1) In third grade I sat close to the door. When the second graders would walk by and look in, I'd turn my text book to the glossary where the writing was small and difficult looking. I got a thrill out of making third grade look hard. I relished the idea of scaring them.
2) In first grade I couldn't find any panties one day so I raided Diane's drawer. Diane was 8 years older than me, and at that time, much bigger. Unfortunately I wore a dress the same day. During jump rope at recess, I jumped right out of Diane's panties.
3) One summer during hay season, Daddy did some work for a man (LD Kennerson?) and the man sent some fine gifts home to me. I got two beer steins, a liquor carafe, and a porcelain tea pot. I was thrilled and proudly displayed them for all to see. In sixth grade there was a school rummage sale. Someone brought a carafe and tea pot and everyone oohed and awed about them and I was positive mine were much nicer. I wanted everyone to see mine. The next day I brought all my goodies that I loved so much. I didn't take them for the sale, I took them to show off. In front of everyone, Mrs Cunningham thanked me for my stuff. I didn't have the fortitude to confess I didn't want to donate them. With terrible sadness and anxiety, I gave my beloved treasures to the rummage sale.
4) In 6th grade, I tried to follow the family tradition in sports. It was a nightmarish experience and still embarrasses me to think about. From whence my siblings got their athletic abilities I do not know. But I surely screwed up the family name with my antics - which were far from athletic heroics. Gawsh. It hurts to remember.
5) After resigning myself to not being sporty, I was asked to be team manager of the junior team. I thought it would be a cool way to get to go to all the games so I accepted. When I told Stacie, she blurted, "Valerie, you can't be the water boy!" Ashamed, I looked for an excuse to quit the job. I found one. Her name was Miss Kirby. I told her something like "you go or I go." She stayed, I went.
6) In 7th grade I took a young girl with horrible social, emotional, and mental delays under my wing. The intent was good, the result was pathetic. Becky had a pretty face, but she had many challenges. Strangely in 7th grade, my abilities to rehabilitate the less fortunate were limited. I put her in a pink dress and spiked heels. Becky could barely walk normal in sneakers. Poor, poor Becky. I wonder what came of her. A wave of sadness just washed over me. Seriously.
7) I got a boyfriend in seventh grade. His name was David. We sat and walked about three feet from each other. The whole school seemed to be holding its breath for us to hold hands, but that wasn't going to happen. No siree. Purity all the way for me.
8) Walked in a walk-a-thon with Odetta. Actually it was a bike, skate, walk-a-thon and it was 20 miles. Turned out Odetta and I were the only walkers and we got forgotten. We got back to the park about six hours after everyone else. For some reason we were expecting other thon-ers to be there. I guess they and the supervisors were resting in front of the TVs in their living rooms. There were no phones to call home. We sat on the ground, exhausted, waiting for some sort of deliverance. After a long wait, the sign-picker-upper guy came through. He was surprised to find us stragglers. You know what our question for the sign guy was? "Where do we take the money we raised for March of Dimes?" Talk about honesty. It never entered our minds to steal it. And certainly no one ever would have known -- given they didn't even know we existed. The sign-picker-upper told us we were supposed to turn our money into "Kay." With due exasperation, Odetta sighed, "Well just who and where is Kay?" Somehow, (maybe the sign guy called her?) Mama came to the McMillan Park to pick us up. Mama laughed all the way home at Odetta's tale of the day's events.
9) In 5th grade I went to Basketball Camp. Lord only knows why I did that. We ran this figure-8 drill ad nauseum. I couldn't get it. Simply couldn't. The coach yelled, "You there. You sit out. You're gonna hurt someone." Bastard.
10) In grade 4, I went behind the gym with Dan Murphy. He kissed me and I felt I'd been raped. I cried for years and prayed every night (for years) that God would forgive me and come into my heart again.
11) After my trauma behind the gym, I ran to the dressing room to see Stacie and confess my wrong-doing. She got in my face, shook her finger and said, (I promise this is what she said), "You stay away from that Dan Murphy. He's dangerous." Dan was in grade 5.
12) I know I'm confessing many strange emotional woes here, but here's another. Stacie loved and adored Mrs Frasier. When I got her in home-ec for the first time, the first class she asked us to tell about our hero or the person we respected most. Thinking it was the "right" thing to do for Stacie, I told the class that Stacie was the person I respected most. After class I hunted Stacie down to make sure I'd given an acceptable answer since we both wanted Mrs Frasier to like me. Stacie had a mild hissy fit and rebuked me promptly with, "Oh good grief Valerie. You were supposed to say Mama." I had an epiphany at that moment. I realized that I just didn't get it. I couldn't navigate the nuances of life with any degree of skill.
13) I had watched many girls sit out of PE for "physical reasons." I decided I should give it a try since I abhorred gym class. Miss Kirby got all nosy and wanted to know if it was that time of the month. I didn't talk about those sorts of things - ever. I answered no. She said, "Is it just before?" I said no. She said, "Is it just after?" and I said no. I never feigned sick to sit out of gym again. That personal inquisition cured me.