It’s another fabulous Monday, and we have awesome Amanda Ashby here with us to talk about her high school crushes. Take a gander, guys. She’s imparting some serious wisdom. 🙂 Enjoy!
When Nisha asked me to talk about my high school crushes I immediately started to go through the list. Obviously I couldn’t mention my undying love for Simon Le Bon since that might make me look old, but still there were still plenty of others to choose from. The Canadian guy whose name I can’t even remember and who ended up having a crush on my best friend. The guy who was a couple years older than me and would only talk to me when he was drunk. His brother. The one who worked in the same restaurant as I did who ignored my longing looks for two whole years. The guy who liked me back but I was too scared to do anything about it.
However, as I mentally went through the list – trying to skim over every humiliation I felt along the way – I realized there was one person who I most definitely never, ever had a crush on. Myself.
In fact I spent my entire high school years thinking that I was so revoltingly unattractive and uninteresting that no one in their right mind would like me. What a waste. I definitely wasn’t the most beautiful girl at school but neither was I the hideous troll of my imagination. Actually, part of me longs to be able to write a letter back to my teenage self to try and let me see what sort of person I really was. I’d love to be able to tell myself that everyone around me was just as self-conscious as I was. That people might actually like me if only I would give them a chance (oh, and while I’m at it, that legwarmers are never good look no matter how many magazines try and tell you otherwise).
So, to all you beautiful, special, amazing girls out there (yes, I mean you!) who are spending so much time crushing on other people I would love for you to spend just one or two minutes a day having a little crush on yourself. And trust me; sometime in the future your older (and hopefully wiser) self will be so happy that you figured out just how crush-worthy you really are!!!!
Thanks, Amanda! For those of you who would like to know more about the fabulous Ms. Ashby, you can check out her website linked above. Until next week! 🙂
Archives for March 2010
Ahh, it’s Memories Monday again. Today, Rosemary Clement-Moore is going to share with us a memory she has that will probably have you cringing, and stifling a laugh. So sorry, Rosemary. I’m soooo sorry. At least that time is over now!
My job in high school was working for Chuck E. Cheese. The pizza place. Where a Kid can be a Kid. Unless you’re a high school kid, trying to earn money to put gas in your car.
First I was on pizza making duty. That wasn’t actually so bad, as long as you were on the assembly line. I wasn’t so great working the oven. Let’s just say, wielding those paddle things takes a leverage that I found it hard to manage. For one thing, I’m petite, and the actual conveyor belt where the pizzas come out of the oven was about head high. It wasn’t so hard holding the paddle over my head like a lance and sliding it under the pizza. But bringing it down and around without tipping the pizza off onto the floor? More of a challenge.
So they moved me to the costume character department. That’s right. I was Chuck E. Cheese. Frankly, assembling pizzas was a better gig.
You’ve been to Chuck E. Cheese, right? Well, even if you haven’t, you’ve probably seen its clone on TV or in movies. Or, you know, if you’ve made a Dante-esque journey through the outer circles of hell. It’s auditory torture, full of bells, whistles, screaming kids, running around… Oh, the humanity.
Now imagine being in the middle of that dressed as a giant rat, with this big head with this little bitty space for you to look through. It was hot and smelly, and the kids would always run up and give you a bit, sloppy hug and wipe their pizza and snot covered faces all over you. The best, of course, is when one of the taller ones realized Chucky E. is a girl. And then proceeds to feel you up.
To top it off, our animatronic musical character was “The King,” a lion who sang Elvis songs. Only he was broken, so the only song he sang was “Viva Las Vegas.”
Bright lights shining in the *mumble mumble*
Gonna SET my SOUL on FI-er
Now I can never hear that song without having flashbacks to anchovy smell, oven burns, sweat stains and getting groped by eight year olds.
So there I was, at 6:20PM on the corner of Jersey Street and Lafayette, 40 blocks from where I needed to be, on St. Patrick’s Day, during rush hour. I was stressed, my head was throbbing, my sister probably gave me laryngitis, and I was totally broke.
So I wasn’t sure if I was going to go to the reading with John Green, David Levithan, Libba Bray and E. Lockhart. Then I thought to myself, this is going to be the most amazing part of the whole week long teen authors event. Why shouldn’t I go?
I sucked up the fact that I had to cut class, and I sucked up the fact that I had to spend some dough to get to the city, and decided…what the hell? I’ll do it.
My plan was to get into the city, have an hour where i can grab some coffee, chill a little bit, and then head to the reading. Instead, I missed my train because the traffic was crazy getting to the train station near my house. Then, I thought the talk was at 7 but instead, it was at 6. Thirdly, I thought the event was down on Jersey Street because that was the original location for it. They (being David Levithan) instead moved it to the NYPL library on 42nd street. Hell.
I was so fed up with the situation, that I thought, it couldn’t get any worse than this. I called a cab, got to the NYPL and managed to listen to the last hour and twenty minutes of the talk. Yeay! And honestly? So glad I didn’t give up and go home. These guys are masters in the field and i was honored to be able to listen to them talk.
So after the talk, author Robyn Schneider/Violet Haberdasher, Casandra, Rebecca and I decided to get some food. Mitali Dave was with us for a while but she had to bail to get back to Jerz. There were no seats, So Robyn sat in the high chair. We enjoyed eating for a while before we had to bail.
Cassandra drove into the city so we had to find her parked car. it was an adventure! We ended up going around the huge city block and ending up literally yards away from where the parking garage was located. We found it only after paying a cab to drive us the five feet we needed to go to get to the garage. We gave the guy the address and he drove and then stopped after a minute. Sigh. He could have just TOLD us where it was.
Anywho. I got on the train to the LIRR and it was soooo packed at 10:30PM. There were all these people in green smelling like beer and singing weird songs at the top of their lungs. Ugh. In the end, I was able to arrive home safe and sound. Bad news? My sister stayed over two nights ago and we shared my big bed because her friend took my futon. I talked to her today and she has full blown laryngitis. That is totally what I’ll be having in like, twenty four hours.
I hope I’m well enough for the Symposium on Friday and the awesome Books of Wonder signing on Sunday!! Okay, peace out.
Today we have author Jon Skovron, author of Struts and Frets, talking about his high school memory. Let’s check out “Ghost Girl.”
I was cast as the Big Bad Wolf in a summer Children’s Theater company version of Little Red Riding Hood. We were high school students, roving around in a big van, performing at City Park and Rec facilities for grade school kids. It was a strange production with a lot of additional plot and characters. The director had somehow linked the story to World War II, so I ended up as a Nazi with wolf ears in my cap and a tail pinned to my stormtrooper trousers. The rabbit, who I think was supposed to represent neutral Switzerland, was played by Stephanie.
Stephanie was not a great actor. She had a laconic tone that translated on stage to cold and aloof. But it was precisely the mysterious distance about her that I found so compelling. We started chatting during breaks in rehearsal and I found that while she was incredibly enigmatic, she was also very funny and very kind.
We were only 15, she lived across down, and the Internet had not quite caught on yet, so outside of rehearsal, we talked mainly over the phone. In those conversations she was even more elusive. She frequently claimed she didn’t remember previous conversations and sometimes I couldn’t follow the thread of her logic. It didn’t matter though, because she had a wry, clever wit, and a soft, playful tone in her voice that I could (and did) listen to for hours.
I was occasionally able to convince my mother to drive me out to her neighbor. Stephanie and I would meet up at a great little coffee shop there called Stauf’s. And while she was always amiable, she was never especially eager. She never invited me out, and she definitely never made the effort to get to my neighborhood. After a while, I got tired of her dispassion and mystery. In fact, I started to wonder if she was just messing with me. So when a curly-haired brunette with smoldering eyes and a car turned my head, I didn’t look back.
Over the next few years, I would occasionally run into Stephanie. She remained the same, pale, luminous beauty. But she always acted like she didn’t remember me. I thought maybe she was still just messing with me, and when I would run into her and I happened to be single and lonely at the time, I would try again to start something up with her. But it always ended the same.
It was the summer before my senior year that I found out from a mutual friend that Stephanie had bipolar disorder, a mental disorder characterized by episodes of mania and depression. She took lithium, which flattened out the mood swings. That explained her dispassion. And one prominent side effect of bipolar disorder was memory loss. That explained the rest.
That Fall, my parents and friends organized a surprise party for my eighteenth birthday. And even though I hadn’t seen her in a year, they invited Stephanie.
All though high school, I was heavily involved in Open Mics at various coffee shops. So my parents got the (horrifying) idea of having an open mic at my party. All about me. It was about as excruciating as you might imagine. I blushed and squirmed for nearly an hour as my friends mercilessly listed off the many mishaps and misadventures I had been involved in or orchestrated over the years. At one point, though, they handed the mic to Stephanie. She sat there, still a wan and ghostly beauty more fitting for a Tim Burton movie than my living room. And she said:
“I think I should remember you. You seem like a really great guy.”
I like to think that if I had known all along that she had bipolar disorder, things would have gone differently. But of course I’ll never know. And she never wanted to talk about it.
I kept in touch with Stephanie through most of my college years in letters, postcards, and email. The last I heard from her was in 1998. She was getting her Masters in French Medieval Literature at the University of Cambridge in England. It’s nice to know that eventually, some people find their place.