The Plain Girl

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Speaking from a female point of view I have to say it was sometimes awful being in high school, especially when you weren't in any group, but I was never in any groups at any point in my life. I lived to see the Viet Nam War take some of my friends, people who were kind and were nice to everyone. I lived through never being asked out on a date because I was too strange and ugly, or so I thought. I didn't try out for any of the clubs other than the ones that you were just responsible for yourself. I would never have made a cheerleader, or senior girl's honor society, as I was too strange. I didn't smoke or drink, which I found out later was a pastime for some of these girls who were held in such high esteem. I had friends through, most of them upper class people. I was ahead of my class in some ways, but loved a good joke and was sometimes bore the brunt of the joke. I had the football team move my car in the parking lot. They thought it was really funny when I had to get under the hood and start the car. I was pretty mechanical and wanted to take shop, but "girls" didn't do that" then, but they do now!

There were times it was lonely when you left school and weren't "in with the in" crowd, so I went to work, and my senior year I was going to college and high school at the same time. Through all 4 years I was there but I don't think many people saw me - or at least the real me. I've learned over the years it's better to be an individual with the ability to think for yourself rather than be the follower. I've seen things some only read about. I have held on to 3 of my friends from high school, thanks to Ted and his web site. I've even seen some of the seniors I graduated with, but they don't recognize me. Seems I'm still invisible to some and just plain strange to others.

I fought the battle for women's rights. For all those daughters of my classmates - it was me and thousands of others who fought for the jobs and the almost equitable pay those many years ago. Women now run huge corporations; when I was in school, moms stayed home and dads went to work. Sound familiar? Times have changed even though we were told differently.

After all these years I had a letter e-mailed from a fellow who turned me down when I asked him out. He felt after all these years he needed to explain and apologize. I just took it as a "no thanks" at the time, and went on to my next class. But how sweet of him to want to set things straight with me! Thanks, I appreciate your concern.

If I were asked if I would go back and redo high school, I'd say absolutely not! I couldn't get out soon enough and on to the adventures life had waiting for me: men, wine, songs and just a lot of those evils I had been warned about growing up. I thought for sure my mother never knew I was at the Filmore or one of those little clubs in Oakland, listening to jazz. I was wrong; she knew and never told me until I was grown and we were talking one day.

I remember the handsome young men who wouldn't speak to me because I was too plain, or not in their circle of friends. Guess what - it doesn't matter anymore. I got over it as I grew up, and I did so a lot faster than those handsome young men and their flashy girlfriends. I wouldn't give up one of the experiences I had at Clayton Valley; they were all things I needed to make me the person I am today. They helped me to understand that we aren't the center of any one's universe but our own. As you move forward, these memories are fun to laugh at because they seemed so important at the time. Now look where we are - with 9/11 just around the corner, I figure there were a lot of people who were just like me in those buildings, but they can't write their observations for anyone to remember or laugh at. I would have to say I remember Viet Nam, and all the rest of the world disagreements and I saw those planes crash into the twin towers, so have we really come so far?

I know I'm just grateful to have had Woodstock, The Temptations Janice Joplin, The Spinners, Joan Baez, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Jefferson Airplane, and all the other soul music groups that filled many lonely hours while I was waiting to get to be me.

Now it's smooth jazz, Jimmy Buffett, and the real oldies like Etta James and Nancy Wilson I listen to while I'm waiting for the next part of my life to open up to me.


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This page updated: November 03, 2015