Hey, Girl. I Dig That Denim Collar.

storytelling, Uncategorized

I spent the entirety of my education, up to high school, in religious private schools.  My first day of ninth grade was basically Reality slapping me in the face with a pillow.  “WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD, SISTER.  NOBODY WEARS CULOTTES HERE.”

Thankfully I was sophisticated, mature, tres rad, etc.

In actuality, I had chicken legs and wore oversized t-shirts and bracelets I braided in church camp.  To make matters worse, I was bumped up a grade when I was little, so I was perpetually the youngest person in my class.  The late bloomer.  The shortest, the youngest, and the last person to transition from an undershirt to a training bra.

I spent seventh and eighth grade in a slightly lax Catholic school where I learned that you actually could wear skirts where the hemline fell above the ankle.  Still, while my peers were listening to Warren G and reapplying Bonne Bell lip gloss in between makeout sessions, I looked like this:

I’m not sure which is more disconcerting – my denim collar or the drapes in my parents’ house.

Everything about this post screams “date me,” am I right?

I think everyone has an awkward stage, but due to 1) me being in the same class with kids one to two years older and 2) having a mom that was still getting used to the way things work in the US and 3) being chock full of naivete, my awkward stage lasted a lot longer than most.  To the tune of five years or so.

I thought I was going to regale you with tales from my youth, but I found this picture on the internet, and I’m pretty sure it’s indicative of what I was like between the ages of 11 to 16.


And mostly, it makes me LOLOLOLOL every time I look at it.

Tell me.  When was your awkward stage?  What awkward thing did you do?  Oh dang, is that awkward stage now?  Well, take off that scrunchie, girl.  I’ll totally walk you through it.

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  • Reply Brandi April 24, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    You mean it ends? Ever?

    • Reply Roo April 24, 2012 at 8:27 pm

      I’ve heard your radio voice. You’ve outgrown it, for sure. :)

      • Reply Brandi April 25, 2012 at 7:54 am

        You have no idea how bad I needed to hear that this morning. XOXOXOXOXO. Let me know the next time you’re listening. I got your requests covered, boo!

  • Reply Taylor April 24, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    I went from a private religious school with 12 kids in my eighth grade class to a monster public school of 4K kids. I was finally allowed to wear non-closed toe shoes to school. Yeah, it was awkward.

    • Reply Roo April 24, 2012 at 11:05 pm

      OHHHH DAAANG. Gettin’ crazy with those flip flops, weren’t you? :)

      • Reply Taylor April 26, 2012 at 3:24 pm

        um, yeah : )

  • Reply Lisa Crosby April 24, 2012 at 8:32 pm

    Mine was 5th grade- 7th grade….tallest in my class and one of the only ones with all of the following: braces, bra, period and wire-rimmed granny glasses…oh and a BAD shag haircut!

    • Reply Roo April 25, 2012 at 9:52 am

      Hahaha, I’d love to see a picture of this shag haircut!

  • Reply Molly April 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    ha! i didn’t go to public school until high school either. 9th grade was positively shocking. people believe in OTHER THINGS???

    • Reply Roo April 25, 2012 at 9:53 am

      People had me convinced that I would either get stabbed or shoved into a garbage can on my first day of ninth grade. :)

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  • Reply Tori April 24, 2012 at 8:48 pm

    Shoot…I’d say it lasted from age 12 to…oh…age 20. That’s 8 years of fashion hades. Being raised by a single dad complicated things for me in that department.:)

    • Reply Roo April 25, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Awwww, understandable. :)

  • Reply Misty @ The Family Math April 24, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    It’s THE FACE! He goes to the university where I work. That’s hilarious!

    I TOTALLY had a similar experience as a kid. Small, private and extremely conservative Christian school until I was in 5th grade, when I moved to a much less conservative larger private school in a different town. I finally at least figured out that American Eagle jeans were cool and that puff paint shirts were, sadly, not.

    • Reply Roo April 25, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      He does!? Can you ask him if he’ll be my best friend?

      Haha @ the American Eagle comment. I think I started shopping there my senior year.

  • Reply Juliana April 24, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    My awkward stage was in junior high until mid-freshman year. I grew up going to a Catholic K to 8 school and while I was not by far the coolest in my class, I was also not the most nerdy.
    I remember I wore to my first day of public high school a floral dress and mules (that my mother picked out for me and swore to me how the other kids dressed). Imagine my surprise when EVERYONE was wearing very cool jeans and t-shirts. Once I realized how sheltered my life was and finally opened my eyes (and got my braces off), I made friends with the right kids and was cool by association. Now mind you there were often knife fights at my school so there was a fine line between the cool kids and the ghetto kids. Also, once I made the cheerleading squad it was smooth sailing.

    • Reply Roo April 25, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      Hahahaha amazing! I didn’t get braces til my senior year of high school. So sad. :P

  • Reply Kristin B. April 24, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    I would have to say my most awkward years was going from a country school to a massive public (city) school in the 6th grade through the 8th grade. I had a awesomely stylish perm with what I refer to as a Christmas tree layered effect, an acid washed denim back pack, glasses that were way too over sized for my bitty head, braces and with no knowledge that people do not appreciate the fact that you are in accelerated education and probably smarter then some of your teachers. I remember schooling my 8th grade science teacher because he was teaching physics wrong and my mom is a world known physicist that probably wrote our text book. Yeah being smart, blowing in from the sticks to a city school and looking like a layered Christmas tree with braces and glasses turned out to not be the most fondly looked upon years of my adolescent ages.

    • Reply Roo April 25, 2012 at 6:58 pm

      You were like Doogie Howser with crazy hair! I love it. :)

  • Reply Erin April 24, 2012 at 8:57 pm

    I love that you mentioned culottes!! I haven’t heard that word in ages!!!

  • Reply Tiffani April 24, 2012 at 9:01 pm

    Oh geez mine was 3rd-5th grade. Only girl who wore a bra, got her period and had acne. Awful. I wasn’t supposed to shave either, but it was embarrassing, so I started shaving my legs in the 4th grade. Oh, and who can forget the cauliflower bangs?

    • Reply Roo April 25, 2012 at 6:59 pm

      I don’t think I needed a bra until I was 16….

  • Reply Ali April 24, 2012 at 10:00 pm

    How about going from public school where kids do bad things, to going to a reserved, private high school? Yeah, that was me. I think all the kids were pretty freaked out on the first day by the fact that I was wearing makeup.

    • Reply Roo April 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      Ali, you rebel!

  • Reply Tameka Downing April 24, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    I would say my awkward stage was 2 and 3 grade. My mom kept in floral dresses. And being that she was a hair stylist she gave my already curly hair a jerry curl. Yes, I was all soul glowed up. I didn’t think it was bad then, but looking back at pictures I am like “what was she thinking” lol.

    • Reply Roo April 25, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      Hahahaha amazing. My closet was well stocked with floral dresses, too. :)

  • Reply Kathleen April 24, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    So funny! I think this was one of my favorite posts….LOL

    • Reply Roo April 25, 2012 at 7:13 pm

      You were one of those girls without an awkward phase, hmm? ;)

      • Reply Kathleen April 25, 2012 at 9:09 pm

        Ha! Yah right- people thought that I was a boy until 5th grade or so :)

  • Reply Alexia @ Babies & Bacon April 24, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    That photo cracks me up! Not your denim collar one…the other one. I’m SO feeling your pain on the denim collar. At least you didn’t have a half-fro like me. It was painful to look at.

    • Reply Roo April 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm

      I had a few bad haircuts, but no half-fro. :)

  • Reply MichelleLG April 25, 2012 at 12:04 am

    i so had the sleeveless version of that plaid shirt with the denim color. no lie. :o)

  • Reply Two Poodle April 25, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Fourth grade until… oh… senior year of high school. I suffered from:
    – Being overweight
    – Acne
    – A terrible bob n bangs haircut where one side was longer than the other… WHICH MY MOM HAD, TOO
    – No cable TV so I had no idea what music was hip and only knew the words to Beatles and Joan Baez songs that my parents listened to again and again
    – For some reason, thought it was a good idea to sometimes wear MY MOM’S WORK SUITS to school
    – More bad acne
    – Terrible makeup application (why didn’t anyone help me with this???) The first day of seventh grade I wore brown eyeshadow ALL OVER MY FACE cuz I thought it made me look tan.
    – Freshman year: chunky, acne, severe dyed black hair with even more severe Keely Smith haircut, plus beatup mens clothes from the Salvation Army. Also overgrown eyebrows. Oh and by then I wore MAC makeup, but I wore foundation/powder about two shades too light so I looked like a Kabuki performer.

    Total awkward weirdo.

  • Reply Sarah April 25, 2012 at 6:25 am

    I had my first kiss with a boy in Math Club in 9th grade (still middle school for us). I just leaned in to it I think. lol

  • Reply Nicole R. April 25, 2012 at 7:25 am

    I will have to dig out the 8th grade class picture…LOL…I was ackward I feel like from 4th up to a little after senior year.

  • Reply Jeni April 25, 2012 at 8:57 am

    I was in a catholic school from K-8th grade, that public high school shock is no joke lol. Im not sure I ever outgrew my awkward stage but the worst of it I would have to say was between 4th and 8th grade i was always a year younger as well and super shy..

  • Reply Bethany April 25, 2012 at 9:13 am

    I think mine lasted from about 7th grade to 11th grade? Haha, I had the lovely late awkward stage. :/ That’s alright, though, I’m embracing my late bloomer-ness. I believe things have gotten better each year since I began college. Now that I’m out of college and have the money/time to buy better clothes and actually know what looks good, I’m recovering from the awkward attack of high school!!

    • Reply Roo April 25, 2012 at 1:01 pm

      It’s amazing what a current wardrobe can do, right? :(

  • Reply polymathamy April 25, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Oh wow, the awkward. I can totally relate. I went to a super-conservative private religious school from 4th grade through graduation. My graduating class had 5 people. My hometown had about 14k. After graduation, I went to a state university with an enrollment twice the size of my hometown. Now that was culture shock…

    I was a cheerleader in my super-conservative school. Our uniforms consisted of a turtlenecked long-sleeved bodysuit, lettered vest, long bicycle shorts, and heavy knife-pleated mid-knee-length culottes! Yeah, we had to custom-order the uniforms to ensure maximum modesty.

  • Reply Emily April 25, 2012 at 10:17 am

    I went to a small christian school so everyone could go to prom every year.

    To my freshman prom, I wore a long dress, let my hair air dry and then wore Napoleon Dynamite socks with my special prom flats.

    I thought I was the shiz…..

    • Reply Roo April 25, 2012 at 1:04 pm

      Hahahaha, but I bet you were. :)

  • Reply Jill April 25, 2012 at 10:21 am

    7th-9th grade were the worst. For some reason I thought it’d be cool to have a mullet. With a perm. People thought my parents at 2 boys and a girl, not 2 girls and a boy. After the mullet, I decided to go with really short hair. Cause I didn’t want to look like everyone else. Well, it worked. Eveyrone had cute pony tails and HUGE bangs and I had super short hair, plus a flat chest. Ahhh. I wouldn’t go back there for a bajillion dollars.

  • Reply Desiree April 25, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Whaaaaaat the eff is that picture?! I haven’t LOL’d that hard in a while! Dang! Thanks, Roo.

    • Reply Roo April 25, 2012 at 7:19 pm

      Hahahahahahaha isn’t it amazing!?

  • Reply Kristen S. April 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    *sigh* I had a rather lengthy awkward stage thanks to my super overly strict parents and the fact that I was homeschooled and sheltered from the ‘worldly kids.’ I was made to wear Large clothes though I was definitely a small, probably extra small. (Oh, and I had my share of cullottes but thankfully I only had to wear them at church camp and the occasional church youth acticity.) I was pale, skinny, dressed funny and wasn’t allowed to wear ANY makeup till I was 16 when I was slowly allowed to wear it one product at a time…. Even when I look back at pics from college I am like “what the heck was I thinking wearing that?!??!”

  • Reply Beatles Radio December 11, 2012 at 5:22 pm

    That picture made my afternoon. Thanks for the post!

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  • Reply Steph Reiner February 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Well my awkward faze was… 4th-12th grade. I think it all started with the bangs and perm the summer before 4th grade. It was all downhill from there.

  • Reply terri d. March 26, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I’m late to the game on this post, but the variety of similar responses makes it clear: you should write a manual to help kids making the transition between private/religious school and public school. I made the switch in 7th grade and it was absolutely miserable. I had no idea where to shop or what was cool…thank goodness 5-7-9 and Contempo to lead me in the right direction…or not… Anyway, I wrote about my pain and trauma for an education assignment senior year of college…the scars are deep. Help the others – maybe do a cartoon series!

    • Reply Roo March 26, 2013 at 8:07 pm

      Seriously, there should have been a manual. You’re on point, Terri.

  • Reply On Wednesdays We Wear Pink - NEON FRESH April 8, 2013 at 10:12 pm

    […] have it rough.  My most awkward years were before 18.  MY CHILDREN, it gets […]

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