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Saturday, April 7, 2012

A blog is a memory

A blog is a virtual way to remember things about your life. Once, my parents asked me what the point of blogging was. I told them that it's just a way to keep my memory alive. (I wish I was that profound). Actually, I just explained that it's a way to remember the things that happen to me. It's just a journal that you're willing to share with others. And hell, I don't even have to share it if I don't want to. I choose to. I used to keep a journal up until I was a pre-teen, and then I stopped. I have a huge gap in my memory of my life with Josh and things because I never wrote anything down. My memory is very unreliable. In fact, I've re-read old things I've written, and relished in the fact that I'm glad I wrote them down because I never would have remembered. (I'm not even 28 yet!) My vacations are written on a .doc file (with pictures) listing every single detail I can remember. Both NYC and San Francisco are probably 25 pages long or more. And years later, I will go back and smile as I re-read these things. It's important to me.

Here's a small story of something that I haven't yet forgotten, but one day I will, so I'll write it down.
In High School, PE was pretty serious business. In Junior High, you weren't forced to take a shower (and who would, with a lesbian PE teacher sitting in her office with a perfect view of the showers?) But in High School, it was mandatory. I tried to comply, but I just couldn't take it. I couldn't stand all the other girls looking at me. I was 250 lbs, and so extremely self conscious that even though I had just showered with 15 other girls, I would still get dressed in the bathroom stall. I hated it. (and still, the windows of the PE teacher office stared out at the showers. Why? WHY?) One day, I just refused to do it anymore. The PE teacher came up to me, with warnings that if I didn't comply, I would fail PE. I still refused. She told me that failing PE meant I would have to keep re-talking the class until I passed. I didn't care. Even being a teenager with little understanding of "the consequences to my actions", I knew what this meant. But I also didn't believe that I would have to stay back a grade, or not be able to graduate, if I failed PE. I was a straight-A student. Failing PE wasn't going to be the end all for me. I just didn't understand why it was so damned important. I could understand if I still had to go to another class or something and I was all sweaty and stinky. But, PE was the last class of my day. I told them I would just shower at home. I just didn't get it. I still don't. Why would you fail a student, who gets an A for effort, just for refusing to shower afterwards? Was it some kind of liability issue? Not even that makes sense, considering JH doesn't force you to shower (although, JH PE wasn't nearly as grueling).

Anyway, I was willing to take the F. My self-esteem couldn't handle it anymore. I would hear them whispering about me behind my back. Laughing and giggling at my expense. It's bad enough to be made fun of in high school for being overweight, but then to force you to get naked in front of 15 other girls? What the hell is that? Why is that ever okay? So suddenly, one day, I'm called into the counselor's office. She asked me why I refused to take a shower. I told her. She looked at me and said "I've never had to deal with this before". Are you f-ing kidding me? A fat student doesn't want to flaunt her fat, naked ass in front of 15 other kids, that she sees walking in the hallways or in other classes, and this is new to you? Why are you shocked? Am I really the only one that ever complained, or didn't buckle under the pressure of "You're gonna fail"? Am I the only fat kid in school that cared about how she looks in front of others? Are all the other fat kids so secure in themselves that they just don't care? Some people might say just to buck up and do it because it's part of my grade. But the insecurities that I felt were over-riding everything. I had been fat all my life. Made fun of, or looked at funny, or whispers behind my back every single day. I was teased, and ignored, and taken advantage of. And I'm just going to willingly make that WORSE, by showering naked in front of my peers? I don't think so. The counselor proposed a compromise. I get to leave class 10 minutes early to shower alone before the rest of the class was released. I was okay with this, definitely. I mean, hell yeah I was okay with it. That was 10 minutes less of PE, too. Which, in HS, is 2 hours long. So, for the rest of the trimester I would leave class early, quickly shower, and then change in the bathroom stall. Worked for me.

So anyway, there's a little piece of my history immortalized forever is what is known at the "Internets". Now I'll always remember how shitty I always felt in High School. Yay.


  1. and what makes that worse is that our high school was the only one that would fail you for skipping the shower

    1. Seriously? Like, North K or Central K didn't have that either? What the hell. It's straight up bullshit is what it is.