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Pro-Beatles, Anti-Boys, and Utterly Insane
By Gypsy Mack
I have been homeschooled all my life, so I know nothing of the horror and trauma of public middle school. I honestly do not have any moments where I was really embarrassed (though I did go through a phase where I got embarrassed whenever my dad talked about his imaginary “corn cob jacket” in public). I do, however, have my own tales of middle-school-age strangeness.
When I was eleven and twelve, I was a judgmental and slightly insane girl. I had a close-knit group of friends, and I was strongly opposed to building new friendships. I was anti-boy and anti-“girly." This meant, to me, wearing T-shirts and jeans all the time, being extremely opposed to the color pink, and making fun of all the boys I knew.
I always appeared to be very, very set in my opinions. To be honest, though, my opinions could be changed by one word from someone I admired. I did what I thought was cool, or what I thought would make me fit into my group of friends more. I didn’t realize that I already fit in without even trying—I thought that I had to work to maintain an aura of coolness.
I would imitate what any person I looked up to did. I would wear the same clothes as she did, I would listen to the same music, get excited for the same movies, and be interested in the same subjects. I think that all of my friends did that, too, and since we all imitated each other, it meant we were all very alike.
We were, in a way, vaguely annoying pre-teen clones. There were four of us, with a fluctuating fifth, and we all had the same style: Beatles shirts, jeans, Converse, headbands, and ratty friendship bracelets. We each had a pair of jeans that we had all of our acquaintances sign in black Sharpie. Mine were bedazzled, thanks to my mother and father.
We had imaginary cats. They lived in imaginary houses on top of our heads, and they had copious numbers of kittens which we shipped off to Australia directly from the Interstate. We loved Alice Paul and Lucy Burns, and were obsessed with the Percy Jackson and Fablehaven books.
Perhaps the most cringe-worthy memory of those years was our intense shared obsession and infatuation with the Beatles.
We had unspoken competitions as to who could have the most Beatles T-shirts. We worked so that at a moment’s glance we could tell which member of the band was which. We listened to their albums over and over and over again. We (mostly me, I think) would get really mad when someone said they didn’t like the Beatles, or thought the Rolling Stones were better. I nearly burst into tears upon seeing pictures of old, grown up Ringo and Paul, or upon thinking about how John and George were gone forever.
One time, when we had got together a group of many friends (a group which included people who weren’t GIRLS!), we turned on the Rubber Soul album REALLY LOUDLY and proceeded to rock out, “singing” the lyrics at the top of our lungs and rejoicing in air-guitar solos. The boys were hanging out above us, upstairs. Apparently they were playing music, too, and trying to compete and make their music louder than ours. We were completely oblivious. Truth be told, I don’t think they were even playing music, I think they were just banging things around.
Even though those times weren’t very long ago in the grand scheme of things, they feel like the experiences of a completely different person. They aren’t my fondest memories. I actually regret my highly anti-boy attitude, because unfortunately it cost me a few friendships I would have really enjoyed. Thankfully, now I am not anti-boy and I am not anti-“girly,” though I am still pro-Beatles and slightly insane.
#Real #Memories #PersonalEssay #MiddleSchool #Preteens #EarlyTeens #PubertySucks #StrangeTimes #BackThen
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