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?