Junior high Sunday School. They encourage me and bless me every week. I know some of them have been to this little space on the web, so this is for them: It only gets better from here. Surround yourself with godly people and your life will continue to be a blast. Acknowledge God’s hand in EVERY bit of your life, and He will handle everything for you. If he can make something out of this:

jr-high-reddressthen he can do wonders in your life as well! (I gave him a LOT to work with, as you can see!)

And then there’s my dress from the next year at my ninth grade prom…green, with a sequin top and yet another GIGANTIC skirt. And yes, green spray painted shoes. But this time I asked a guy that I met at a concert. Didn’t know him at all. Yep, I was a wild one. Never heard from him again after that night. 

I know what you’re thinking. Some stories are just meant to go untold.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

I’ve Fallen, and I Can’t Get Up. Ah, Romance

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Jen  |  February 12, 2009 at 2:00 pm

    I can’t believe you posted this without the picture of the blue dress. Move that to the very top of your to-do list today. It is THAT important. 🙂

    Reply
  • 2. Nikki M  |  February 12, 2009 at 9:25 pm

    Anne, You ARE and WERE beautiful! 🙂

    Reply
  • 3. Jen  |  February 12, 2009 at 10:31 pm

    I LOVE it!!!!!

    Reply
  • 4. Jennifer  |  February 13, 2009 at 6:54 pm

    I love you! You make me laugh and brought back some wonderful memories for me. No matter how hard it was for you (and me to) I loved Jr. High and I contribute that love to making a wonderful friend! That’s you in case you did not know…

    Reply
  • 5. Hannah  |  February 14, 2009 at 2:12 am

    i love seeing these old pics of you – so cute! now we need to see the green one with the sequins…

    Reply

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