Welcome to my eclectic journey of my life and delights. This year my theme is surrendering my writing pen to the true author, Jesus Christ, while looking forward to the future, reflecting on the past and dancing through my journey.

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.

16 Joining in with more words:

LeeAnn@Encouragement Is Contagious said...

Oh Janette, I love hearing all about your past and what has helped make you who you are today. I'm only about 5 years older than you so I can relate to that time period very well. I miss the times when people weren't so busy and could visit one another or come over for a Sunday dinner. It's really sad though that girls (and boys) can be so mean like they were to you at school. My neice had a similar experience and her family moved to a different school because of it.

Love seeing the photos also.

myletterstoemily said...

i enjoyed this glimpse into your young
life so much. i was much like you in
that my mom made many of my dresses
and i had NO clue about designers, etc.

those can be painful memories but
the times in the fire burned off some of
that old stench of the world.


Sonja said...

This is such fun Janette, to read your glimpses of the past. I must say you remember far more details than I do! I DO remember that junior high was NOT my best time!! High sschool and college sure were though, and who knopw what good lessons we probably learned during those days.

Fun to read your 'chapters!'...

Sonja said...

I don't think spelling was something I learned during junior high either, having just read what I posted above... :(

Eos Mom said...

You are so lucky to have had church friends. My sunday school classmates were worse than my regular school classmates!!!

Great stories!

Suzy said...

Interesting...I too grew in church (4 times a week), so most of my friends were church friends.

Blessedmom's Simple Home said...

I never went to a school like that, but it sounds like it was a bit rough, although I'm sure it helped form you into the woman you are today. I went to one elementary, one jh, and one hs, all in the same school district. I didn't move until I was 23, when I moved out for the first time. So many of our memories are similar though, and I love the ones you keep bringing back to me :-)

Ginny Marie said...

My schools in junior high and high school sound similar to yours! Skinny Guess jeans were all the rage when I went to high school in the 80's, but my family couldn't afford to buy them! All those experiences did help make me the person I am today. You were so lucky to have your church friends as a solid core in your social life. Looking forward to the next installment!

Janette@Janette's Sage said...

Can you believe we all made it through eighth grade??? I now have five that have gone through this age, and even with home schooling they still felt the sting of this age.
God is faithful!

Cindy - Letters From Midlife said...

I've also enjoyed reading your past life posts. I remember a few mean girls in my class too but fortunately I sort of lived under the radar and avoided being their target most of the time.

So, I Begin this Journey...... said...

And yet another fun read!

This post takes me back to my own school day memories! And after Sunday's Mass- dinners at my "Nan'na's" including the priest and one or two nuns!

I too miss days when we were not so busy to get together as {LeeAnn} mentioned.

Sandy said...

I can absolutely identify with
what you're saying about the
wealthy popular girls not
really having anything to do
with you. I was in the same
situations. I had all sorts of
cruel things written inside my
locker and was really never
accepted because I didn't have
the right clothes or live in
the right neighborhood. It was
a sad time for me.

Debbie said...

Janette, I loved reading about your teen years. You were such a good girl. :) I'm glad to see how you were grounded in your faith. I also love how your mom had the gift of hospitality. Opening your home to others is so awesome.

I had to laugh at the clothes issue. My mom made most of my clothes too. One year I had been shopping at A&S which is a NY store. I say shopping but it was really looking. I loved one outfit but I had no money. As I was walking home, I cut through a lot and low and behold ... I found a $20 bill. I picked it up and went back to the store and bought the outfit. I wrote about this on Facebook and one of my high school friends wrote and said it was his $20 bill. Yeah, right? LOL. That was more than 40 years ago.

Love you,

Theresa said...

I went to school with a bunch of rich kids too. It was rough. I never felt good enough and vowed that they wouldn't hurt me, I would do it first. I wasn't a Christian yet and I am so glad that now I know my worth is in Christ. There are still scars though.

e-Mom said...

Your story is familiar in many ways... those early years were similar for all of us. Isn't it remarkable to peer into the hazy past and revist all those people and places? It doesn't take long for the images to sharpen, and smells (and even emotions) to reemerge.

We've both lived a long time Janette. A long time. There's so much to be thankful for, despite the difficulties. Thanks for sharing your memories. ღ

MommaHarms said...

Great that your relationship with Christ kept you grounded through all of that pettiness that seemed so important to us when we were young!

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