‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

lies lies lies

Dear girl from 7th grade,

I still feel terrible about your rings.

You gave them to me in art class because I had pockets and you didn't and you didn't want to wear them when we were doing that something or other with clay. You forgot to ask me for them after class, and I forgot I had them.

After art, I went to gym and had to change into the 100% polyester, electric blue gym suit that snapped at the shoulder, itched, gave tall people wedgies and was the biggest reason I hated gym and junior high. Moreover, I had to negotiate getting out of the undershirt my mom made me wear, without anyone seeing. I didn't notice when your rings fell out of my pocket.

You are meaner than me, so when you asked me for your rings the next day, I lied. I told you I had forgotten them at home.

You know in Demian (not Damian, that's the Omen), when the protagonist tells a lie at the very beginning and it ruins his whole life? Where he's pretty much OWNED by the lie? Yeah. Hermann Hesse stole that idea from me and junior high.

Here's the thing. You had a turquoise ring and a mood ring. Turquoise rings and mood rings were sold at the souvenir shop on Main Street. I figured if I could get my family to stop in there some time, I could buy you new rings on the sly. I did not take into consideration what I would do when you said, "er, these are not my rings" and beat me up anyway.

Of course, I didn't tell my family about the dilemma I was in, so they never took me there, so I had to keep putting you off.

It's amazing I didn't flunk out of school right there. I skipped, I feigned illness, I hid in my locker.

When I finally did get to the store, there were no rings left. Or maybe the rings they had didn't look like the rings I thought you had. After all, I had seen them for about 6 seconds - between the time you handed them to me and when I put them in my pocket, so how would I know? At any rate, I finally figured I had to tell you the truth.

You said I was a jerk and that I owed you $10 so you could get new rings.

That $10? Best money I've ever spent. I just wish I could stop feeling like hiding in a locker whenever I see a mood ring.


Adam P. Knave said...

Such a universal thing. I think everyone has done this at some point in their life. Great entry.

TwoBusy said...

I've spent much of my adult life trying to avoid losing myself to that same kind of deep-set awkwardness and guilt. I remember it as a kid, I've experienced it once or twice in the years since... and it's still just as crippling as it was back in the day.

Nicely done.

for a different kind of girl said...

Courtesy of this fantastic post, I feel we lived a dual junior high moment. Mine involved a red faux leather wallet (empty when given to me, praises be), but the recollection stresses me so that my own mood ring would have burst.

just making my way said...

God, I wish I could say I was less awkward now then when I was in junior high. I think I've just learned to fake it better.

Lisa said...

Ugh. I can totally feel that.

Zip n Tizzy said...

Junior high is the reason I'm glad I had boys. Though I'm sure they experience their own version of hell, it won't be as achingly familiar.