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How I made it out of high school in one piece (remains a mystery not unlike any miracle of life)---Part I

Before I launch into any lurid tales of my salad days, I have to give a nod---the best I can under the circumstances of laughing hysterically---to Arkie Mama for her post Marital discord, with a dash of humor

In fact, it was so funny to me that I was moved to nominate it for a ROFL Award.

June 07 ROFL award

I know, the irony is almost even funnier after my BlogRhet pontification of this week. Cut slack for the woman of contradictions, okay? ;)

Go see who else got nominated...but not before you scroll down and see my Incredible Confessions of an Aging Woman Recalling High School.

Thanks MetroMama and Mrs. Chicky for hosting these. After 40 days of rain, we need a good laugh down here.


Slouching Mom
tagged me for the high school meme and I took the challenge even though I have a meme from Roz tucked in my back pocket too that ought to come first (sorry Roz, I will get to it swear!).

I took it and am doing it because it's intriguing me, this meme.

So many people had such different high school situations: large schools and small, private and public, city and rural and everything else in between and beyond.

And yet...the meme answers are remarkably similar in experience!

Thus, I feel compelled to add to this chain, and you know what I really wish? I wish we could each find one person from high school who knew us well enough at least and could add another perspective. I know, crazy. I don't really wish that, but okay, I do, a little.

I like that in novels, too: a main character depicting his or her point of view and then a change of voice that describes the situation from another POV. Nick Hornby is brilliant at this.

So maybe I'll try it, in the voice of my high school friend, Kim. Who please dear God doesn't read this and swallow her tongue in horror.

Let's hope I can shine some level (albeit I'm no Nick Hornby) so you don't snooze off by paragraph 4. ;)

Note: this is done in two parts (or so) to keep it short for each read since I can't manage brevity.

1 Who was your best friend?
Julie: Like many others, I was a member of a triumvirate. Sophomore and junior year it was me, Kim and Karen. Karen was a year ahead of us, and was the glue that held us together, as well as kept us nice and clean and sweet.

After Karen graduated, Kim and I held up as a duet, but not very well, and our adventurous sides came out a little more. Although we sort of drifted on to other friends, we could come together whenever we needed a good friend.

That got to be a little less because we both got serious boyfriends. Hers was a Football Hero and very demanding, albeit nice, even when he got a major university scholarship. But we kept up the friendship, then Karen came back from college, where she had acquired some very exciting new Sophisticated Knowledge which she was happy to pass along.

I actually had two lives. In my second life, far away, in my old town, I had my other best friend, Laura, who I had maintained a friendship with despite multiple moves. Laura, me, my younger sister Lesley, and another friend Amy had a special club called the Odd-Evens, like we were the freaking Pink Ladies or something. And of course we had our T-Birds, who shall remain nameless. It was all innocent fun, mostly. We were what you might call high-spirited.

I still feel little frissons of shame sometimes when I think about some things. Things that were usually my ideas. That was a fun group of kids. I didn't go to high school there because we moved, but that is a reunion I'd go to.

Kim: Julie was a total goodie two shoes who blushed when I said virginity was overrated. She did plenty of prissy little joiner activities like newspaper staff and student council, and always made sure she had a date to the important dances. She'd jam to The Doors and Violent Femmes but wore preppy pastels and limited her Fuzzy Navel intake to one. Talk about your Sandra Dee.

Julie: I was a little uptight, but not that bad. I just told Slouching Mom I was like the love child of Patty Simcox and Dorothy Parker in high school.

Kim: snort

Julie: No really, you know, two sides to the coin.

Kim: That part's true. Now tell me, how many times did you and your homecoming queen friend slink downtown to that blues bar? And while you were downtown, before cell phones by the way, where did your mother think you were?

Julie: I'm pretty sure it was either the truth or our usual don't ask, don't tell policy.

Kim: Uh huh. And what about all those skipped days? I believe you and I graduated by the skin of our teeth. Didn't you get a warning note, "Miss one more day and no diploma for you!"

Julie: Well okay there were a few absences. You were in on half of them, if I recall, that was you in the pool tanning alongside me.

Kim: I had no high school aspirations.

Julie: Uhhhh, you had one about Todd.

Kim: Shut up. Hey instead, why don't you explain what you did to end up on the Principal's and police officers' permanent shit list, and go ahead, tell us why your high school nickname was Rifle Girl.


Kim: I thought so.

2 What sports did you play?
Julie: Sports. BWAHAHAHAHA. Okay, no really, I was a dancer. Middling at best, but I worked hard at it. I danced every day, and in the summers, took workshop and danced 7-8 hours or more a day. In college, the aforementioned Todd---who happened to be a football player albeit it now a red shirted freshman one---kept mocking the ballet. You do not mock the ballet. I double dog dared him to keep up with me in a workout and he could not. He even decided---and he was about 6'6" and 300 lbs---that I might be a little bit stronger and tougher than he was.

Kim: He wasn't over 6'3" or 250 lbs. Still, nice try, good dramatic effect. He was a lovely hunk of man meat, though. [sigh] Oh yeah, this is about you. I have no idea what that dancing was. I do know senior year you got conned into a dance routine with that homecoming queen. Then some guys stole your dance props and you completely blew it, could not get your act together. There you are up on stage in front of hundreds of your peers and their parents and you are hopping around like there are hot coals on stage. Luckily it was so freaking funny we all thought you were mocking the prom queen. I've never laughed so hard in my life.

Julie: That was humiliating.

Kim: But you never showed it.

Julie: I've got my pride.

3 What kind of car did you drive?>
Julie: I had a 1974 Datsun 260Z. Metallic gold, with black leather interior. It was lovely. It had manual everything: manual steering, transmission, even the old choke. I even had an 8 track. And yes, I had 8 tracks. OMD was my first, if you must know. If you don't know what an 8 track or a choke is, you are too young to read my blog. ;) Same goes for OMD. If you don't know who that is...

Kim: That car was bitchin. Until Julie totalled it by driving off a small cliff. This is what happens when teenagers are caravaning in the rain to a party after a musical performance.

Julie: (weeping at memory of twisted hunk of metal that was her car)

4 On a Friday night, where were you?
Julie: Okay it depended upon which mode I was in. I wore a lot of hats in high school. I could be at home reading, or just sort of hanging out with a friend. I might also be in full rah rah mode at the football game, and then out to dinner afterwards and maybe a party with a big gang of people. I could be sneaking into what they might nowadays call a rave. Some kid would rent a big warehouse and throw a crazy party. I could be at some musical, dance or theater rehearsal or performance. I might be on a date.

Kim: Don't listen to her. Girlfriend was antsy. If she so-called stayed in, you can bet at midnight my phone was ringing, "Hey Kim, wanna sneak out?" She'd even throw pebbles at other people's windows to wake them and drag them with us. Hey even if she went out she'd be likely to call later.

Julie: Now wait a minute, again, this was innocent fun. We mostly just went down to the playground or tennis courts and goofed off, talked.

Kim: We were all wild back then, and you know it. Flirting on the edge of danger all the time.

Julie: It was teenage hormones, we were half out of our minds, jumping out of our skin with unnatural excitement. Our nerves were on edge all the time, we had to get out or implode. Still, we kept it relatively clean and safe. I had my boundaries.

Kim: Yeah, I'm thinking it's too bad we were really goodie two shoes at heart. My stepdad had a bitchin liquor cabinet.

Julie: You would say that.

5 Were you a party animal?
Julie: No. Not really. Just high-spirited, like I said.


Julie: Don't do that eye roll thing too much; your eyes might get stuck like that, especially if I bitchslap you.


Julie: No really, it's true: Not Party Animals...well, really, what's a Party Animal anyway? It's not like it was Animal House every week. My sister, now THERE was a party animal. I am pristine by comparison. Plus, I was better at not getting caught.

Kim: Okay all right already. I'm sure if you asked anyone we were pure as the driven snow. Not one girls gone wild moment.

Julie: I really think that was the perception.

Kim: I'm sure it was.

6 Were you considered a flirt?
Julie: Sigh. Yes. I swear I wasn't really aware. It wasn't so much deliberate as just this thing that happened due to the boy-craziness. Senior year this guy nominated me for the award Biggest Flirt. I swear I swallowed my teeth in horror. I was literally so angry at him I couldn't speak to him the rest of the day. Offended, yes, I was offended. It wasn't even a real category, he just called it out to be funny and got a huge group laugh.

I couldn't tell what exactly he was mocking but I felt mocked. I felt utterly humiliated.

See? A total and absolute Puritan.

Kim: Yeah the co-ed slumber parties were very Puritanical.

Julie: Don't listen to her. They were. Parents were there and it was one of the better things teens could be doing. With supervision.

Kim: You were boy crazy.

Julie: You know, Kim, I admit it, I was.

Kim: HA! You sought out sexual tension like a bear hunting honey.

Julie: It kept life interesting.

Kim: HA!

7 Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?
Julie: No, theater and dance.

Kim: By which she means she held up the curtains backstage.

Hang on for Part II in which I reveal the genesis of the nickname Rifle Girl and my long-held title of Nerd Queen. Plus the prom story and a photo.

P.S. I hope you has taken me half the day to get up my Dutch courage to post this. LOL

copyright 2007 Julie Pippert


Anonymous said…
You wild thing you. This post was hilarious and very well done.

It also made me realize that I did perfect the invisible act during my high school days.
kaliroz said…
That is funny! Can't wait to read the rest!
Anonymous said…
very funny. i don't believe a word.
Julie Pippert said…
SB, am I relieved or something else to know this is unbelievable LOL. It is the honest truth (and do I need to add in sadly or unfortunately after that? LOL I don't think so, it was so long ago and really just teen goofing LOL).


Roz, the rest is hopefully funny too and ummm might be even less believable, although seriously, truth is stranger than fiction.


Kim, that was my husband's MO too! Glad I got a laugh and thanks. :) P.S. Not wild! High-spirited!
thailandchani said…
I'm also looking forward to Part II. It is interesting that so many of us experienced the same kinds of things.

Got some good chuckles out of this one! :)


Lawyer Mama said…
Baaahaaa! This was great!

I knew there was a reason I loved your writing so much. I think we were the same person in high school. Oh and I drove a 1978 Datsun 310 with a manual transmission.

And, oh yeah, Rifle Girl, you better give us the rest of the story soon!
Terri B. said…
Love the way you presented this! Can't wait for part 2.

High school was so long ago I fear my remembrances would be completely warped.
Christine said…
This was the best!!!!! I loved the clever conversation with Kim.

I was boy crazy, too!

And i just KNEW you were a dancer. Knew it!!!!
Kyla said…
OMG! I cannot tell you how much I loved this. So much fun!

Except...well...I have no clue what a choke is AND I had to Google OMD. *lol* Can I pretty please still read your blog? ;)
MARY G said…
This is simply hilarious. Bring on part II.
The details may differ, but the Way We Were was like that.
Unknown said…
My first car ('64 Ford Falcon Sedan) had a choke. I did have to Google OMD but my memory was jogged right away.

Great idea to add the friend's perspective. I can't even begin to imagine what my friends would have to say about me in high school. It was all pretty Dullsville, I can tell you that.

We won't have to wait too long for Part II, will we?
S said…
Love this! Love it!
Can't wait for the rest!
Julie Pippert said…
Rest assured, I will not let you guys down. Well, not in one respect: Part II will be up tomorrow.

Now hopefully it fulfills expectations! LOL


Chani, I know...I think, high school is high school no matter who, no matter where. In the US, I mean. And maybe Canada, but they do grades backwards. ;)


LM, cosmic twin powers, activate! Form of a cup of water, shape of a glacier! Just kidding. You had a Datsun too!! Do you know...I have never owned an automatic car?


Terri B, well I've got twenty years behind me and somehow, it's fairly fresh. I did keep journals and, well...okay. Truth. Last visit to Nanas the kids found the old yearbooks. Some of the comments in those books were pretty telling and reminded me of a lot!


Christine, ahh a fellow boy crazy one. :) Now how did I manage to hint my way across as a dancer? You are astute! I enjoyed doing this, remembering Kim, the sardonic way she had of talking, how she'd narrow her eyes when you tried to fudge things. Made me miss her a bit.


Kyla my friend, were you even walking when I graduated? ;) Of course you can read, I hope you will! And look how the old lady broadens your horizons! I teach you about ancient cars and bands! Here's another: manual steering and Depeche Mode. ;)


Mary G, thanks! Absolutely, details differ, but underlying similarity.


Mary-LUE, let me tell you, if you start checking might be surprised. The things that seemed so small to you then might be hugely hilarious now.

I remember starting the car on freezing mornings and factoring in about five minutes choke time to my schedule.

Ford Falcon Sedan. The Car Talk guys would LOVE you!


SM, thanks! Thanks for tagging me, it's been a real gas doing this.
atypical said…

I do have to tell you though, it is WONDER twin powers, activate! ;)

Mine was a 79 chevy monza hatchback (complete with much rust, and yes, a choke), but I never learned to drive a manual transmission due to the nervous breakdowns my mother suffered while trying to teach my sister.

Can't wait until part two!


P.S. I had a pretty large "hat" collection myself.
Snoskred said…
I was also boy crazy.. ahh, those were the days! ;)

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