So, I mentioned before that I have issues with underwear and I told the story of my very first embarrassing moment that I can remember involving underwear.
And now we move forward to Junior High.
Junior High...torture. Pure torture. I hated it. I didn't know it when I was actually IN Junior High, but looking back at it, it was one of the hardest times of my childhood. It wasn't just the pimples, peers, and pressure of trying to figure out what is and isn't fashionable. It's all these new emotions that you have no idea how to deal with or even what to call them, one of those new emotions being "love."
...or that's what we thought it was, anyway.
Ugh! The embarrassment I feel now for all the stupid things I did in the name of "love." I was one of those silly girls who wrote about boyfriends and breaking up for every poetry assignment. I was one of those girls who had, "I LOVE (What's-his-face)" on every binder and folder. There would be a name, then that one would get crossed out and a new name put underneath of it. Then, a few weeks later, that name would get crossed out and a new one would be placed underneath that one and by the end of the year, I had a full history of my 7th or 8th Grade love life. Oh, and I had a history of all my friends' love life too!
I was completely boy crazy. I HAD to have a fixation on SOME boy at all times or else I seriously didn't know what to do with myself. Perhaps if I had a father at home, I could have been spared much of this embarrassment, but I AM prone to drama, so who knows!?!
Buddy Kelly. He was one of my short-term boyfriends. By short-term, I mean 3-6 weeks. Long-term was anything over 6 weeks. You know, the ones you REALLY "love!" Buddy was short-term, but he will forever be in my mind...because of this story.
I took Choir in Junior High. Absolutely loved it! The funny thing was, every time I took Choir, both in Junior High and High School, I wound up playing piano instead. I don't know if that says more about my singing ability or my piano playing ability. Hmmm...
As is often customary, the Choir gave a Christmas performance. It was at an amazing venue, one that would surely gain us prestige and honor.
Dudley Elementary School.
The big day arrived and let me tell you, it was BIG to us Junior High kids because we got to GET OUT OF SCHOOL for a couple of hours! Whoo-HOO! We are talkin' big time here! AND, we even got to get out of our morning classes in order to get into uniform!
Now, whoever thought that white pants would be a great uniform for a bunch of Junior High kids must have been "smokin' in the boys' room" the day they handed out common sense. I mean, seriously! How long did they expect them to stay white when you have girls who are just learning how to apply make up and are clumsy as all get out!?
And how did they expect girls to think about what underwear they might be wearing that day?
What exactly WERE they smoking in the boys' room, anyway?!?
I got up extra early that morning, all excited. I had my hair to worry about, my clear mascara and barely pink lipstick to apply, AND I was playing piano like a grown-up! Who could expect me to think about what underwear I should be wearing?
We arrived at school, checked into homeroom, and headed over to the choir classroom. The choir director got out the uniforms and we started changing. (Where did we change, anyway? Was there a bathroom in the choir room or did we go to the locker room? I don't remember.)
So, my friends and I are all giddy and giggling and talking about this boy and that boy, and changing our clothes. I got undressed from the waist down and grabbed my white choir pants. That's when I noticed what underwear I was wearing...
They were white (good start) with little green Christmas trees and red hearts everywhere. (Groan) Oh, dear...
But what was even worse, was that on the back of these cute little undies were the words, "Ho! Ho! Ho!"
Oh...My...GOSH! How could I have done this? Why in the world did I not think to wear SOLID white underwear???!!!??? I'm still asking myself that question! And if there were going to be designs, why did I not pick out something with light...very light...pink puppies or kitties or something? WHY bright red and green? And WHY OH WHY, when I had two other pairs of underwear in the same set that said, "Joy" and "Love" did I have to pick the pair that said, "Ho! Ho! Ho!"
I put on my pants, looked behind me, and said, "Hey, can you see my underwear through these pants?"
My friends busted out laughing. Full on laughing. I was dying.
Now, I had true friends. Friends that are always there for whatever Junior High crisis you're having at that hour (because there's a crisis almost every 60 minutes in Junior High!). We started brainstorming solutions.
Maybe I could go without. Heavens no! They were thin pants. That would be worse!
Maybe by some incredible miracle I had an extra pair of white underwear in my locker. Nope. There weren't any.
Maybe I could wear someone else's. No, I'm kidding.
The best we came up with was that I had to wear a jacket around my waist.
Ok, so this is Junior High. Being the only one on stage with a jacket tied around my waist was not cool! Plus, everyone would ask why and I wasn't smart enough to think of something like, "Oh, I sat on my lunch," or "I fell in the mud while walking back from the locker room on the cement ground and you can't see it now, but there was a huge pile of mud there. No, really."
But I couldn't tell the MALE teacher why it was that I HAD to wear a jacket around my waist during the entire performance! Absolutely NOT! I was just going to have to bear it.
To make matters worse, Buddy Kelly was in the band...and the band was travelling with us because they were also going to perform. No. This can't possibly be happening to me! I was beginning to feel sick, but even if I used that excuse to go home and not perform today, it wouldn't work well because I was the one playing piano. There wasn't anyone else. No, I really did have to do this.
And so I put the blue and white striped shirt with suspenders on (again, what were they smokin'?!?) and tied my jacket around my waist. I hid from Buddy Kelly as much as I could. Not that it was that hard because I was too shy to talk to him much anyway. Band boarded the bus. Choir boarded the bus. I was SO hoping that Buddy Kelly was not going to see my underwear and I did NOT want him, or any other boy for that matter, to know about my underwear because I knew that they would look at my rear end, read what my underwear said, and call me a name I really didn't want to hear!
So, in true Junior High fashion, my friends circled around me and made it glaringly obvious that something was going on. We weren't too subtle then. No one admitted to telling anyone else what was going on, but this is Junior High. Do you really think it was going to remain a secret?
We made it to Dudley Elementary and I kept that jacket tightly around my waist. It took forever for the band to set up and tune up and it took forever before the elementary kids began to assemble, but I didn't care if it took 100 forevers!
Alas, the band was ready, the kids assembled and it was time to start. My friends looked at me. I looked at them. And then we realized that band was first, so I had at least another 7 forevers left.
The band finished. My friends looked at me. I looked at them. We all looked at the teacher. He motioned for us to enter. It was time. Forever was gone. I untied the jacket.
This is when I realized that not only would I have to go up in front of all these people, Buddy Kelly included, but I had to go up after the rest of the choir assembled and sit at the piano. Do you think anyone would notice that I was the only girl in white pants, striped shirt, and white suspenders at the piano? I had my doubts. And did I think that the teacher might forget to introduce me to the audience and say nice things about my piano playing and ability and tell the kids that if they worked hard they might be able to do it some day? I had my doubts about that, too.
And did I think that when I sat down at the piano that it would magically turn around so that my BUTT wasn't facing the audience?? I was hoping so, but I had some serious doubts.
Alas, I was the only girl to sit at the piano, the teacher made me stand up so he could inspire all the little kids to practice their piano, and my rear end did indeed face the audience.
I don't know whether anyone noticed or not, but it didn't matter because everyone from school that was in the band or choir knew and they were the ones that mattered, anyway.
Well, having the teacher know would be worse, but fortunately he was really good at pretending that nothing in the world was going on.
And Buddy Kelly? Well, he tried to pretend. At least he didn't press me for any details.
Parents, I advised you last time to buy your kids new underwear and now I advise you to think about which ones you're buying, check out any uniforms they may have to wear, and get involved in the uniform decision process! Oh, and watch out for ones that smell like smoke.