Monday, October 12, 2009

Drama Queens - Memories of Me Monday

Me, standing in front of the junior high school I attended 1969-71 {photo taken in 2001}

The memory jogger: "Describe the buildings, grounds, etc., of the junior high you attended. What was it like walking to school?"

I have more clear memories of my two years at Adams Middle School than I do of all my other school years combined.  Maybe that's because of the huge difference between junior high school and elementary school, or perhaps it's because I attended there during the time I was also going through that wondrous time in a child's life known as puberty but, thinking back, I'm pretty sure the real reason is because it was the most dramatic, emotional, and crisis-prone time in my life.

What was going on?  My best friend and I were fighting!

Hey, that's totally serious stuff when you're a 12 or 13-year-old girl!

It's pretty much the end of the world when you're on the outs with your best girlfriend because she's the most important person in your life; she's the one you do everything with because you enjoy all the same things, she's the one you talk to on the phone every day the minute you get home from school even though you spent most of the school day with her, and she's the one person you can trust with your all secrets.  When you're not speaking to your best girlfriend, you might as well be the last person on earth because that's how alone you feel.

Yeah, we were quite the drama queens, Judy and I, and also our friend, Jill, who we were very tight with as well during 6th grade, and with whom we matriculated to the Adams Middle School campus.  It was either Judy and I, or the three of us, all summer before school, and the fighting, began.

I don't remember the details of many of our fights but most of them did have a common theme:


Nope, not a boy.  Charlie was short for Charlotte.

I don't remember meeting Charlotte; I just know it was in the 7th grade.  Judy and I had many classes together, and Jill was in some of them, too.  So was Charlotte.  From early on Charlotte and Judy did not get along.  Jill and I tried to be friends with both of them, and that's when the trouble began.

I remember one incident during lunch break.  We were outside on the grassy area.  Judy, Jill and Charlotte were playing tag.  I hadn't wanted to play so I was sitting on the lawn reading a book.  Charlotte came over and started saying that Judy and Jill didn't play fair.  Judy and Jill heard Charlotte's comments and assumed I agreed with her or something, so they got mad not just at Charlotte, but me as well.  I thought that was totally unfair so I got mad right back.

That afternoon, walking home from school, Judy and I walked on opposite sides of the street, arms wrapped tightly around our books, both our noses high in the air, each disdainful of the others' very presence. I have to laugh, now, when I think back on how many times during our two years at Adams we repeated that scene!  Sometimes Jill and/or Charlotte would be along as well, if Jill was going to Judy's house, or if Charlotte had once again missed her bus (which I suspected even then was on purpose and just to cause trouble) and begged to come home with me so that my mom could give her a ride home.

The following evening I wrote in my journal: "Judy and Jill were still mad.  They had all these wonderful things planned like Judy spending the night at Jill's house and going to the movies the next day.  Judy didn't even want to go to Sister Gaine's slumber party!  I started crying in Math because I was so sad.  In one of the notes Judy and Jill wrote me they said they wouldn't be friends with me as long as I was friends with Charlotte.  So I told Charlotte I wasn't going to be her friend anymore and Judy and Jill made up [with me]."

That was on a Friday.  The following Monday I wrote: "Today Judy got mad at me.  And it's been only 2 days since the last fight.  I'm friends with Charlotte again also and I guess that's partly why Judy's mad.  Judy's most famous saying is: 'Any friend of Charlotte's is no friend of mine.'  And that includes me.  In P.E. I gave Judy a good kick in the rump.  Then in Social Studies Judy forgot her purse in the classroom and I picked it up.  When I got home I marked up all her papers and things that were inside it.  I'm really mad at her now."


Understandably, when Judy found her purse the next day, in the locker we shared, she was furious, and so was Jill, who had taken sides with her.  It seemed we were always either two against two, or the three of us united against Charlotte.  Again, Judy and I walked home separately.  Later we had a screaming fight on the phone.

The following day, a Wednesday, I wrote: "Judy was mad still, that is until P.E. when she told Carolynn that she was ready to make up.  But by then I was mad because in Art which is just before P.E. she made friends with Charlotte, 'cause remember her famous saying, 'Any friend of Charlotte's is no friend of mine?'  But we made up in S.S."

It's amazing to think of how many times the four of us repeated the same drama, in a hundred variations.  Sometimes Judy's and my parents tried to intervene.  I think mostly they just hoped we'd grow out of it.

And we did.  We all graduated from middle school and Judy and I went on to Redondo Union High School.  Jill and Charlotte went to other high schools (not the same one, though, I don't think).  We stayed in touch with Jill, since she lived fairly nearby but Charlotte, who didn't, we lost touch with very quickly.  And with great relief, I would imagine!

In all the years since, except for a brief period in high school when we fought over the same boy, Judy and I have remained very close.  She's my BFF, my "best friend forever."  I know she's going to read this post, so I sure hope she doesn't mind my baring our souls (not to mention our [now] hilariously pathetic adolescent insecurities) to the world! 

MEMORY JOGGER FOR NEXT WEEK: "What are your favorite books?  Describe the best book you have ever read, and also the worst book."

Reminder:  you don't have to use the memory joggers in a literal way; that is, whatever memory is sparked by the jogger, feel free to go with it, if you like.  Today's post is a good example; it certainly had only a tenuous connection to today's memory jogger!

Update:  If you're a digital scrapbooker get my free "Drama Queen" Word Art (plus an entire "outline" style alpha/number/punctation set) inspired by this post at the Webajeb blog!

Now go make some new memories!


Judy said...

Girlfriend, is it wrong of me to be sitting here laughing out loud over our silly dramatic ways? I am! I can't believe I'm laughing -- it was so extremely REAL at the time. You pegged it perfectly my dear friend and I am STILL a drama queen, but hopefully a tempered one. I am so glad we grew out of that stage because I can't imagine my existence (before, during or after this life) without you in it. Love you! Judy

Queenly Things said...

Just thinking back to the awkwardness of junior high makes me cringe.