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Love Is A Battlefield: High School in the Mid ’80s

My dear friend Kia tagged me for this thought-provoking meme.  And while I am sitting here listening to the Transformers Movie in one room and the Ps2 rocking away in the other, I’ll try to pay attention enough to complete this challenge.

(Edward is having a 7-year-old spend the night party.  Yeah…wait for that blog post…should be interesting…)

I can only imagine why Kia tagged me for this.  It’s clear she wants trauma, drama and the gut-wrenching.  I’ve got all three so I’m game!

1.  But What Were You Like? – Well, I played the clarinet in an award-winning marching band.  We traveled all over the US playing at bowl games and the like.  It was quite grand, and not quite so geeky or lascivious as band activities are customarily portrayed.  (I know you will make fun of me anyway.)

I was also the editor of our high school newspaper; we started a scandal by creating fake “Dear Abbies” that related to actual events in peoples’ lives at the school.  As you can imagine, it ended badly.  Yet not as badly as what happened when we were finally caught “pretending” to sell newspaper ads during our lunch/newspaper class time.  Instead of selling ads, we skipped downtown to lunch at interesting spots.  It took months, but someone ratted us out, we were sent to the principal’s office and our parents called.  Not pretty.

2.  Prom Dreams – My senior high school prom date, a boy from a private school, contracted Hepatitis on his senior Florida trip and could not keep his commitment.  (That’s a good thing.)  So he suggested I take his foreign exchange student instead–quite generous.  This fellow was actually from the Ukraine and, despite his relatively limited English skills, was incredibly tall and slightly mysterious, so he fit the bill well.

I can’t go into details on the night’s events, but I will share that what began with an innocent picnic (for three prom couples) held in an unknowing farmer’s field, ended with police search lights, thorn-tattered prom dresses, and a foreign-exchange-student’s-near-deportation.

3.  Wildness –  Despite the way the story above sounds, I was not all that wild in high school.  I would say a tad adventurous but I certainly never saw drugs or anything like that until my late college years.  This was the mid 1980s…things were just calmer then…clove cigarettes were living on the edge…at least where I lived.

The cool thing to do during that time was spray paint your name on this bridge near our school.  (It sounds cool, doesn’t it?)  Well, I completed this rite of passage with my big “Elizabeth Channel” splashed across the bridge…the same day the newspaper did a story on this problematic local issue with a large photo of my name clearly visible.  Yes.  The whole city knew.

4.  Car – 1978-ish Pontiac Grand Prix SJ, two-door, V8, silver with burgundy interior, landau top.  Looked something like this without the cool tires.  Smokin!  This vehicle was so long I honestly had to sit on top of phone books to see over the hood.  It only had the AM radio, but I rigged up an FM converter so I could listen to Pat Benatar on the FM stations.  The first time I took it through a car wash, I hit the “car wash money box,” cocking it to one side and denting the “SJ” in the process.

5.  Fashion – I had long, fluffy hair in high school, and I had to get up at 5 am to render “hot rolled” perfection.  There were a few years of bad perms during the early 80s and one unfortunate run-in with a bottle of “Sun In.”  Truly, it’s tragic I don’t have any photos.  This was the era of side-zip jeans worn with your father’s button down and pointy-toed laced boots.  I weighed 95 lbs soaking wet.

6.  Education – Despite all the stories, I detested most of high school and couldn’t wait to go to college.  My high school was quite cheer-leady/football oriented, and I was more of a poetry-writing, Violent Femmes listening, forensics-involved person.  I did a mean dramatic monologue of ‘Night Mother.  Our group traveled to DC for Youth In Legislature where my partner and I sponsored a domestic abuse bill entitled “The Wife Abuse Deterrent Act of 1985.”

7.  Employment – Usually, I was employed in some creative way.  My first luckless job involved manning a batting cage.  I enjoyed dodging and chasing down the balls after they were hit; rewarding work.  Next I moved to biscuit maker at a local Mrs. Winner’s Chicken and Biscuits.  This was during the summer and I had to be there at 5 am to make the biscuits for the breakfast rush…horrific.  I moved up one year to working in a local real estate office…garnered some much-needed envelope-stuffing skills.

My senior year, I actually worked in the mall as an opinion poller.  I was one of those people who approached you with a clipboard and a promise of earning $5.00 for sampling butter-flavored biscuits.  I also worked at a local Haagen Dazs…now that was my favorite!

Thanks, Kia, for that trip down memory lane.  I’m tagging YOU:

Mrs. Bear at Outnumbered Two To One

MT at The Bon Bon Gazette

Steph at The Red Clay Diaries

Andrea at Crazy Jugs

Tari at The Grass Widow’s Diary

Danette at Everyday Adventures

and Helene at Two Sets of Twins.

If I didn’t tag you, please don’t think I don’t care what you were like in high school!  Remember, I am doing this while listening to purposeful burping, inane laughter, a loud Transformers movie, Ps2 wrangling and the myriad of other sounds that comprise boy sleepover parties.

Please, please, please do this meme if you want to and I will look forward to reading!  And if I tagged you and you’ve already done it, please forgive me and know I can’t keep anything straight these days!

I leave you with the quote of the sleepover night:  “I have to sleep in only my underpants.  If I get too hot, I throw up!”

Posted on 7 November '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany.

16 Comments to “Love Is A Battlefield: High School in the Mid ’80s”

#1 Posted by Kia (Good Enough Mama) (08.11.08 at 02:01 )

Seven-year-old sleepover? You ARE insane. You poor thing. You really should be committed.

My fave? The Dear Abbies. LOVE it! It sounds so 90210 meets Saved By The Bell. That must have been all kinds of fun!

Also, I’m gathering that the prom shenanigans involved an orgy? Is that what we’re supposed to get out of that coy little story? Unless otherwise corrected, this is what I’ll assume, k? 🙂

#2 Posted by Elizabeth (08.11.08 at 02:08 )

Kia, you are so uncouth! An innocent pre-prom picnic with Perrier, you idiot! Seriously…we only got in trouble for trespassing…please get your mind OUT OF THE GUTTER!


You are still insanely jealous about my shoes, aren’t you??

#3 Posted by Kia (Good Enough Mama) (08.11.08 at 02:14 )

Ack. I admit. It’s the shoes. It always has been and always will be…the shoes.

Kia (Good Enough Mama)s last blog post..My Apologies

#4 Posted by hellokittiemama/MT (08.11.08 at 09:59 )

HA!!! Oh high school. Yeah, I could go there and will. Have to get over cooties here first so my head is unclouded enough to think about it.

Sleeping in only underpants at a sleepover?? Wow, brave!

hellokittiemama/MTs last blog post..A Cow At The Zoo? Visit to Popcorn Park

#5 Posted by Mrsbear (08.11.08 at 11:09 )

You are a brave woman attempting that sleepover, I can only hope you’ve survived relatively unscathed. Happy Birthday goodness to Edward.

You were pretty cool in high school, band geekdom notwithstanding, but that bridge story is too much…tell me you didn’t spray paint your entire name. 😀

Thanks for the tag, btw. This one looks like flashbacky fun.

Mrsbears last blog post..Common Misconceptions

#6 Posted by Molly (08.11.08 at 17:16 )

Oh that is so fun…brings back some memories-or maybe nightmares…

Thanks for sharing you mid 80’s HS with us…sounds lot like mine but they did have drugs and cow tippin’

Mollys last blog post..Then Sings My Soul Saturday-Innocent Blood

#7 Posted by Elle (08.11.08 at 22:29 )

Gotta love those sleepovers! That’s a dilemna, kid in underwear or throw-up? Loved your grafitti on the bridge story! LOL!

#8 Posted by Carla (09.11.08 at 01:53 )

It totally sounds like we grew up in the same kind of environment. 🙂 Loved your trip down memory lane.

glad you clarified for Kia…trespassing huh? I so had it another way

and 7 year old sleepover – *faint* You are ONE brave woman. BTW, i say go for the undies and skip the throw up.

Carlas last blog post..BUSY day!

#9 Posted by Elizabeth (10.11.08 at 00:00 )

OK, on the tunnel thing, no, I did *not* spray paint my last name. It’s just that my first name (in real life) is slightly unusual and I used my real last name initial so it was clear who had done the painting.

#10 Posted by Patty O. (10.11.08 at 12:18 )

HYSterical! I loved hearing about your high school adventures. I actually have a lot in common with you: I played the flute in orchestra, had really big hair, almost got arrested on prom night and was an editor on my newspaper. I didn’t get into trouble for not selling ads, but almost got in trouble for my front page article on abortion. I went to an all-girls’ Catholic high school and when the nuns got wind that I was covering the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, they were concerned. It wasn’t like I was writing a pro-choice article or anything. I was just reporting the facts and once they saw that, it was cool.

Patty O.s last blog post..Anybody have the Super Nanny’s phone number?

#11 Posted by Patty O. (10.11.08 at 12:19 )

Wait, your real name is not Elizabeth?!?!?!?!

Patty O.s last blog post..Anybody have the Super Nanny’s phone number?

#12 Posted by andreacook (10.11.08 at 13:57 )

Oh man! My high school days were scandalous and defiantly unlawful. Don’t know if/how much I can share w/o defaming my family name… I will give it a shake though, forgive me if I fake some of the memories…

andreacooks last blog post..The Songwriter in Me

#13 Posted by Elizabeth (10.11.08 at 14:14 )

My real middle name is Elizabeth!

#14 Posted by Rhemashope (10.11.08 at 22:34 )

What an entertaining post! You are the definition of coolness. My favorite was #4. =)

Rhemashopes last blog post..Unfolding Miracles

#15 Posted by Tari (11.11.08 at 00:09 )

this is SO VERY MEAN of you! 🙂

Taris last blog post..Name Change Much?

#16 Posted by Danette (11.11.08 at 23:50 )

Wow, that’s some adventurous stuff :). Thanks for the tag, I’ll have to clear out the cobwebs and see what I can remember from high school, haha!

Danettes last blog post..Happy Veterans Day