Saturday, February 8, 2014

Humans Should All Just Hibernate Through Middle School

Here I was, all set to write a post about the new levels of disgusting-ness I was forced to explore today via our children's illness when I stopped and said to myself the thing I most often want to say to random strangers:  Just because you can, doesn't mean you should.  (I feel bad about this.  As a Christian I should probably most want to carry around a sign that says "Free Hugs" or something- although I shuddered just writing that.  Instead I most want to say "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should."  I should re-think my life.  Some other time.)

Yes, even on the internet, just because you can, doesn't mean you should.  I thought about plunging on ahead anyway, but then realized that the only person who would have been able to bear to read it was my mom, because she's a middle school nurse.  Obviously as a nurse she's had to see all manner of vile human by-products, but I believe the true test of her mettle is her willingness to work with junior highers.  Have you seen those things?  I visited her office a couple years ago, which features a wide bank of windows looking out onto a main hallway.  Everything was going fine, just me, mom, and one of her co-workers chatting it up, when the bell rang, and then the Freak Parade began.  It was like being in a reverse kind of zoo, where all the frightening creatures are on the outside and you're afraid to tap on the glass lest you draw their attention.  A full third of them must have relied on sonar to navigate the hallway; there's no way they could have seen where they were going with all that greasy plumage hanging over the part of the face that I'm hoping contained human eyeballs.  And that was the "boys"!  (Those are intentional quotation marks, in case you were wondering.)

Look, I remember being a middle schooler.  It was awkward, and awful, and overall a little bit tragic.  I honestly don't know how my mom didn't flinch every time she saw me.  ("NGYAAAAH!  Oh.  Oh, it's just you, Kristy.  I thought one of the vet's experiments had escaped again."  At which point I snarled and cringed away from the sunlight.  Oh, how it burned!  And yes, we had a veterinarian who lived and practiced behind our house, but he never engaged in unlawful experimentation.  Not to my knowledge, at least.  It is a little curious how all our cats chose to end their lives right in front of his house.  Never mind that's where the highway is.)  But somehow time manages to distort even the most heinous of our memories, or you're like me and become awesome at compartmentalizing to a degree generally only shared by women named "Sybil."  Either way, memories of middle school are locked safely away, and you manage to convince yourself it wasn't so bad- until you visit a middle school as an adult and wonder why, with all our scientific advancements, we haven't figured out how to skip this whole stage of life entirely.

Sure, you have weirdos like my mom who talk about her subjects with amused affection, much the way this dog's owner likely speaks of her:

Pretty sure I saw this girl walking on two legs in that hallway.  She was sticking up for the really ugly ducklings.  (And I can make jokes like that because I would have loved to look this good in middle school.  If you knew me then, you know exactly what I'm talking about.  You have burned every photo of me from those years like we talked about, right?)

So even though years of working with cripplingly strange middle schoolers- oh, and sick people- may have inured my mother to stories like the one I was going to tell, I know that the rest of you would have had no choice but to leave this blog and never come back.

Good thing I found this supremely relevant tangent to write about, hmm?


  1. I was traumatized by middle school. Traumatized.

  2. My mother taught junior high school in Baltimore City, and still speaks of her students from that time with great affection. I don't understand it. If ever I need evidence that miracles happen, I consider that there are some people who are able to appreciate and have affection for middle schoolers.

    I like your tangents. But that dog (is it a dog?) is supremely ugly.


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