June 13, 2007

general erections


Today's CODE WORD in keeping with Junior High School Memory Week©: describe, in cringing detail, your most humiliating middle school moment. You can change names if you're worried about someone finding it. I'll cook up mine for tomorrow.

Posted by Ian Williams at June 13, 2007 11:48 PM
Posted by: sam at June 14, 2007 2:07 AM

held down + beaten senseless by other males when they found out i had a big crush on a girl.

bloodlust wasn't in my nature; i never saw it coming and i reacted by weeping. this helped matters a lot. the girl watched and laughed. many beatings followed over the years.

contrary to what my folks taught me, the Good Lord did not intervene on behalf of the faithful.

Posted by: salem's little sister at June 14, 2007 4:25 AM

In 6th grade, I was sitting in chorus and 2 older girls were sitting behind me making fun of this scarf thing I had in my hair. Mom thought the scarf was too cute, but I knew before I walked out the door that it was a huge mistake. None of my friends were in my class and feeling totally self-conscience about these bitches making fun of me, I wrote myself a note saying how much I hated them. I dropped it in my bag, waited about a nanosecond because I'm so sly and pulled it back out. I opened it up, read it like it was from a friend and chuckled at my own cleverness. The meanest girl of the two looked over my shoulder and said "You spelled my name wrong in your note to yourself." I stammered for a few seconds and said something about it being from a girl in my carpool, ripped it up and decided that I was not cut out for middle school girl politics.

Posted by: GFWD at June 14, 2007 4:41 AM

I was in 8th grade algebra during a quiz. I had to sneeze and, as was M.O. back then, I held my nose. At the same time I sneezed, I also farted (I guess the air had go out somewhere after holding my nose).


The bad part about it was, since I held my nose, my ears popped and I could not tell if my fart was audible or not. Because we were in the middle of a quiz, no one could talk. Slowly but surely, however, everyone in the class started looking my way. I was still partially deaf from the popped ears and I was trying to feign ignorance, as if to deny my fart. but my countenance couldn't mask what they heard. And they laughed. At my expense.

I wasn't mortified, but I learned to quit holding my nose while sneezing shortly thereafter.

Since then, I have experienced many other bodily fart combos which I didn't know were possible, such as the laugh-fart, the scare-fart. My favorite, however, is one I witnessed while helping a friend. I was trying to hold her hair while she puked her guts out in the toilet--I'm that good of a friend--and she had a puke-fart.

Much funnier than a sneeze-fart.

And I rarely miss an opportunity to remind her of it. I'm THAT kind of a good friend, too.

Posted by: LFMD at June 14, 2007 4:56 AM

You know, I don't have that many cringing middle school moments. I was very shy, stayed in my room studying a lot, and hovered just below the radar for the majority of middle school. That avoidance technique only carried me so far, because high school held MANY cringing moments! I will share the worst when you have Hideous High School Memory Week.

P.S.: today is my 39th birthday.

Posted by: salem's little sister at June 14, 2007 5:01 AM

Happy Birthday LFMD!!!

Posted by: The other Lee at June 14, 2007 5:15 AM

In 8th grade I actually had the entire class, no not like a math class, but the entire 8th grade class in the whole school, laughing at me at lunch and not in a good way. I was sitting in the cafeteria, in achair and slid in the chair to another table, of course it caught something, sending me toppling over, and breaking the chair leg. I stand up and everyone in the class is laughing at me and pointing, like a really bad movie moment, only for real and happening to me. That I didn't go home and eat a shotgun shell after was a miracle.

Posted by: Tanya at June 14, 2007 5:30 AM

Happy Birthday LFMD!!!!

Every single day of middle school was cringe-worthy. Those were the days before contacts, braces and a decent haircut. I never wore the right clothes or knew the right people. But I take solace in the fact that, years later, I married a guy who was voted "Best Looking" in high school...

Posted by: Mom at June 14, 2007 5:44 AM

By the way, the day I turned forty, an elderly neighbor told me "You are going to love your forties" and in fact, I did. So you have something to look forward to.

At 40, you are far enough past all those hideous jr. high (and high school, etc.) mean kids, humiliations, confusions, and even past the chaos of the dating, floundering, young adult craziness. It was a glorious time of relative freedom from the insanity of being a child; morphing into an adult, growing up, making mistakes that haunt you... it's a great time. Enjoy the next eleven years, and beyond. Getting older has its problems, but they are rarely the kind inflicted by peers during those early years, and usually leave fewer permanent scars.

I find these humiliation stories almost too painful to read. I always wondered what became of those appalling bullies, taunting mean girls, adolescent predators... Do they become the betraying girlfriends that sleep with your husband? The boss who gives you hell for never doing anything good enough? The husband who smacks his wife around? The serial killer?

Probably they mostly turn out just fine. The rest of us turn into adults with haunting, horrible memories that dog us into our dotage. I'm not sure surviving these humiliations and traumas makes us stronger--just sadder when we recall them.

In any case, LFMD, have a great day and look forward to the next decade or two with joyous anticipation.

Posted by: josie at June 14, 2007 5:56 AM

Letsee...nothing in particular, except more of the same cruelty that befell me on a daily basis in lower school. It didnt help that I was overweight, uncoordinated, wore thick glasses, braces and, thanks to Tanya for reminding me, sported a bad haircut.

The one memory that comes to mind is Tommy P. coining the nickname that stuck throughout 7th and 8th grade....Poochie Paolucci

Posted by: ducky at June 14, 2007 5:59 AM

By eighth grade, I had never made a "B" and everyone knew it. When they posted the "All A" and "A and B" Honor Roll sheets after the 1st quarter, I was in my algebra class, and one of the girls actually stood up in her chair to announce see the posters and announce that I was on the "A and B" list for the first time ever. The whole class broke out into laughter, finger-pointing and generally making fun of me...

I ended up hiding in the girls' bathroom as soon as I could get out of the class because I was crying too much to go to homeroom and get my report card. Eventually, my homeroom teacher figured it out and came to find me in the bathroom. To her credit, she had tears in her eyes by the time she located me and gave me the report card, so the entire school was not a sea of inhumanity.

The bright side? Yeah, I didn't really make a "B" - that was an administrative mistake. Suck on that, evil middle school-ers.

Posted by: kent at June 14, 2007 6:06 AM

Oh man... where to begin.

1. Showing up for my first day at McKinley Jr High School in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after moving from California, wearing robin's egg blue socks, when at McKinley, a boy wore dark socks or white socks, period.

2. Having Bill Holmes notice that my nose isn't straight, and after that, every time he sees me he pushes his nose to the left.

3. Asking Mr. Griggs for directions in the hall, and not understanding his mushmouthed answer, and having him say "git outta here bwoy, 'ryou retarded?" (note: Griggs was white, I'm not imitating black diction. He was also fucking nuts)

I could go on, but I have to get ready for work, and some of my Jr High humiliations are complicated stories that span months...

Posted by: Bozoette Mary at June 14, 2007 6:30 AM

I was in eighth grade, a little chubby, ugly glasses, braces, acne. I worked in the school library with several other girls. I was already depressed because I didn't get invited to a big Christmas party that EVERYONE ELSE got invited to, when Linda Ingalls asked me, "What are you bringing to the party?" and I had to say, "I didn't get invited." Then, just to rub salt in the wound, Teresa Falcoa turned to me and said, "Nobody likes you. That's why you didn't get invited."

Oh goody. Just what I wanted to know.

Happy Birthday, LFMD!

Posted by: Anne D. at June 14, 2007 6:43 AM

Mary, one of my MANY awful junior-high moments happened in the school library, too. My good friend Lynn DeVito (Lynn, are you out there somewhere?) saw my huge secret crush, Richard Holmes, coming down the same aisle in the stacks that we were standing in, and yelped out loud to me, "Anne! THERE HE IS!"

He turned red, I probably turned white. Sounds stupid now, but I was so shy and self-conscious and awkward, it was truly painful.

That, and being forced by my mom to wear knee socks and oxford-tie shoes to school in the era of nylon stockings, Bass Weejuns, and black or white flats. And having to keep my bangs at least one inch higher than my eyebrows. Gawd, I suffered in 7th and 8th grade!!! :-)

Hey, LFMD: "Mom" is right. Your 40s will rock, IME. But if you want, you can also pull a Jack Benny and stay 39 the rest of your life. Heh heh.
Whatever you choose: Happy Birthday!

Posted by: kevin from NC at June 14, 2007 6:46 AM

Ahhhhh.. middle school and the days of forced desegregation in the south. Fortunately, this moment was not embarrassing to me personally, but to a teacher. (I saved my major embarrassments for later life)
Daily we would arrive at school and there were fights going on in the school yard (Wilson,NC). The National Guard patrolled the streets and there was a 6:00pm curfew in the town. It was easy to identify the druggies during this time as they were the only group where race was mixed.

Usually around lunch there would be big fights with groups of 20 to 40 fighting. Then there would be walkouts from school and then a rally for the whites and the blacks on opposite sides of town.
The next morning after the first day of walkouts, we were in home room when Senora Warren (spanish teacher) explained she could not understand why everyone left campus. She said "after everyone left there was no more trouble". And you wonder about how i became who i am today.....

Posted by: CL at June 14, 2007 8:01 AM

Happy birthday, Laurie!

I love the cringing school memories on this blog - mainly because we have all emerged into such fine people with nice lives nevertheless. ;)

Unfortunately, most of my painful jr high moments involved someone picking on me over some insignificant detail that really wouldn't matter in the real world - my shoes weren't cool enough, etc. etc. - and I wouldn't be able to say anything about it because they'd just pick on me worse.

I *do* remember that all year in the lunchroom in 8th grade, this kid Louis and his friend James would pretend they liked me, throw me kisses and things, all to make their friends laugh. Louis kept singing ZZ Topp's "Legs" to me whenever he saw me, to make people laugh as well. James would say loudly, "Is it true you're going to go out with Louis?" in the halls - more laughs from the popular kids. Then Louis sent me a note saying such disgusting things that in modern times, I could have gotten him suspended or worse. Of course, I just took it because I didn't want to be called a tattle tale and get harassed even more.

But these stories are always fun because of how they turn out.

Dumb James was playing some sort of game with a noose at home and half-hung himself and had to wear a brace around his neck at graduation. Louis got into trouble for drinking on the 8th grade trip and there was talk he might not be allowed to graduate with the class.

Breaks my heart, what can I say?

The real question is, aside from the really cruel behavior, did some of it socialize us and get us ready for the real world? I had some dorky behaviors that needed some refining. It's a question I've thought of writing about on my own blog and still will someday.

Posted by: Beth at June 14, 2007 8:14 AM

When I was in 8th grade, I had a Ziggy sign in my locker that said, "Come on in, misery loves company." My crush at the time, Billy Daly, loved that sign and used to bring it up in conversation. He started adding, "Are you sure you mean it--COME ON IN?? Are you suuuure?" What I was pretty sure of was that his meaning wasn't quite the same as Ziggy's, but I went ahead and said yes to Billy anyway. And then he spread it around the school that I was willing to have sex with him. Christ, I hadn't even kissed a boy yet.

I love, love, love all these stories. GFWD, you had me laughing so hard I nearly wet my pants. Which would have been, what, a laugh-pee?


Posted by: noj at June 14, 2007 8:31 AM

my friend rex and i were talking in 8th grade about the willingness of the girl that i was going with to let me feel her boobs. rex took it upon himself to ask her how she felt about this eventuality and then she confronted me asking why i felt i needed to go thru my friend rex to get this info.

then she let me feel her boobs, so it was all good.

Posted by: Greg T. at June 14, 2007 8:31 AM

I've successfully blocked most memories prior to 11th grade, but 1 middle school memory remains. On the bus ride home from (Chisolm Trail?) Middle School some of the bullies (led by Michael Gianetti) slid my trumpet from under my seat, took it out of the case and threw it out the window. I didn't discover it was missing until my stop and it took awhile that afternoon to recover the instrument. As far as I know, the perpetrators were never punished, but my dad took the opportunity to scold me for being weak and letting this happen.

Of course, now that I've spent a little time thinking about it, I'm starting to recall a number of other horrific incidents from that time. I think I'll go drink my lunch now...

Posted by: scruggs at June 14, 2007 9:28 AM

When I had just started 6th grade, a boy down the street from me who was in 7th convinced me to enter the middle school breakdancing contest at the first dance of the year. I said ok even though I am rhythmically challenged and can barely do the bounce, twist, and snap a la 80's. Plus my friend was very effeminate and had no skills either. So he came up with this "routine," and I had my first "oh shit" moment right as the spotlight came on in a dark gym with a couple hundred kids watching. Total laughter...very embarrassing!!! But luckily, after a little ribbing on those first days back in school, I never heard about it again or got any nickname out of it. Dork!!!


Posted by: CP at June 14, 2007 11:41 AM

I pooped my pants at madison square garden.

knicks, halftime, nachos, and a line way too long for the cheapseats commode.

it wasn't pretty.

Posted by: CP at June 14, 2007 11:49 AM

ps -- what makes it a middle school moment is the following

a) I was 12

b) I was with some kids from school and their folks

c) it was so awful and intensely primordial (this idea that I had somehow lost control of my body -- which perhaps meant to the other guys that they could too) it was never again mentioned

Posted by: Rebecca at June 14, 2007 2:11 PM

These stories are awesome! Thanks to all of you for sharing. Here's mine.

First, I moved from Ohio to Kannapolis, NC in the 7th grade. So I was known as the "new girl who talked funny" throughout middle school. But my most cringeworthy moment happened in 8th grade. I had made the cheerleading squad, much to the chagrin of many other girls. So they decided to make my life more difficult. My family was renting a house across the street from the girl who was voted chief of the squad. One day, I showed up at school with my uniform on because we had a game that afternoon. Another cheerleader ran up to me and said, "Rebecca the game was cancelled! Crystal tried to call you!" And all the other girls stood there laughing at me. Crystal was the girl who LIVED ACROSS THE STREET. Public humiliation is the worst feeling!

By the way, Crystal went prematurely gray in high school, and last time I saw her she weighed about 300 pounds and worked fulltime at the Sizzler Steakhouse. My Mother always said "the best revenge is to live well."

Posted by: LFMD at June 14, 2007 2:48 PM

Thanks for the birthday wishes. Mom's comments are very encouraging. I have decided that This Will Be the Year that is All About Me. I will keep you updated!

Reading all of the comments brought back MANY cringeworthy moments. And I thought I did not have any! I was a dork (actually in NJ circa 1970s - 1980s, I was referred to as a DEXTER, thank you very much), with glasses, palate expander, braces, frizz ball hair. Very shy. Interestingly, I developed earlier than most girls my age. So, I was a Dexter with a Chest, which is the worst thing to happen when you are trying to be invisible most of the time.

At recreation summer camp one year, my neighbor up the street, Michelle, liked to yell across the camp yard, "HEY LAURIE, DO YOU STUFF?" I did not understand what she meant. By the 5th time, I gathered that she was referring to the possibility that I was stuffing my bra. I was mortified each time she screamed it, usually in the company of snickering boys. This went on ALL SUMMER LONG. Always in public.

Looking back, I wish that I had some witty retort, or at least screamed back my observation that Michelle was older than me AND was flat as a board and had the body of a boy. However, I was painfully shy and suffered each day in silence.

So, I send a shout out to Michelle M. from Morris County, NJ: "Michelle, you were the pre-teen definition of bitch and I hated your guts for it. Your sister Denise was always the pretty cheerleader, and it must have been tough knowing that you were homely and DID NOT HAVE BOOBS of your own, so you had to make me feel bad for mine. I hope that the real world eventually smacked you in the ass. Love, Laurie"

Whew, that felt good.

Posted by: Bud at June 14, 2007 3:32 PM

Late to the party as usual....

My dad, cheapskate extraordinaire, bought me several pairs of off-brand jeans that were about 3 sizes too big (closeout sale). Needless to say perhaps, this did not escape the attention of my peers.

I did have the last laugh, or at least a pretty good one, when I was caught fighting late in the day.

This was a Baptist school, and the penalty for serious transgressions was a HARD spanking with a paddle that would have served nicely in "Dazed and Confused."

The other kid got his ass tanned that afternoon (he emerged from the principal's office with streaming tears), but I was literally saved by the bell and instructed to report before class the following day.

I took advantage of my capacious pants and wore about ten pairs of underpants. Didn't hurt at all, though I pretended otherwise. I still can't believe I actually got away with it.

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