My pretty teen years

Before I delve into my pretty teen years, my friend "Gertrude" asked if I'd put up a photo of her kid hula-hooping (and I am kissing my own self for putting Gertrude's name in quote marks like that, but it's not her real name, see, and I was kind of trying to let you know, but instead I became "one" of those irritating "people" who "quote" things that weren't said. Or "said."). 

When I was in Michigan this weekend, Emma was hula-hooping as though she came out of the womb doing it, which, ow. And I think "Gertrude" asked me to put a photo up here because then she'd actually see my photo.

Emma 001

Seriously, have you ever watched Jimi Hendrix play guitar, and it looks like his hands are barely moving? Having watched 848303858 documentaries on him, I certainly have. That is what it looks like when Emma hula-hoops. She barely moves, yet she keeps that thing going like a champ. Then she gets exasperated that the rest of us can't do it. We're OLD, Emma. Old. There is no hula left in our hoops.

But speaking of my pretty teen years, which I know I haven't yet, y'all know I am obsessed with My Topography's blog. Today she talked about what she was like as a teenager, and then asked all of us what WE were like. So I told her I was gonna steal the idea for my blog.

When My Topography was a teen, she was deep and beautiful and went around reading Dostoevsky. I was shallow and frizzy and went around reading Real Romance magazines in my grandmother's bathroom.

16 001

This pretty much encapsulates me as a teen. Basically? If you were a parent? You did not want your kid anywhere near me. I was a terrible influence on everyone. My best friend in high school was a very, very nice person. Her poor unsuspecting parents used to go to their cottage all summer, and they'd always tell her, "Honey, we'd feel better if June stayed with you while we're gone."

Okay. Had she stayed by herself? She'd have listened to show tunes and maybe canned a few tomatoes. She was 78 when we were 15. But with me there? There were boys waiting on the corner for her parents to leave, with 85 cases of beer and maybe some illegal substances, as well. (Like 85 cases of beer is so legal when you're in high school.)

I always had a boyfriend, although the actual person playing the part of my boyfriend varied. All my relationships ended dramatically and terribly. Then two weeks later I'd be all up in someone else.

Other than my best friend, most of my friends were boys. So most nights (and I did go out as many nights as I could, although I was CONSTANTLY GROUNDED for some infraction or another) it was my sensible best friend, ridiculous me, boyfriend du jour, and three or four guys. I know that makes me sound like a slutuanian, but really most of my male friends really were just friends.

I got terrible grades in high school. Really atrocious. Nevertheless, I was on the yearbook staff and was an editor for our newspaper, and I was on student government and managed the boys' swim team. I really enjoyed being busy, a thing I detest now.

I was voted class clown in senior year. Oh, and I absolutely loved high school. Despite all the terrible and dramatic breakups and getting a failing grade in money management class–a thing Marvin brings up often, seeing as he pawed through my stuff once at my mother's and took my failing-grade-in-money-management report card HOME and put it on our fridge.

So, yeah. That sums me up. A few people who read this blog knew me in high school, including one of my 3294304727494 boyfriends, so if anyone has anything to add, feel free.

Okay, now tell me what you were like when you were a teen. Would you want to relive it? I'd like my 16-year-old butt back, but that's about it.

37 thoughts on “My pretty teen years

  1. I made my husband take me to the beach at Lake Michigan last weekend – I say to relax and get a little sun, but it’s as much for the people watching. A couple set up their blanket just down from us…and part of their stuff was 2 hula hoops. Yup – right off she gets up and, standing in front of God and the entire population of the Van Buren State Park beach, starts hooping (hulaing?). Seriously. She stood there for probably a half hour just swaying and rotating. Arms up, arms down, around the neck, around the knees (OK, she was GOOD). Of course she was thin and gorgeous in a wierd sort of way – but every eye was on her and she knew it. I wanted so badly to go up and ask her WHY?! Was she practicing for a tournament? Was it part of her exercise program? What did her incredibly skinny boyfriend think? And why did they haul TWO down with them when she was the only one using them? Obviously, I forgot to bring something to read.

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  2. We had a hula hoop dancer doing her moves in front of us at the Greenriver Festival in Mass. this weekend. She also had quite the moves but it was more of a hippie thing.
    In HS – I was a wild child but did make Honor Society and also, too, was grounded a good part of high school.

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  3. My daughter can hula hoop to beat the band. (What DOES that mean???) She will just stand there and hula away, up to an hour. She can walk around the yard while doing it, she can lean over and pick things up while doing it, she can jump while doing it. She has abs of steel. Just one of the many attritibutes she has received from me.
    In HS, with my abs of steel, I was friends with all the cliques, hung out with same group of three or four girls. I was THE feature columnist for the paper and wrote several articles for the yearbook. My feature solumn was titled “Janet’s Jabberings”. Oh, wasn’t I clever? I also ran for my dean’s office. Which meant I took call slips to classes when the dean needed to see someone and since I was the dean’s favorite (hey~ don’t be hatin’, it’s just a fact), he would often let me skip classes to run the office when his secretary was sick. The downside… my parents weren’t what you would call, uh, parents and if I didn’t go to school, I didn’t and if I went in at noon, I went in at noon. The second half of senior year, I only made to first period 2 times. I graduated by the skin of my teeth. I’m so proud. I was also what you might call a tease. I didn’t think I was but ask any one of 2,458 boys I led on just far enough if I was. I was saving myself for marriage. Bwahhhh. Bwahhh.

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  4. Not that I think anyone really is interested in what Hulk was like in HS, but he was a good student, a fair athlete, and on newspaper. Sports Editor. It is where he met June, a budding humorist even then. One of our first assignments was to interview George Plimpton, who was speaking to a group in our hometown. We have been friends ever since, save for the twenty or so years we lost touch. Gotta love FB.
    Junie, good thing you didn’t reach a smidge higher there, eh?
    Oh, and Emma is even more of a cutie in person than in the picture…

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  5. I know… I hijacked June’s blog from my own jabberings.
    Would I want back my teen years? I would take back the waist length, gorgeous curly hair, the stomach, arms, thighs and butt. I would not want all the angst and drama.
    Oops. I hijacked the blog again.

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  6. i was voted shyest of my sr. class (along with cutest (ugh) & funkiest hairdo). i wasn’t really shy- we moved my 10th gr year, i was pissed! my new class was 2 groups- party people & smart people- i was an artsy person, i hated HS. That shyest vote really cracks me up now & my friends don’t believe it a bit…
    PS- i KNEW you were a tube top girl!
    ~misschell

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  7. I was voted class clown too! And student council pres.
    I think it is interesting how so many times our best friends are seemingly our opposites. Like you June, my BFF Kathy was serious, a good student, good kid. I too was a horrendous influence. Not into drugs at all, just serious drinking. I had a fake id and we would go dancing every weekend, donning our big hair, blue eye shadow and Maybeline. I was the queen of disco. Kathy and I would practice the pretzel in my living room for hours. I still love to dance.
    I was smart, but a classic under achiever. I still managed to graduate a year early.
    I had friends from all groups of people.
    Had wonderful guy friends. Still do. I love guys as friends.
    I guess I was a tease, but not intentionally. I LOVED to make out! I’ve been told I’m a damn good kisser!
    I would have killed to wear a tube top back then, but my oobie-bays were too big. It was halter tops and Danskins for me.
    Jeez it’s fun to think of those days, but like Jan, I wouldn’t want to go back.

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  8. wouldn’t do high school/teen years again if you paid me… but I blogged it all.
    you were & are super cute june. love the tube top. wish i could have pulled that off then or now.

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  9. Wow what a hottie no wonder you had a string of boyfriends.
    Me in high school? Just like I am now only much thinner. I talked all the time laughed much of the time. I’ll think on this one. I’m like the rest of your bleaders…I feel a blog post of my own coming on. 😉

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  10. Junie,
    I was very prudish except when it came to boys. I loved boys and always had a boyfriend! Like you, I always had tons of good friends who were guys, as well…Had a few close, good girlfriends. I was popular, friends with all the cliques. A cheerleader, smart, always on the honor roll, in student government, etc. Never drank or did a drug EVER! Voted class women’s libber and some other things I can’t remember in the mock elections. I was really pretty dull compared to the witty, sparkling diamond I am now!! hee hee! I loved highschool. Wouldn’t want to go back -too much strife in my 20s…Life is good now!

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  11. As a frizzy girl myself I usually feel for you when you complain about your hair but that is OVER. In your teen pic I see nothing but the beachy waves sported by the cover models from my mom’s teen magazines. Did you have perfect teen hair back then? DID YOU?

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  12. Ah, high school! I was a cheerleader, Homecoming Princess and voted Class Flirt. I was the girl who tons of male friends but was never asked out by any of them. My guy friends always asked someone else to the Prom and then tell me afterward that they had a lousy time and should have asked me instead (Duh!).
    My parents were too wrapped up in their own midlife dramas to notice what I was doing so I had almost zero supervision, which isn’t always a good thing for a teenager. They never noticed if I came in at 4:00am or when I got suspended from school for too many tardies and absences.
    Surprisingly, I never got arrested or pregnant or OD’d on drugs like many of my peers. I look back fondly on my high school days but I lost contact with all my HS friends almost immediately and have had little contact with anyone since.

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  13. Hmm … in high school, June, you seemed to me like someone who was always ‘on’ — always making jokes, would talk to pretty much ANYONE, lots of energy. Which means I was basically your opposite. I was exceptionally well-behaved, got excellent grades, and was a fat, socially awkward train wreck. Certainly some of my train-wreckiness can be attributed to being gay in freakin’ Saginaw and having no idea how to even begin dealing with it. High school was just about getting through it so I could get away. In fairness though, I am *still* fat and somewhat socially awkward (though mercifully less so … one of the graces of aging, I guess), so some of that was just me and not gay teen angst.
    You know June, I mentioned you to my younger sister the other day, not sure if she would remember you because I think you two only met a couple of times, if that. But she instantly knew who you were, so I guess you were also pretty memorable in high school.
    P.S. At least you got decent grades in Newspaper, right. That’s what matters.

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  14. High school…not miserable but not memorable. I was quiet and shy, no good friends or even people to hang with until my junior year when I got involved with the Jesus Freak clique, a good place for the non-popular, non-athletic, non-artsy/drama, non-doper people. Not particularly pretty, smart but not honor-society smart, and I had an incredible crush on my math teacher for my junior and senior year. Made it thru high school with virginity nominally intact (or, as we used to say back then, with fingerprints all over my virginity), but went kinda wild in the college years.
    Would not go back for love nor money.

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  15. I lived in a duality back then. I was tall, graduated 24th in a class of 425, willowy thin with long straight hair and thought I was ugly, fat, and stupid. I dated several guys but was the rubber band steady of one guy throughout school.
    I’m still good great friends with my bestest bud from then. Evie and I could get into a lot of trouble in her classic convertible. We had innocent faces and could pathologically lie on cue, so we never got into much trouble. In fact, good ole FaceBook has reunited me with a ton of HS friends. They all say the same thing, “You’re still really funny!” Who knew? I thought I was a bore.
    Sigh. I’d go back to reclaim my seriously hot physique. Damn! Why didn’t I put that to better use?

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  16. I lived in a duality back then. I was tall, graduated 24th in a class of 425, willowy thin with long straight hair and thought I was ugly, fat, and stupid. I dated several guys but was the rubber band steady of one guy throughout school.
    I’m still good great friends with my bestest bud from then. Evie and I could get into a lot of trouble in her classic convertible. We had innocent faces and could pathologically lie on cue, so we never got into much trouble. In fact, good ole FaceBook has reunited me with a ton of HS friends. They all say the same thing, “You’re still really funny!” Who knew? I thought I was a bore.
    Sigh. I’d go back to reclaim my seriously hot physique. Damn! Why didn’t I put that to better use?

    Like

  17. I lived in a duality back then. I was tall, graduated 24th in a class of 425, willowy thin with long straight hair and thought I was ugly, fat, and stupid. I dated several guys but was the rubber band steady of one guy throughout school.
    I’m still good great friends with my bestest bud from then. Evie and I could get into a lot of trouble in her classic convertible. We had innocent faces and could pathologically lie on cue, so we never got into much trouble. In fact, good ole FaceBook has reunited me with a ton of HS friends. They all say the same thing, “You’re still really funny!” Who knew? I thought I was a bore.
    Sigh. I’d go back to reclaim my seriously hot physique. Damn! Why didn’t I put that to better use?

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  18. I was the nice girl in school. I was class favorite and Miss Congeniality but I was never the prettiest or the smartest and I longed to be both. I look the same as I did in high school I would however love to have my flat stomach back.

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  19. Ahhhh HS….those were the days…would I go back? Not in a hot minute! Hated HS! Now College…I was all about that, but your question wasn’t about college.
    Still see some girlfriends from HS although BFF has faded away. I guess that third “F” wasn’t really acurate. I did drive a super cool ’66 Corvair that my Dad restored, which was the only thing unique about me. People still remember me because of that car. I was the quintesential boring good girl—eek—what happened to her?
    Thank Gawd I went away to college and left HS behind! Now those were some good times!!

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  20. I sucked at high school. Hated everything about it. It didn’t help that I changed schools twice in HS either. Just one of my many self-conscious memories? I, like you June, have naturally curly hair. I live in the Midwest, land of humidity, and had no idea how to handle my hair. Most of the time I looked liked Gilda Radner doing Roseanne Roseannadanna. One particularly bad hair morning, I couldn’t take it with the misbehavin’ hair. There was one piece, right in the front, at the beginning of my part, that just would not conform. So, I cut it off. Yes, a nickel size area, cut down to the scalp, In. The. Front. Of. My. Hair. After it began to grow back I had these little spiky hairs there, well that wouldn’t work. So, I did the obvious thing, I shaved the hair, with a razor. Yeah, that was a much better choice. Eventually, I had to let it grow out. At one time during the process, I had about a two-inch long section of hair just sort of sticking out in the middle of my forehead. Nice. Can you say awkward? Go back? Oh Hell no, I won’t even go to a class reunion. Aaak, I have to go have a nice glass of wine to make up for that nightmare trip down memory lane.

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  21. OK seriously? I hate kids who remind me of me as a teenager. I see them walking by and I mutter to myself hateful words. Oh. And? I’m like 23 or something. So it wasn’t really like long ago. THAT IS HOW OBNOXIOUS i was as a teenager. 3.5 seconds after I stopped being a teenager I was like “Holy crap. I was such a little shit.”
    PS it takes a long time to get rid of your reputation as a freakin obnoxious idiot when you live in a smallish community. Yikes.

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  22. I was such a good kid in high school. I skipped school exactly once, graduated with highest honors as a National Merit Scholar. We were such good kids that we went to the cabin for New Year’s Eve and nobody got drunk or had sex. I’d like to have both my confidence in my future and my body back, thank you. While I’m not unhappy, I’d love to have that sense that everything is going to go according to plan.

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  23. June-
    I would rather talk about you in high school. Always in the middle of things with a flouncy step, an entourage, and a devilish look on your face.
    I would wager that I got into as much trouble as you, but you did it with flair. You had drama about things I had not even thought of yet, you were a walking teen magazine.
    I didn’t spend a lot of time with you but when I did, you always seemed to bring out the worst in me, which was fun.
    You were and are the sparkly gypsy girl that I aspire to be.
    LB

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  24. I HATE it when people put words in quotation marks that aren’t quotes. I’m sure I never do anything that annoying.
    Also, I cannot hula hoop for the life of me.
    And finally, my best friend and I were grounded from the phone for an entire semester sophmore year, and we went to different schools, so we wrote letters to eaach other. I still have them. I was always in trouble for something in high school. Not unlike you, June!

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  25. I was never in trouble in HS, my Dad would have killed me, that’s when parents cared and knew what their kids were doing–all the time. I made average grades except in BAND! I was consumed by band. I loved it! All my friends were in the band as well. I had been selected to be Drum Majorette my senior year, then we moved. Devastated is an understatement. I cried most of my senior year missing all my friends. The only bright spot was going to the Orange Bowl with the band and marching in the parade. The ONLY bright spot!

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