Who were you in high school?

I was the weird girl wearing a black armband when Split Enz broke up. And a red cap, long before sunsense was fashionable. When it rained, I wore my dad’s old green raincoat. Not terribly fashionable either, but I thought it was COOL. I didn’t move with the Duran Duran crowd. They invited me to sit at their picnic table once, but said my odd-bod friends couldn’t come. I tried it, didn’t like it. The odd-bod crowd were more fun or at least more accepting. They didn’t bully you if you wore a bow-tie to school – they wore one too. Even without the bow tie, I didn’t have the right look. My hair was red, my skin was pale, my freckles were extensive. I wasn’t popular with boys. I didn’t get kissed until I was 15, even then it was by a boy with no front teeth (search “When I was 15”). I had a mad crush on a boy in the year above mine, Chris Evans. He was blonde and blue-eyed and gorgeous. He never gave me a second glance. He dated a dark-eyed beauty in my year called Alison. I eventually dated a boy in the year above mine, who hung with his own odd-bod crowd. They played cards every lunchtime in a classroom, not handball in the quadrangle. I think my boyfriend got invited to hang with the male-equivalent of the Duran Duran crowd, but decided his odd-bod friends more fun too. I was obsessed with fantasy and science fiction. My idea of a bulk fun day was to catch the train to Sydney and head to the Galaxy Bookshop. I was hopeless at maths, excellent at ancient history. I dreamed about time-travelling to ancient Crete (they had running water, you know). Would the high-school me would recognise the 43-year-old me? I still have a soft spot for Neil Finn (The Pajama Club rocks). I favour a straw cowboy hat these days (younger me would be into that, the cowboy from The Village People was her favorite). I wish I’d hung onto the green raincoat, it would have been quite handy this dreary summer. I’ve learned to move with the Duran-Duran crowd when required, but I never feel like I truly belong. I don’t have the stamina for it. Having the “right” everything, doing the “right” everything, saying the “right” everything … exhausting. My heart remains with the odd-bods. They’re still the interesting ones in my book.

How about you? Who were you in high school?

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16 thoughts on “Who were you in high school?

  1. OMG!! can u email me a copy of that pic??? iv never seen it b4!!!
    remember when we covered our blazer in badges (i STILL have every single 1 of those – found them a few weeks ago – Frenz of the Enz, etc)…
    remember when we rollerskated 2 school???
    remember when we thought we shld ‘say hi’ 2 every1 in the school – just so we cld say hi 2 chris evans (& martin reis… bestill my heart!!! lol)… 1000 ppl to say hello to 2!!! buahahahha….
    oh dear…. how daggy were we??? lol

  2. Proud to still be part of the odd-bod crowd – lol. It was quite a challenge when I moved schools – Kotara had been (relatively) accepting of badges that proclaimed “I am a carbon based unit” and “The Force be with you.” I persevered though. And missed you all dreadfully. I was only thinking on the weekend about our “Monopoly by mail” game that lasted for a little while…
    At my new high school, in my senior years, I decided to wear brightly coloured stockings (it was the 80s) after a mistake early one morning getting ready for before school 3 unit English – what I had thought were flesh coloured stockings in the early morning light, were in fact, salmon pink. I rocked those stockings…was particularly fond of an electric blue pair I had… (80s, remember…)

  3. Ahhh…Thanks for the walk down memory lane Lans….Life moves so fast now that I barely have time to contemplate the present and recent past….We have not changed and I am proud of that. A little left of center but essentially good and kind people who have done a lot since those days….Many, many reinventions on my part but at the core I am still the odd bod with my odd bod friends who I still love as much as the day we all 1st connected….There is much to say about friends that do not see each other for 5 mins or 20yrs and still be the same and still have the same level of strength in the relationship. I love you all dearly and always will…I still have all my Japan, David Sylvian, David Bowie and Split Enz records…Shame about my badges re same though – good on you for hoarding Megs! I should have done more of that! Thanks again for making me take some time out to pause and reflect! Keep writing – you are doing a fab job! Trace xxxxx

  4. Talk about memories flooding back!! Obviously I was firmly in the Duran Duran group. (I am actually going to see them at the end of March). It’s funny to suppose that other people thought we may be cool – I still felt like an odd bod and outsider. Could have something to do with how glamorous and popular with boys the leaders of the Duran Duran group were. I was certainly not popular with boys and had some serious hair challenges amongst other things.
    I like to think that I was friendly with lots of people from different groups.
    I have often thought that it would be nice if the high school me could have had an inkling of the adult me.
    PS. I didn’t get kissed until I was 16. And then he broke my heart by telling me he really liked one of my more glamorous friends.

    • The Duran Duran thing was a bit of a metaphor – though you were cooler than us (everyone was)! I think your gang and you were always nice to me – no bad memories there.

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  6. I was the nerd… always my head in a book but then ironically ending up in detention because I loathed homework and refused to do it. We had a 1.5 hour (each way) bus trip to school and some of the people I travelled with are still my friends today!

  7. Great post, made me laugh and took me back to those days when things where so much easier…

    Hmm, a bit of a inbetweener, not quite cool enough to be in the cool gang nor nerdy enough to hang with the nerds.. so me and my friends just did out thing, my best friend loved Duran Duran and I loved (and still do) David Bowie

  8. I’ve just started high school and I can tell you that the groups haven’t changed. There is still the odd bods, the girly girls, the sport acholics and the girls who are vying for miss popularity. I’m proud to be an odd bod, but have connections with all the groups. I’m what you call asomeone who makes friends and loves a good laugh.

  9. Sadly being part of the Duran Duran crowd no longer carries the same degree of chic. I lined up to meet them and get their autographs about 5 years ago (when I was about 33), because I knew that high-school-me would never have forgiven grown-up-me for not taking the opportunity. Grown-up-me still has to socialise with grown up friends though, who have never really let me live it down!

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