Thursday, January 22, 2009

A Ragged Band of Misfits

Your questions will all be answered tomorrow. My insomnia finally caught up with me last night and I crashed at about 7:30. My apologies.

My family recently spent an evening together watching old home videos, one of which happened to be my 9th birthday party. As I watched the video I realized that I MAY have been a bit of a dork. And by 'may have been' I totally mean I was a huge dork.

I scrolled back though my memory to those days spent on the playground at recess, thinking about who I used to run with, and I came to a shocking conclusion. I was the leader of a ragged band of misfits. Not that this is, by any means, a bad thing. I had a blast with my raggedy bunch, it just amused me to think back on how incredibly weird we were.

First of all there was me, whose greatest desire in life was to somehow travel back in time and become a Native American. I used to wear this leather wrap around my braid and I thought I looked SO COOL.

Then there was my friend Carley, who convinced me that, not only was it healthy, it was cool to walk around at recess chewing on a Sassafras leaf. Thing is, I'm not sure that either of us knew what a Sassafras leaf actually looked like, so chances are we were running around with an oak leaf hanging out of our mouths.

There was Kristin, who wasn't actually that weird, she was just really shy. One incident in particular stands out in my memory with Kristin. We were playing tag one day, girls versus boys. Some of the girls were upping the ante by kissing any boys they caught, Kristin and I were both still a the point where that was just gross, so we were simply playing catch and release. The recess monitor must have caught on to the game, because she came over and grabbed both Kristin and I by the wrists and made us stand at the wall for the rest of recess for kissing boys. This is also the only time I remember crying at recess. Kiss a boy? I would never! I had been unfairly accused! I have a right to a trial! I want my mommy!

There was Benji, he stood about a foot shorter than all of the boys at that point in our lives, but he made up for it with the length of his fingernails. Of all the things I remember about elementary school, Benji's fingernails are one of the most vivid. Those suckers were LONG. He also entered every single talent show he could find to display his Karate moves. To this day I can't really think about Karate without envisioning little Benji up on the stage with a long stick making loud screaming noises. I just didn't get Karate apparently.

Later I made friends with another boy named Ross. Ross was a strange ranger. He was (and probably still is) one of the smartest people I have ever come into contact with, but his common sense left something to be desired. He used to stand in his front yard with his fishing rod and cast for POWER LINES as practice. Thank God he was a bad fisherman! Later on, in high school, Ross would end up missing 4 days of school due to a severe sun burn. He mistakenly believed that one should lay in a tanning bed for the same amount of time as one would lay on the beach. Needless to say, this is NOT the case.

Even now as I write this down, I am struck by just how much I loved each an every one of them. My childhood did not involve a ton of friends, but it involved so much happiness and fun for me. I had found people that may not have been the coolest, but they accepted me for me, and when you are a nine year old girl with a leather head wrap telling people that someday you hope to grow up to be a member of the Sioux Nation, that really means a lot.

9 comments:

  1. I didn't want to be a Native American, but I did have a Teepee and my neighbor friends who were my band of misfits would have tea parties in my teepee in my front yard! I am sure it was quite a scene for anyone watching :)

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  2. That sounds like a fun gang. I just thought I could pretend to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz until I was 9. Dorky, but I had fun with it!

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  3. Ahhh... the good ol' days...

    Sounds like you have a great bunch of friends. Much better than the shallow friendships that I had as a little one.

    Do you still keep in touch with them?

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  4. No, not really. Ross yes, to an extent, but the other three no. I ran into Carley a few years ago, which was cool, but we drifted apart.

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  5. What a great band of misfits you lead!

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  6. This post is hilarious! Thanks for making me rehash some childhood stories of my OWN in my head, after reading this!

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  7. Ok so where are your photos, little miss mermaid? I am sure they are funny, so...waiting...still waiting...

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  8. Loved this post! My sisters and I played cowboys and indians all the time as kids...

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  9. I was sure I was going to grow up and be Paula Abdul. No joke. Wait.... I'm too far off. I certainly have the height thing down. Darnit!

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