2. Wear lots of dark black eyeliner, Levi’s 501 jeans and a flannel. Notice everyone at your new school wears Sperry topsiders, Bermuda shorts and Izod polo shirts. Know that even though you might’ve rolled your eyes at someone dressed like that at your old school, right here right now, you are the weird one.
3. On your first day have your first period teacher assign someone dorky to escort you to your next class. Have that same dorky person happen to be in all of your classes until lunchtime. Make your debut on the quad at lunch with said dorky person. Meet dorky person’s dorky friends. Eat lunch with dorky people. Be 13 so you that you know how much this really really matters.
4. Be sure to have your period on your first day at your new school. Carry a purse with tampons in it. Hear it loud and clear when someone tells you that, like, nobody carries a purse here. Accidentally forget your lame purse in your first period history class because you hid it under your desk so nobody would see it. Ask your math teacher if you can go back to your history class to retrieve your purse. Be unsure of how to get back to your history class. Go down the wrong hallway. Hear the bell ring. Start to sweat. See someone else who is late and ask her if she can tell you where your class is. Have that girl with the perfect blonde hair and sporty sprinkling of So Cal freckles across her upturned nose look you up and down then shrug her shoulders at you. Go through a different hallway. Finally find the class after it is practically over. Interrupt everything to retrieve your purse. Have people snicker at you. Find cute boys in the back row going through your purse, having dumped out your tampons, the pictures from your wallet and your Dr. Pepper Lip Smacker lip gloss. Take your purse back without making eye contact and walk out of the classroom looking at your feet. Get lost as you try to find your way back to your math class. Arrive just as the class is about to end. Worry that your math teacher thinks you tried to ditch on your very first day of school.
5. Go home alone every day after school and eat raw cookie dough from a tube since you are too insecure to go out for the soccer team even though you’ve played soccer for five years. Be intimidated by the fact that all the soccer girls already know each other and have been playing together forever. Eat raw cookie dough every day until you get fat. Watch MTV music videos, play air guitar and try to write poetry. Be jealous of your younger brother who is never home anymore because he made friends with the cool people, became a surfer and took over your spot in the GATE program.
6. Listen to ‘50s music and secretly envy the Rockabilly crew that hangs out at the old school diner in town. Ponder how they don’t care about what anybody thinks of them. Wish that you could learn how to swing dance after you see one of those rockabilly dudes swing dance the shit out of Queen’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love" during the classic car exhibit on the weekend of the town’s annual Flower Show. Decide you are a teenager in the wrong decade.
7. Wear your dad’s oversized shirt to school because he’s dead and you miss him. Realize that the shirt is see-through only after you get to school and people start laughing about how they can see the pink polka dots on your bra.
8. Say yes when a guy with a blue-stained mohawk asks you to “go with him” in 8th grade. Let him French-kiss you on the sidewalk in front of school where everyone can see you. And even though you’ve only ever French-kissed one other person before in your whole life, and that person spun and spun their tongue around in your mouth like it was a blender and you’re pretty sure it’s the wrong way to do it, do that same thing with your tongue now because you don’t know any other way. Have the guy with the blue mohawk tell you you’re doing it wrong but he will teach you how to do it right. Lie to everyone who wears Bermuda shorts by insisting the guy with the blue mohawk IS NOT your boyfriend even though you stay up until midnight almost every night, talking to him on the phone and feeling like he might be the first person who has understood you in a very long time. Get your heart broken a few months later when you find out he’s been telling everyone how he’d like you more if you weren’t fat.
9. Be accused of saying something about someone that you never said. Have your friends stop talking to you. Walk down the eighth grade hallway and have the popular girls yell, “Ain’t got no friends!” at you when you pass. Eat your egg salad sandwich alone at lunchtime. Do everything you can to hold your head up throughout the day then run home as fast as you can, slam the door to your room and cry into your pillow for at least 30 minutes. Two months later, when those same bitches decide you’re cool again, be glad they want you back. Thank them. Bow at their feet. Don’t ever question that they turned their backs on you. Jump right in with them when they find someone else to pick on. Be so fucking glad that it isn’t you this time.
10. Unknowingly pass your future husband in one of the shared hallways of the high school and middle school. He is a senior and you are in eighth grade. Notice that he has bleach-splattered jeans, purple streaks in his hair, a Ramones t-shirt and a skateboard. Think your future husband looks cool. Be intimidated and intrigued at the same time. Wonder what it would be like to kiss him. Note that he doesn’t look at you because A) you are 14 and B) You are wearing a matching Esprit ensemble and Nine West sling-back sandals because you self-consciously ditched the flannel and the eyeliner in an attempt to fit in because you suck. Know somehow, in some inexplicable fiber of your being, that one day you will understand the importance of this moment. Because you will see him again. It will be New Year’s Eve and it will be cold and you will talk to him all night. And he will wonder why he never knew you until now and you will know that it’s because he wasn’t supposed to.
© Copyright 2012 Marisa Reichardt. All Rights Reserved
© Copyright 2012 Marisa Reichardt. All Rights Reserved