remember the days of the old schoolyard…

going to high school for me was very similar to the high school life portrayed in Puberty Blues – not the new series on the telly – the movie and book from 1981 and 1979 respectively. I have to say that, unfortunately, Kathy Lette and Gabrielle Carey nailed it. from the popular girl with the awesome hair to the girl that nobody likes, just because the popular girl said not to, and everyone in between they got it right. unfortunately I don’t remember any good times from the three and a half years I spent at high school and I wouldn’t know any of the people I went to school with now so no point in heading off to a school reunion. would probably be difficult for them to find me anyway considering I have changed my name twice since leaving and will do again for my 50th birthday – which is only a very short 9 years away, bloody hell. anyhoo the entrance high school was a complete hole. if you wanted drugs, a fight, to get your head punched in or flushed in the toilet this was the place to be – quality. now other people in my family went to the same school and their accounts may be different as we would have definitely hung out with very different crowds, but my experience was absolute quality. having friends one day and being on the most hated list the next, having my name and phone number – pre mobile phones peeps so it was my home number – written on the boys toilet wall with the tag line…she’s a slut so for a good time call…ah heads up lads I was a virgin til 17 and had well and truly left school by then, then there were the head in the toilet moments, the getting pelted with fruit moments and the push and shove in the canteen for no good reason hard to believe that I played truant most days and went to the beach…usually on my own or with one of the boys who seemed happy to continue a friendship day after day and knew the toilet graffiti was complete crap. back in the day bullying was still very much part of the rite of passage in school but computers only existed in massive corporations back then and if you wanted to call someone you had to pick up the phone at home or put some coins in the payphone. no such thing as cyber bullying which I hope little boss never has to deal with. the reason for this post today is that those schoolyard moments continue to come back to haunt me in the most unlikely places. today I took little boss to our weekly gym and swim session where half of the ladies are all from one mothers group so they all know each other and meet up regularly. the rest of us are just blow ins from the local area. so today I was early and there were only three of the mothers group ladies there so when I walked in I said good morning to them and not one of them acknowledged me…not even with a look or a nod of the head…so I sat in the usual place I have sat for a couple of weeks because this seems to be the norm and nobody sat near me. now I could care less whether these women like me but it would have been nice for someone to occupy their “normal” position so that little boss had someone to smile at and watch. this wasn’t what bought the memories of high school flooding back though…what did it was that one of the girls that was absent today ended up being the topic of conversation and it was well bitchy and a little bit nasty really. so it turns out those schoolyard behaviours are alive and well right into adulthood…yippee. my father says if you can count your friends on one hand you’re doing really well and I tend to agree, I have a few very close friends that have seen me through some very low times and some very high times – not in a “let’s smoke some weed and get high” kind of way – and I hope I have done the same for them. so I am comfortable taking little boss to this class so she can check out the other babies and see that there are other people out there in her size and the mum’s can bitch about me all they want…cause lets face it, while they’re talking about me they’re giving that other poor girl a rest.

oh and for the record it wasn’t all bullying by the students at the illustrious entrance high school…my science teacher told me in front of the entire class that I would amount to nothing – cheers for that inspirational guidance – and the school principle threatened to remove my name off the department of educations role if I did not remain in school until the end of the term – I finished school to work full time. I didn’t think anything of his threat until, at the age of 20 I wanted to return to school and do my TEE (final year of high school exam) so I tried to get my year 10 certificate and in the words of the department of education representative…”sorry miss, we dont have anyone with that name listed as ever attending any school in NSW during that time frame”…well cheers for that.

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