Note from Marzipan: I am so excited for this post, because it was written my very own sweetheart – Cookie, professional underdog, as a part of the Teen Week: Words That Heal series. Want to participate? Check out the details here.
I remember passing notes in the library in Jr. High. Every one did it.
Do you like me?
Check box yes or no.
Will you be my boyfriend?
Check box yes or no.
It seemed so easy. One little slip of paper. If said boxes were checked yes, you were in. Validated, cool, wanted. Even if the boxes were checked yes for the wrong reasons. As long as you hand that confirmed slip of paper you had a hand to hold. Even if the “romance” only lasted until the recess bell filled the halls at least you could say, “oh who? Jeff? Yeah, we used to go out…” The whispers – gossip traveled like wild fire.
Did you hear? Jeff and Michelle broke up? You should ask him out.
A social structure that feeds on the weak and fulfills the shallow. The insecure. A structure that sets us up for adulthood that at the time seems like it’s going to be so different.
There’s so much to feel insecure about in these formulating years – acne, boobs, kissing, boners, math tests, reading out loud, braces, jv vs. varsity, fitness tests, back to school shopping, cliques, bff’s, and then there is the locker room.
The gender segregated smelly, stuffy, sticky locker room where girls are supposed to feel safe because they all have the same thing in common, they are girls. Safe to lock away their clothes, secrets, and insecurities in a nice little metal locker with a combination and number on it. Perhaps the first time ever for these girls, a locked box to call their own that no one else can look in to.
Safe to walk around naked, half naked, showcasing their new bodies, their changing bodies. Gossiping freely about boys, and how much their parents suck, and how easy that stupid math test was.
That math test you failed. Those boyfriends you don’t have. Those tampons seemingly you’ll never need because you’re a late bloomer not to mention the bra you will never fill. Avoiding eye contact with the popular girls so as not to be picked on, bullied, made fun of. Blending in to the lockers not to be noticed.
Taking the path of least resistance. Waiting for the moment when they all leave the room and you can stop pretending to have forgotten your locker combination. You too can disrobe without fear of eyes on you. You too can fantasize about all the lips you dream of kissing without the careless, catty chatter, without the debilitating fear that someone will hear the voices in your head that wonder what it would be like to kiss a girl.
To wonder that if you gave Michelle a note that said, “Do you like me?” if she would check the box yes.
Other Teen Week Posts Up Today:
- Diet Schmiet, A Letter From 16 Year-Old Me [Part One]
- Tutus and Converse, You ARE Perfect
- Adorkable Undies, Me, In Grade Nine
- The Headologist, Don’t Let The Fuckers Get You Down
- I <3 To Eat, It’s Tough Being a Teenager
- Real Fit Mama, Teen Week 2012 [Part One], [Part Two]
- KCLAnderson, Overcoming Suckiness
- Katie McClain, The Truth About Bullying
- Jes Lacasse, If I Knew Then What I Knew Now