I was a teenager of the 90’s. In the 90’s, in high school, I was in ‘1st year senior’, (not Year 7). I backed my school books and wrote in bubble handwriting.
By ‘2nd year senior’, I’d read Judy Bloom’s Forever in the school library (Ralph anyone?) and I missed the school bus nearly every day and had to leg it into school late. Writing notes to friends and passing them on to each other in class was customary.
By ‘3rd year senior’ I’d dabbled in Sun In (note to self -must dig out some photo’s of me with my hair the colour of ripe bananas), Harmony Mahogony and Wella Plum hair mouse and my favorutie film was ‘Pump up the Volume’ with Christian Slater.
‘3rd year senior’ was also marked by the year of the high school bitches (Queen B and her BFF’s). The way it worked for me was that everyone in my year fancied this boy in ‘5th year senior’ that looked like Corey Haim, and word had filtered out that the ‘Corey Haim-a-like’ himself and his mates had been prank calling me at night. This meant he fancied me, which annoyed the Queen B and her BFF’s in such a way that they felt they must push me back down the popularity ranking and so began to spread rumours around school that I had herpes. (?) It worked- I found myself on the receivng end of cowardly little squirts trying to flex their puny muscles by repeatedly squeeling ‘Heeerpeeees’ at me from behind the smoking shed, as if they all had tourettes or something.
High school politics for ya. It’d passed by 4th year senior, as by then their attention had turned on those trying to indivituate themselves by dressing up as Wednesday Adam’s (Sorry Goths). And then finally, we hit 5th year senior, and all me and my mates wanted to do was leave school, get an older boyfriend and go partying in Ibiza. Failing that, we’d settle for the Nelson pub in town.
Problem was, we still belonged in the bowling alley playing quasar or something, and despite our best efforts for a post bowl cider the Nelson doorman
laughed in our face said no.
Repeated attempts to try and re-enter the Nelson an hour later disguised in blossom hats also failed .:-(
And so we hatched a simple plan: we’d go to somewhere with a more lenient door policy. Like Applebys. Or Buzbys across the road.
My high school ‘mates’ *Kelly, *Louise, *Leanne and I got dressed up for the occasion. Went to Girl Talk and eveything, lay on the floor with deep intakes of breath to squeeze into a pair of checked hotpants, drank some Thunderbirds and off we went.We made it past the doorman and we were in. We didnt go to the bar or anything –we didnt have ID – we just stood around for a bit feeling grown up and occasionally minesweeped some drinks.
10 minutes in, and Kelly, Louise and Leanne appeared to be whispering about something.
I should point out here that I’ve never been 100% at getting jokes. I look like a well- functioning person from the outset (good grades at school, decent job, friends and finances, no diagnosis of aspergers), and yet sometimes I just totally miss the joke and I’m like ‘Really?’ and then people are like ‘Err -no –it was a joke… )
I like to think I’m just a bit naive. I’m willing to accept maybe a lack of common sense.
Anway, jokes (ahem) aside, Kelly, Louise and Leanne were apparently whispering about having just found me my perfect ‘older’ man, standing just a few metres behind me. ‘Oh my God, he’s well fit. Just your type, Mel. Faded jeans, dark hair, tall. Dead blue eyes. Proper workout body. He’s staring right at you ’. I should have spotted their sarcastic tones, and realised they were taking the piss. I mean, guys like that didn’t drink in Buzbys. ( For people unfamiliar to this St Helens drinking spot of the 90’s, the type of guys that drank in Busbys were pisspots – there at 10am every morning for the cheap ale and probably spent their days getting wasted. Buzbys looked like a shelter for those on an extremely tight budget -hence why we there with our pocket money.) But on this occasion, I wasn’t remotely suspicious that they were joking. I was too consumed with thoughts of getting a boyfriend with a car. I played with my necklace and put my fingernail between my teeth. Trying to flirt, like.
‘How old is he?’, I wanted to know.
‘Like, how old? 18? 21?’
‘Is he still looking?’ I began twisting my hair and imagining him picking me up in his sports car for our first date.
Feeling sorry for me, the girls spun me round and shoved me into his direction to help me out with the joke and I practically landed on top of him. Ooooommppphhhh. Not a sparkly blue eye in sight staring back at me, but a middle aged bloke with a large swallow tattoo on his neck and a cross on his cheek that looked like it had been drawn on with marker whilst he’d been in a drink induced coma.
‘Gerrof’ said the old dude, ‘you’ve spilt my pissing drink everywhere’. He appeared to be talking to me, but his eyes were all over the place, and within about twenty seconds, he was staring down his nose into his empty glass as if he was trying to work out whether he had just drained the contents of it himself or not.
I spun back round to Kelly & co. ‘Oh, you lot are just hilarious. ‘You’re just too funny’ (see, I can be sarcastic when I want to be). I pretended to laugh it off and sat down on the nearest chair, but I sat down in a bit of a secret huff and must have trapped some air between my thighs or something because the next thing you know…have you ever had one of those moments when it sounds like you farted but you didn’t?
‘Did you just…? Was that…?’
Well, my mates thought it hilarious. Went hysterical for a good five minutes about it, they did, and the fact that my cheeks went involuntarily red made me look as guilty as hell. For a minute or so, I tried to defend myself by trying to recreate the sound to show my innocence. ‘It wasn’t me…it was the chair…watch…listen’ I pleaded. I stood up and threw my bum back down on the chair several times but no farting effects occurred. I just looked like a wierdo.
‘Yeah..yeah..whatever…paaaaarrrrp’ –and off they screeched hysterically again.
Fortunately, it was soon time for us to leave. We had to get back to pretending to be at the bowling alley because we were getting picked up outside there at 10 by Leanne’s dad, and so the ordeal was soon over.
Or so I thought.
The following week, on our last day of school, some cowardly squirts thought it would be a good idea to let fart bombs off around school as leavers day prank.
Hmmmmm. Now, I wonder who could have chinesed whispered that idea around? ‘Not you –my ‘mates’ – surely?’, I asked them. With just enough a hint of sarcasm.
Anyway. I can’t say I missed high school much myself.
Some people say your high school years are the best of your life. Others says they’re the worst.
What do you reckon?
*To protect the privacy of certain individuals the names and identifying details have been changed.