Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Ghost in You

Prompted by this posting, authored by the incomparable sweetney, I have decided to unleash my inner goth girl and share this photo of myself with you, taken approximately 20 years ago.

I remember that day clearly - particularly the way the command to "smile for the camera" from the oh-so-droll photographer made me sneer ever so slightly more (note the curled lip and slightly exposed teeth).

AAAH, to be young again...

Addendum - it's kind of funny to see wee lil'e compared to modern-day lil'e up in the blog banner. The high school picture has both my natural hair color and my natural eyebrows, pre-plucking (although my desire to be Siouxsie changed that in very short order).

In Sweetney's original post, which stemmed from some oddball Twitter drama (I still never understand how cyber-stalking some random person's every movement throughout the day qualifies you to start shit with them, but whatever...), she mentions the trials and tribulations of being "the weirdo" in HS. You should read it via the link above - that lady has some pretty solid observations about the desire to keep it real, so to speak, in the face of one's antagonizers.

You can read my comment on the post itself, or right here:

I grew up right outside of Washington, DC, and can tell you it doesn't matter how small or big the town... At the time my wee tiny band of 4 punk rock and goth friends were the ONLY ones in our school - which prompted lots of very lovely sharks/jets type confrontations in the main courtyard with the jock kids.

I think my very "favorite" high school experience was having a full bucket of water poured down on my head from the 2nd floor as I stood in same courtyard. It was like the movie Carrie, with less blood and (sadly) no raging fires to consume all the a-holes. Sigh.

Funnily enough, I ran into one of my main antagonizers last year - he was out and about with his wife and family. He introduced me to his wife in the following way: "This is Erin, this girl who was a total freak in high school, but, you know, was still one of my good friends". Even though it was one of those moments I'd spent 15 years dreaming about, I felt for a second like maybe I should just let it go. But then I thought of the bucket of water, the taunts (the kinder of my nicknames were Satan, Edward Scissorhands, and Beetlejuice - the not-so-nice one started with a "C" and rhymes with "punt"), the torture my friends and I endured at the hands of these bullies, and I just couldn't hold back. Cause every day of high school, knowing what was coming the second I set foot on campus, I still got up, teased out my hair Robert Smith style, put on my combat boots and took those kickings in order to be the person I wanted to be - needed to be. And I wasn't going to let it be for nothing.

So, I actually said to this guy, "Funny, I don't remember our relationship in high school quite the same way you do. Not sure if it was the lovely nicknames you all gave me - like Satan, for example, or the way you taunted me or threatened to beat me up every time I walked near any of you, or the bucket of water you all poured on my head that is filtering MY memories, but so you know, you and your friends made me pretty miserable for the entire time I was in high school. Kinda makes me understand those school shooter kids, you know?" And turned and walked away.

Bitter? No, actually. Just angry that it was ever an issue in the first place, and doesn't seem to get better, in spite of the fact that the lines are substantially more blurred between the "weirdos" and everyone else.


jodifur said...

I saw on your comments on sweetney you grew up outside of DC, as did I. What high school?

great pic!

dj lil'e said...

Good old god-awful Rockville High, Rockville, MD. This pic was taken circa 1988, I think...

John said...

I already thought of you as a pretty brave person, but, seriously, posting such a picture puts you waaaaay past anyone else I know in that area. Far braver than I, for instance. But then again, I just looked like a nondescript dork . . . you know, like now.

Mystery Friend said...

hey your very pretty!
i'm not a goth, but i think i have a crush! i'm around about the same age as of now/2009 as you were in the photo btw
hmm that treatment sounds awful. the guys was and still is a total loser by the sound of it. a true trigger to the suffering outsider kids in highschool. ii was one, and felt like no one gave a complete fuck about me except maybe 1 person. still hurts and makes you not trust anyone.
enough said.
still cant get over how gorgeous you are in this photo! wish i had a girlfriend like this!

newwavepop said...

wow you look just like a girl a had a huge crush on named penny in around 88.

80spunk said...

As soon as I saw your high school photo I immediately fell in love, just wanted to say that.