Thursday, August 12, 2010
Pecking Order Changes
Today, I continue down memory lane with Mommy Piggy Tales to record my youth from birth to age 18...I am almost finished, thanks for joining me on this journey.
Summer between seventh and eighth grades was the summer that the pecking orders, popular group, clique or whatever terms you would call it, changed. I guess the saying, "out of sight, out of mind" can be said and my summer was busy with family and church. So returning from summer break to my junior high brought short term excitement. Early in the year, my group had changed and I was ousted out, and somewhere along this time another group decided they were after me. I don't remember exactly what happened, somewhere between my posters (an office I was running for) and those posters being ripped off the wall…well, I found myself locked in a bathroom waiting for my mom to rescue me from the group that was going to BEAT ME UP!
My wonderful mother came and removed my sister and I from that junior high, transferring us to another junior high that would be funneled into the high school we would attend. So, in October, I became the "new" girl in a very different environment. This junior high was an old established school, one in which the girls' mothers, aunts and grandmothers had attended. I would receive the name "River Rat" which would stay with me through high school. Our city is divided North and South by the Colorado River and since the bus carried us across the river from South Austin, we were "River Rats".
Over all, the girls were kind, but you knew you didn't measure up. They came from well-to-do households. I was 5'6" and they all seem to be no taller than 5'3"…it was like being in a school of clones. They dressed with matching outfits from head to toe….I mean purses (this was the years of monogram clutches with exchangeable covers) and shoes to match each designer outfit with very few outfits being worn twice. The dress code was announced through the popular girls…we could only wear jeans on Friday and dresses a couple of times per week. I, however, had all my clothes sewn (mainly by me) or bought from factory outlets. I had no clue the shops or labels they wore. It was not until I was in high school that I owned a complete outfit from a retail store. I seemed to have a feeling of "oh well" and just tried to get along...not striving for total acceptance but learning what intimidation means and how to overcome it.
I would enjoy the pep squad again and cheer my lungs out!! Later in the year, I was invited to one of the highest social events in the city. I went with a new dress and rose wrist corsage from my parents.
My circle of close friends (except for a few neighborhood girls who still claimed me) were from church. All night bowling parties, youth rallies, Wednesday night services, choir, revivals and another summer trip would continue to increase my spiritual life and friendships. The summer's mission trip (after 8th grade) was to Tucson, Arizona. We would stay on the floor in church buildings or church member's homes. This trip would establish the group of people I would walk with through high school. There was also camp at the local Baptist Encampment. I can say my confidence and resolve at this age come from the relationship I was building with Christ…still a teen dealing with drama and emotions, but solidly grounded in Him. I still dealt with sin, but I also understood who my Savior was.
Family life was still cherished with trips to my grandparents, family reunions and summer vacations. My father would buy us a camper and we were off for adventures. Colorado and sites in Texas extended my summers. Our new home was the gathering place for relatives during the holidays. Our orange, shag-carpeted den would hold aunts, uncles and cousins from wall to wall. Everyone's lives at this point were still slow enough to visit. My mother would expand her generous nature to join a group called "Friendship". This was to minister to spouses of college students from foreign countries. For years, our house would enjoy women and babies from across the entire world. My geography would be learned through the experiences of these different cultures and precious people. In the summer after eighth grade, our family would foster a girl who was 17. She would later come to live with us for her senior year of high school.