Thursday, September 25, 2008

Another one for the "Holy Crap I was a HUGE DORK"-Pile

As promised, it's time for another trip in the way-back-machine to a little place I like to call Dorkland. Yes, I still visit it from time to time...but when I was in 5th grade, I owned property there--a whole bunch of property.

If you can imagine, Dorkland is quite vast, so it's hard for me to decide where I'd like to take you. Hmm...let's start over here, in gym class....that looks promising.

Ohhh, gym class. Oh middle-school gym class.
I hate you. Die, DIE middle-school gym class.


I know we've discussed the fact that I have huge knockers, but I was a late bloomer. Gym class taught me that. On the first day of 5th grade gym, the boys and girls met separately. We started in the locker room where we were issued the gym uniform that, in future, I will refer to as Godforsaken Ugly Polyester, or GUP for short.

GUP is quite possibly the most unfortunate apparel that a pre-pubescent girl can wear. Not only does it cling to the flat planes of the chest, it also rides up the ass. This overall look was not helped by the fact that I was a child of the 80's. What better to accessorize your GUP than 65 jelly bracelets, rolled-down socks and lace-less shoes. HOT. Parents? That, right there, is basic birth-control---Make teenagers look so hideous that no one will even look at them. Forget sex education, make teenagers wear GUP uniforms until they're 30.

My GUP was baby-blue. I hated it. I was not a bra-wearing gal at the start of 5th grade. Back then, I really enjoyed a good Garanimals undershirt. Oh, I also enjoyed never shaving. Are you starting to understand this math? Undershirt+Hairy Legs=POPULAR? Yeahno.

In gym, we were divided into squads of 6. After changing into our GUP and putting on our KEDS, we headed to the gym and lined up into the squads. Each squad was assigned a line on the floor to sit on while everyone waited for the class to come out of the lockeroom. During this time, I usually did one of 3 things.
  1. Looked at my hairy legs.
  2. Looked at my fellow squad member's non-hairy legs.
  3. Pretended to be wearing a bra (adjusting invisible straps, etc.)
After the first week of class, I realized that my current appearance and bra-less state did not bode well for my ascent into Popular-dom. At this rate, I would be socializing with the lunch ladies at noon recess. I needed to make a change. I went home and demanded (okay, cried until she caved) that my mom let me shave my legs and demanded (okay, cried again) until my mom took me to get a bra.

It's important to note that my parents have always been WELL-AWARE of my dorkiness. Just the year before, in 4th grade, I remember my parents taking me to the mall to do some shopping. They were encouraging me to start dressing like a young girl, and maybe less like a retired female softball coach. In addition to tucking everything into my underwear, I had a strong love for track suits---we're talking the ones MADE BY HANES. And really, when you're wearing a bright red, or bright purple (and sometimes for the hell of it, I would wear the red top with the purple bottom) track suit, nothing goes better than a turtle-neck patterned with flowers or bunnies. Not to mention two pigtails, pulled so tight that I was usually Asian for the first half of the day. I think my parents took one look at me and decided I was dancing perilously close to the edge of Dorkland and about to fall head-first into Short bus Territory. They intervened. But I held onto my undershirts & leg hair, boy howdy...until 5th grade.

So, the following Monday, with my newly shaved legs and stretchy, uncomfortable bra, I made my way to my squad where, from that point on, I did 3 things:
  1. Ran my hands up and down my legs, trying to draw attention to the fact that I was SO grown-up and attractive.
  2. Let my bra-strap fall off my shoulder, visibly seen peeking out, under the short sleeve, trying to draw attention to the fact that I was SO grown-up and attractive.
  3. Cower whenever I hear one of the "Populars" say, "Oh my God, is she feeling herself up?"
I've sort of come full I shave my legs for "special occasions," I live in yoga-wear (the NEW track suit) and I rip off my bra at the first opportunity. And I only wear my GUP on really special occassions. I think I'll wear it to the meet-and-greet at BlogHer. MAYBE I'll shave my legs.


Sra said...

The 8-12 year old range is pretty much the period when even the cutest kids become the most heinous looking trolls. Teeth fall out, complexions develop freckles, hair becomes coarse and ratty, boobs start to form, body hair starts to be a problem, BO becomes a possibility. Basically you become something only your mother could love, and even then they might still concede your heinous trolldom.

I wouldn't say that anything you went through in fifth grade was unusual. It is funny how quickly leg shaving loses priority once you finally lose your flower and enter relationshipsville, where enticing men doesn't seem like as much of a necessity anymore.

The Over-Thinker said...

Sra: I agree with everything you've said. Except for the BO being a possibility. For me, it was more like a requirement. And OMG the sweat.

Meg said...

I hated wearing a bra until I was like 13...and I was one of those girls who needed one when I was 11...

jess said...

i remember those PE uniforms. our gym teacher:

1. was a total skinny bitch
2. had bad hair
3. ran with both hands under her boobs...
4. 's last name was fluckiger

i hated her. and i'm pretty sure she hated my unathletic lazy ass.

The Over-Thinker said...

Meg: If only tucking your boobs into one's pants was trendy...I'd be there with you on the no-bra thing.

Jess: Fluckiger?? I'm pretty sure the last career I'd choose with a last name like that would be a middle school teacher.

Bridge said...

Oh the days... I didn't get to shave until 7th grade. My mom didn't want me to. I totally made her buy me a razor one day and I never regretted the decision since. Until that point I was pointed at and laughed at, but that is pretty much the same now as well. /hmmmm

Natalie said...

my gup was orange. bright unattractive orange.

i was smart and wore a bra to school on day two. i tried to on day one and my mom said i might want to wait and see if the other girls were wearing them. i probably didn't need the bra until the next year. i don't remember!

i don't remember when i started to shave. it was probably forced on me. i fought it for years. now though i can't stand for my legs to be hairy so i shave all the time.

that's all. my morning report.

Nilsa S. said...

But, how will we recognize you at BlogHer if you shave your legs? Bad idea. Unless you want to blend in with everyone else.

Hillary said...

you've pretty much described my elementary school experience.
except I wasn't cool enough for tracksuits.
I was more of a spandex leggings + long tshirt tied at the side kind of gal.

Hyphen Mama said...

Ohmygod you make me laugh. We didn't have gym uniforms (thank GAWD for that small favor). We wore baggy sweats with the elastic ankles pulled up to our knees so they made a big loopy 'pocket'. I wore a white bra ( I only had 1 and I wore it EVERY DAY) that I bought at Yellow Front... remember THAT cheap-ass store? Yeah, that was SHOPPING because KMart was too expensive.

My girl's gym teacher was a lesbian and would stand just outside the showers and make sure each of us took OFF OUR TOWEL and hung it on the wall, walked in, washed up/down/sideways and rinsed. She would mark it off in her grade book as we were inspected on the way out. She's now married to a woman who was 3 years older than I was. I wonder if she first fell inlove with her in gym class.

witchypoo said...

You still have your GUP? Mine was a hideous maroon colour and all friggin pleaty.
This post was so good I submitted it to FiveStarFriday. I wuv you.

friyet said...

my gym uniform was some kind of cotton blend, polyester wasn't invented until i was in college! [oh shut up]... "i was asian the first have of the day" you are tooo much! gawd that was funny!

The Over-Thinker said...

Bridge: My mom fought me really hard on the shaving thing, too. I'm fairly certain she secretly desired a small ape rather than a daughter :)

Natalie: Orange is the kiss of death. I'll bet you all looked like traffic cones. Polyester traffic cones. Oh the humanity.

Nilsa: Blending-in is SO last season. You're totally right. No to the shaving.

Hillary: "I was more of a spandex leggings + long tshirt tied at the side kind of gal."---Dude, this is 6th-8th grade for me.

Hyphen: You must tell me more about Yellow Front. I haven't heard of it. Is it like Big Lots?? MYGYMTEACHERWASTOTALLYTHATWAYTOO!! Not only did we have to remove our towels--we also had to show her our wet soap! Cahreepy.

Witchy: Pleats?? Pleats?? For the love of God, please say you have a picture!! THANK YOU SO MUCH for nominating my post--I am so thrilled that you liked it so much. I sure appreciate it :)

FriYet: I was a little nervous about typing that Asian-sentence. But I laughed out loud when I typed it, so I thought I should include it :)

matches said...

YAY. ditch the bra. burn it. tear it off. stuff it in a hole. anything. i hate 'em. Why do we have them? I think they are part of the axis of evil. Satan created them, but you don't see satan wearing that uncomfortable harness of hate. Wear it when you have to. Choke it when you can. Keep the demons unhappy and free your self from this ungodly constraint. Remove this bridled passion and give room for the liberation of your natural self. There is no love, no acceptance in that thing: the thing that keeps you confined and conformed.

that's my vote. you can scratch my name on the ballot in nov. if you wish.

Ree said...

This line:

"I was dancing perilously close to the edge of Dorkland and about to fall head-first into Short bus Territory"

sent me into a coughing fit for 20 minutes. ;-)