Your High School You

What’s the Internet for if not to steal stuff, right? Because Beth Fish had a great post yesterday asking what people were like in high school. And I have been mulling some sort of high school post for a while, seeing as my 20th reunion right around the corner, and what could be more fun than reliving all the pain and misery of the most awkward period of your entire life?

So, you have already seen me in high school via the Bershon post (and P.S. if you have a Bershon photo you really should get it over to Sarah’s Flickr group)… but how about a description of Greeblemonkey in the midst of all that angst?

Well, let’s see. I was middle of the road. Not picked on, not popular. I discovered WHFS the summer before high school (meaning I was all, like, into new wave and indie rock) and worked in a record store… but it wasn’t a cool offbeat music store like Bryan worked in, it was one in the MALL. Which was still fun for a teenage girl, don’t get me wrong.

I was on yearbook and took artsy classes like drawing – but mainly was known as a photographer even back then. Oh, if I only had a digital camera back in the day. But I started my love of the darkroom in my first photography classes as a scared little Freshman.

I was a bit chunkier than I am now, so in high school terms I was morbidly obese. I thought that was why no boys wanted to date me (I was the chronic “friend”) until a boy who was sniffing around me suddenly picked a girl way larger than me and I had to admit to myself it was just me they didn’t like, not necessarily the weight. Of course, 80’s fashion did nothing for a 5’10” overweight Amazon.

I had friends in all sectors but never really belonged in one clique. My one best friend all through high school was a cheerleader and I liked to tease her for listening to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.

But mainly, I was just ready to get out. I have often likened my high school to the movie Heathers. No joke. I grew up near Annapolis, Maryland, and if you have ever been there, especially during the 80’s – there was money pouring out the gutter spouts. Certainly not OUR gutter spouts, but a lot of them. There was one famous basketball game I attended where I literally watched a gaggle of the older popular girls from my school take out $20 bills and wave them at the opposing bleachers. Nice.

So, while I do have a lot of fun memories from high school too – I was absolutely ready to leave the place in the dust come graduation.

BUT! How about you? You don’t need to go into the detail I did, just a few sentences…


And you lurkers, feel free to join in, especially since I missed out on National Delurking Day.

P.S. Those of you who actually knew me in high school, go on and burst my bubble and tell me what a geek I really was.

This article has 39 comments

  1. Tree

    I could see all that about you, but I think the boys were responding to your own lack of confidence more than anything. Who knows what enters the pea brains of adolescent boys?

    For me, I grew up in a middle to upper middle income suburb of Denver, but was also not on the upper side of that equation. I was studious, into band and played the bassoon and oboe in orchestras. I was in three youth orchestras outside of the ones in school. I also played soccer. I was your basic band geek with a little athlete thrown in and a lot of the study geek. I dated, but not much.

    My friends were either band geeks or the kids in my AP classes.

    I never really blossomed until I went to college. That’s where it all began in my mind. Like you, I could not wait to leave high school behind me. My 20th reunion was this past summer and I did not attend – not out of spite or anything else, but I honestly have no emotional connection to anyone from high school.

  2. Shelly

    I went through a metamorphisis in high school, a couple actually. As a freshman, I had senior guys asking me out, and that scared me, so I retreated into smoking a lot of pot and drinking. All while maintaining a decent GPA and being on the swim team.

    Then, my junior year I broke up with my too-old boyfriend (think out of hs already :-o!) and felt as beautiful and confident as a girl can in hs. One day, I believe my junior year, the captain of the football team stopped and asked if I wanted a ride to school in his jeep. I said no because I needed to study for my vocab test. And, we still remained friends after that! Looking back, that’s when I knew I’d come a long way!

    I was friends with almost everyone, but not popular, middle class suburbs, average kid. Swam for the first 2 years, and hung out the last 2 years.

    I’m scared for dd’s hs experience!!!

  3. mothergoosemouse

    Oh, this topic is a post in itself. Or a series of posts.

    (BTW, I love that photo of you)

  4. mama2munchkin

    Nothing real notable about my hs experience…decent grades (3.4 something when I graduated) without having to work very hard at it; I was a band geek through 11th grade (played the flute), and was athletic although I didn’t participate in any sports other than a miserable attempt at spring track my freshman year (doctor wouldn’t let me run middle distance, my favorite, b/c of my asthma, so was stuck running sprints – I majorly SUCK at sprints). I had friends in all categories, but wasn’t known as a popular kid. I didn’t go to my 20th reunion, although I did actually consider it briefly.

  5. aimee / greeblemonkey

    Teresa -I didn’t know you played instruments and were in band!!

    Allison – you worked in a Cheeeeeese shop? Sorry, bad Wallace impression there.

    Shelly, I didn’t know you were a swimmer… or, um, a inhaler! 😉

    Kelly – LOVE the prom pic.

    Jon – guys like you turn out to be the best husbands.

    Mothergoosemouse – you avoided the question, lady!

    MB – loved your description!

    Lisa – “popular by association” – awesome term!

    mama2munchkin – Welcome! I didn’t know you read! Hooray! A delurking!!!! And I loved your description too!

  6. mamasgotmoxie

    i actually liked high school. i wasn’t into cheerleading or band or any of that stuff because i basically didn’t want to stay after school to participate in anything! hahaha… but i had loads of friends and i have lots of great memories. i was cool with just about everyone. i was a bit of a nerd so i had my nerd friends, then i had my ’round the way neighborhood friends… cool stuff, man.

  7. mayberry

    Two words: “band” “geek”.

    Although I never went to band camp.

    Now I just read the other comments and see I am in good company.

  8. Amber

    Ahhh, high school. So glad it’s over. I didn’t go to an overly cliquey high school (thank goodness) so it was more of a melting pot.

    I was an athlete and had some friends in athletics but my core group of friends were a bit of everything: an artist, an equestrian, a writer, a model, a loner. Despite the fact that I was outgoing and social, I was PAINFULLY shy around my crushes. Even though I had loads of guy friends, I never really dated much until college.

  9. Sizzle

    i bet we would have hung out if we went to school together. . . i was very shy my first year but then blossomed. an all girl school was good for me! i was in drama, the vice president of my school my senior year, on yearbook (which is why me and my pals are on every other page), in the choir, the co-president of SADD and part of the campus ministry (catholic school). if you can imagine it, i was allowed to be part of the religious services. me! ha ha.

    i also won a poetry award my junior year. i was all “mod” with my docs and thrift store clothes and listening to depeche mode and the smiths.

    i am one of the freaks who actually liked high school

  10. Andrea

    I LOVE this! I think we would have been friends in high school. I started out wearing combat boots, putting blue mascara type crap in my long very dark curly hair, and dressing in all black clothes purchased at Old Gold, a very cool thrift store, during my freshman year of high school. I grew out of that phase and became pretty preppy and owned more Laura Ashley clothes than I would like to admit. I hated being in cliques but really did hang out with one group the most. For some reason, I decided to be involved in EVERYTHING: lacrosse, yearbook, Keyee Club, Model UN, debate team, and all sorts of other clubs. In school, I took extra art classes and learned two languages. I found my best friend with whom I am still great friends on our trip abroad to Germany our sophomore year. I didn’t have a boyfriend until I was 16 and that was at debate camp (I think that tells you a lot!); however, I had a lot of close friends which was the most important thing. Overall, it was a decent experience I would not especially want to repeat.

  11. Nadine

    I love this post! Beth did a follow up: who have you dated in high school.

    What was I like.. Hmmm, like you I was not popular nor picked on. I was incredibly insecure (but what teenage girl isn’t). I hated studying, didn’t do much, but still got good grades. I hated gym class. I took art, but sucked at it. I had a couple of boyfriends, but none I’d still know (or would want to know). Let’s see if I can write something positive about that period. Nope. Like you, I was incredibly happy to move on to college.

  12. joansy

    I hung around with the geeky smart kids, but I wasn’t close with them. I was ultra-religious (Mormon) but spent a fair amount of time with the pot-smokers. I didn’t have a single athletic bone in my body, so I did score keeping for the girls volleyball and basketball teams. It was pretty much a whole lot of time spend not fitting in.

    I had bad hair, wore bad clothes, and sucked at putting on make-up. I was very serious all the time and once cried when my religious class was not respectful during the prayer. (“Seminary” was adjacent to the high school and we were let out one hour a day — so wrong)

    I date a few guys – four to be exact. Each and every one of them turned out to be gay. It was a trend that continued through college and thankfully ended when I started law school.

    I was most well known for getting in an accident on the driving range at school during driver’s ed and then in another accident in the school parking lot.

    I exhange holiday cards with one friend from high school and have not talked with anyone else from there in almost 20 years. Zero interest in attending reunions.

    I’m a much, much happier person now.

  13. Nat

    Good god, I was the same way in high school. I came to the conclusion that I was fat and I wasn’t pretty enough. The whole puberty boy thing was traumatic. Guess things worked out in the end.

    In HS,I was way to cool for the whole experience. Not unpopular but definitely not popular. Very studious got good grades. All that stuff, had three good friends. None of whom I keep in touch with. So glad when it was over.


  14. soccer mom in denial

    This was the song the 120+ marching bands members sang LOUDLY at football games (to the tune of “I’m a Lumberjack” from Monty Python)

    I’m a band fag and I’m o.k.
    I sleep all night and I march all day
    I lose my spats
    I play wrong notes
    And I want to go to lunch
    I wish I was a freshman just like my friend —–

    And I was the drum major for two years (as in leading/conducting the band – not twirling a baton). I played the flute/piccolo in both concert band and orchestra.

    I was in every drama production, was in the honors/AP classes and worked on the yearbook. I worked throughout high school – in a cheese shop, as a life guard, camp counselor, babysitter – and never had a car.

    And when my senior year boyfriend tried to brag about something? No one believed him because I was such a good girl.

  15. Kelly O

    My dear, I even have pictures of me in all my high school prom glory. That pretty much sums it up.

    I was completely out of place. Weren’t we all? High school is a harsh and ugly time. Thank god for the proliferation of drugs. (KIDDING!) (Ahem.)

  16. jon deal

    My response in short bursts:

    “band fag”
    Dungeons & Dragons
    Academic “college bowl” trivia team
    McDonald’s burger flipper

    Go on… ask me how much I dated in H.S.?

    Oh man… I have to go sit in the corner and weep for a while now.

  17. MB

    I took your lead and wrote about me, on my blog. If anyone cares to read it, feel free. I liked this activity!

  18. Lisa

    I was popular by association but didn’t care too much for it. They were just people I hung out with. I did appreciate being untouchable though. Haha. I didn’t care much for classroom academics, but I devoted my time to the paper, and extracurricular activities like math and science contests. 🙂 Geek.

  19. monstergirlee

    I was a loser/geek. Tho I wasn’t an outcast, I was pretty unpopular, I had a couple friends outside my group – and oddly enough some of the most popular girls were my friends too. I hung around with my 7 or 8 friends and we had our own clique/group that we did everything with. And then within the group we all paired up freshman year and kind of stayed that way more or less. I was very insecure about my best friend our jr. and sr. year, but we are still friends to this day. By the time my senior year started, I decided I was done trying to “fit in” and went new wave/punk. I had discovered two 1 hr. new wave music programs on a local public radio station and that changed my life.
    I was pretty HWP, and my Best Friend was taller than me when we started HS, but we were the same height by the time we graduated – you can bet having another girl who was 5′-11″ in HS was very comforting. No boyfriends in HS except for Joe Moreski my freshman year, and I never even kissed him.

  20. Super Sarah

    I was that awkward mix of geek and sporty and the saddest thing is I desperately wanted to fit in so I was a bit of a wannabe as well. I had lots of friends though and was relatively happy!

  21. Builder Mama

    I am loving reading all of these….

    I had an odd HS experience. Grew up in NJ in a very wealthy area (although we weren’t) and was a band/chorus/drama geek as well as a good student. Had a lot of friends but we tended to get picked on by the uber-popular kids.

    Senior year, my dad retired and we moved to VA. Basically, I had the chance of a lifetime to reinvent myself. Became what I guess would be considered one of the popular kids, mostly because my boyfriend had a band and being a Jersey Girl gave me this mystique that money couldn’t buy. People were fascinated by me for some odd reason.

    I didn’t have a horrible experience, but really have no connection with either school now. My 20th reunion will be next year and I have no plans on going. I went to my 10th and well, that is a blog post for another time.

  22. Jennifer aka Binky Bitch

    I was a middle of the road girl, too. Not popular, but not unpopular, either. I had a serious boyfriend who took precidence over my friends, which I now regret. I drove a 1987 Nova. One of my friends drove a Porsche, we thought we were so cool driving around in that car.

    I don’t miss high school at all, you couldn’t pay me to go back!

  23. Li'l Foot's Mommy

    New to your site…found you on NaBloPoMo.

    I saw Beth Fish’s post yesterday too, but didn’t respond, although I did respond today to the boyfriends question 🙂

    Hmmm…high school…I was a cheerleader, but our squad wasn’t the annoying mean girls cheer leading types. I wasn’t popular by any stretch of the imagination, but the populars did say hi to me in passing, I wasn’t not popular either. I definitely wasn’t a geek. I spent most of my time in the dark room for photography or in the art building doing something or other.

    I hated math and history (and I still do for the record).

    I loved science but knew I could never make it a life calling.

    I was okay with English (even majored in it in college) but I never read what was assigned from front to back. Yet I do like to read for personal enjoyment today.

    If I wasn’t cheer leading for football or basketball I was out on the soccer field.

    I was in choir.

    I procrastinated homework.

    I am friends still with maybe two or three people from high school. School days were not my favorite time of life.

  24. Mrs. G.

    You actually sound tolerable. Me: smart girl with glasses whose boyfriends all, upon graduation from high school, went on to have, well, boyfriends. I thought we were just all saving it for marriage. Fun post.

  25. Sassy

    Hmmm… let’s see. Well, I’m with all of y’all. BAND. GEEK. (And in suburban Alabama, that’s a very serious affiliation. My HS band was better than most college conservatory groups back then. Scary.) I think if it wasn’t for band I would have curled up in a corner and hid out for the entirety of my high school years. As it was, that was kind of my M.O.– I just flew below the radar until my senior year, which for reasons we won’t get into was hellish beyond belief. I survived, but I would not for one second relive it.

    My friends were almost all band geeks and church orchestra friends, simply because they were the people I spent the most time around. And most of whom I’ve completely lost touch with with no regrets.

  26. painted maypole

    we are identical heights! it’s hard, I know.

  27. Mrs. Chicken

    Oh, God. Just terrified, really, of everybody. I was a mess. Definitely a member of the “Misfit Toys” group. Too sad to even discuss it.

  28. aimee / greeblemonkey

    moxie – you actually make high school sound nice 🙂

    mayberry – I am loving all the band geeks who have turned into blog nerds.

    jennifer – I have you beat… I drove a 1980 yellow Chevette. It looked like a lemon on wheels.

    amber – I was also VERY shy around crushes, probably another source of problems with boys

    sizzle – I bet we would have been friends! and I took many of the photos that ended up in the yearbook.

    andrea – WELCOME! and that is quite a transformation, combat boots to laura ashley! It usually goes the other way! 😉

    lil foot – also WELCOME! did you get lost in the dark room for hours like I did?

    nadine – god I hated gym too… what’s with the group changing and facing all your insecurities naked?

    joansy – I love descriptions of you in high school. 🙂

    nat – aren’t “teen glasses” weird? my body image was so whacked. Not that I didn’t need to lose weight, but jebus I was nowhere near as fat as I thought I was.

    sassy – another band geek! you’re everywhere! 😉

    monstergirlee – and see what a cutie you ended up with… so there! 🙂

    super sarah – also WELCOME! Isn’t it crazy how much we all just wanted to fit in then? How it seemed SOOO important.

    BuilderMama – we moved away briefly in 5th grade and suddenly became popular at my new school so I know exactly what you mean. Of course, we cam back in 6th grade and I went back to plain old me, LOL.

    MrsG – also welcome! I am very excited to see all you new commenters!!! And I cracked up at you comment about boyfriends getting boyfriends.

    Maypole – Amazons rule! Of course, I always wanted to be just 1-2 inches shorter. Yet navigating crowds is always a piece of cake.

    Mrs. Chicken – Sorry you were traumatized. I did feel pretty darn scared of those Heathers.


  29. sue

    *whine* I did this on Beth’s… do I HAFTA do it again? 😉

  30. nutmeg

    It scares me to think, I was awfully close to what I am today, but with big Jersey hair.

  31. monstergirlee (again)

    One thing I’d like to add about me. I was a major underachiever in a school that was pretty focused on academics. Case in point, my rank was #123 of 147 total. And I’m not dumb. 😉

    I didn’t even get invited to my 10th reunion even tho one of the planners was in my “group” of friends. However I did go to my 20th as it was excuse to visit my parents too. And one thing made it all worth it. I hadn’t spoken to my BF in like 9 years, but I found out she might be going to the 20th, so I said if she’s going, I’m going just so I can see her. Turned out she was thinking the same thing. We’ve since reconnected in a big way, and thats made it all worth it.
    No contact with anyone from HS now, except her.

  32. Mr Lady

    Dude, it get creepier by the minute. I’ve been reading Beth for years!

  33. aimee / greeblemonkey

    For those confused, Mr Lady and I used to be NEIGHBORS and found each other randomly on NaBloPoMo. Err, I mean I found her when I was stalking out new blogs. Welcome, LADY!

  34. Em

    You think you were ready to leave high school in the dust? I actually did, literally!

    My Mom, Dad and I were already packed and we left right after graduation, that very same night. I was so sick of it I couldn’t wait to be gone.

    As for my years in HS… I was pretty independant, not defiant or rebelious, just didn’t feel like being part of a ‘clik’.

    I had friends from almost all the groups. Didn’t date much…my choice. Don’t think any boy lasted more than a month. (No, not a maneater)

    Somehow I managed to come through public school amazingly unscathed and naive. Never drank, smoked, partied or even really fooled around.

    Then of course my in-laws did their best to corrupt me by taking me to Jackpot, NV for my 21st b-day.

  35. AcouSvnt

    Everyone who says “band geek”, I’m sorry I deserted you. Thing is, most people who drop out of band just aren’t into music, but I dropped out because it was the only way to fit music theory into my schedule, and I felt I was getting way more out of that than playing quarter notes on the tuba. But I felt like I was adding to the tension between the subdivisions of the music department by having to pick one over the other. 🙁

    As an individual in school, I was an over-dramatic misfit whose best coping mechanism was a non-sequitur sense of humor, typically getting reactions like, “only you would think of something like that”. I didn’t date at all, but I thought about girls a lot. And I was in a rock band.

  36. Em

    I just realized that my comment about leaving the same night right after graduation wouldn’t make sense to everyone.

    My Mom, Dad and I actually moved from WA to KS. I have three older sister and all four of us went to the same college in KS. By the time I graduated the three older girls had already found hubbies and were settling down in KS so Mom and Dad decided to move to be near them and the new grandkids.

  37. JennyMoose

    Aimee, I asked my husband Richard, and he remembers you as “smart and luscious.” I said, she thinks she was fat! He said, No Way. I remember you tall, blonde, and together, and able to draw absolutely anything!

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