When I was a wee, naïve slip of a fifteen-year-old, I had little in the way of social graces. So when a girl who I had known since kindergarten offered to take me out to Toronto, I was thrilled. (For some reason I had never grown cynical of altruistic or power-tripping girls who used me as their temporary project.) In preparation for the night, she lent me a black bodysuit and showed me how to hack several inches off the bottom of a snazzy yellow skirt (my first skirt/belt experience). I remember walking home that day, wearing this unwittingly bee-themed outfit and feeling powerful. Feeling grown-up.
Wearing that outfit, she took me to a local Greek restaurant and then allowed my mom to drive us to Mel Lastman Square to see a free concert. I sat on the stone steps in my tiny skirt, trying to keep myself covered and loving the music. I pretty much thought that this was what it was like to be an adult.
I went home that night and rhapsodized about it in my journal:
The concert was super-great!…Between songs they didn’t have patter, but they just let themselves be funny naturally…It was freaky-cool. I want to buy their record and I want to see them live again. Aaron thinks that they’ll be the next Barenaked Ladies. I agree.
One thing I didn’t write about then was the vests. This band all wore vests, and as my sense of style was in complete flux, I thought this might be a good fashion idea. For years after I ignored the actual shape of my body and tried to pull off the vest look. I cringe just thinking of those vests. (To be fair, the Boy looks great in vests and he often carries it off. I just couldn’t, and I was too young to realize that I couldn’t make a look work for me through sheer force of character.)
One of the members of that band hosts a show on CBC Radio these days, and I was listening to his show as I drove to my first meeting at Bat Masterson High. He was giving Russell Peters shit for not returning his call in LA. (Aside: I’ve been in the back of Russell’s car. Ask me about it next time you see me.) Great radio, there.
Anyway, all of this came rushing back when I was eating with Amy & Tanya on Wednesday night, when Tanya revealed that she had dated this singer/broadcaster. And then she turned on the vitriol in a way that only an ex-girlfriend can. It was awesome. I was breathless with laughter, especially when she responded to my memory of the vests.
”I had forgotten about the vests! I used to tell him that every Salvation Army store in the area was cleaned out because of him and his stupid friends!”
I like to think that even the 15-year-old me, wherever she is and whatever she’s trying to wear, smiled at that comment.
I had an orientation meeting yesterday at BMH. I feel like the chorus in “Oklahoma!” every time I walk into that school.* My package included a staff manual, a pen, a lanyard, a really good mug and a big canvas shoulder bag, all emblazoned with the school logo. How many of these things have I received in my time at Hogsboro? Correct answer: none. Shit, I even have a mug from my student placement at MRHS, and I was only there for 20 weeks.
The other good thing about yesterday was that my new coworker (we’ll call her Maeve) and I had a synchronicity moment. I have to say, I never expected her to ask if I “knew Dirk Nightshade.” Lady, do I know Dirk Nightshade??!? I’d better. Turns out that she taught with Lucretia Nightshade before Lucretia left public teaching for good. Hee hee hee. And here I thought that my amazing coincidence machine was broken for good.
* Everything’s up to date in Bat Masterson High School
They’ve gone about as far as they can go
The teachers have computers; there’s a central atrium
The classrooms all have windows and the ceiling’s free from scum
I don’t even think I’ll have to medicate myself with rum
They’ve gone about as far as they can go
They’ve gone about as far as they can go!
That one’s for you, Pixie.
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Don't make me send out the Blake. He doesn't listen to *anyone.*