Big Bangs and Marching Bands

Big Bangs

Note before my post: Well folks, I have one week left to raise another three thousand dollars if I want to publish! Don’t be scared by that number, though. $15 and you get a copy of one of my CDs before Christmas, $20 gets you that PLUS the book when it comes out! Even those little gifts help. I also have a shorter version of the song “Thirty Something and Single” that you can put up on your walls to promote the campaign or just because it is funny. Go to the campaign website and click on “Updates” to see the song. Click here to preorder the book! Don’t forget that 20% of the profits of the book after it’s published will go help two of my most loved charities, iempathize and AIDchild. By helping me you will be helping them.On to my post!

I thought it would be fun to post a bit about my history. And what what better place to start than the minimum security prison that we all know as Middle School.

It was the early 90s. We were still in shock from the late 80’s, otherwise known as “The Era of All Things Big.” Big shoulder pads, guys with steroid enhanced big muscles, big rock ballads like Pour Some Sugar On Me, and big earrings. (One of my favorite pairs literally had a scene of a castle with a prince riding up to it.  I am not making that up. Said enormous castle scene earrings actually weighed my earlobes down so much that one of them tore. I still have the tear in my right ear to prove it.)

The most important  thing on this “big things list” was BIG HAIR. It was that special decade in which we were unknowingly hairspraying a hole in the ozone layer the size of Russia.  But what thirteen year old girl in their right mind is  environmentally conscious when she is trying as hard as possible to fit in?

All the popular girls would come to school with their bangs styled in perfect 90s form: half curled back, half curled forward, like waves breaking in the Barren Sea. These girls had apparently found an elective class called “Bang Curling 101,” where they could spend hours a day perfecting the art.

I myself had taken Band Class instead of Bang Class, opting to play the keyboard in the marching band. That keyboard was stinking heavy, but it was the price I had to pay to be a part of the dysfunctional family know as middle school band class.  I didn’t have a lot of time to master styling my hair when there were other things on my mind, like making fun of the baritone sax player who I had a secret crush on, or carrying a thirty nine pound instrument down the football field while simultaneously playing it. I am now seriously considering writing to my band  teacher to ask him if he has ever heard of any other marching band with a keyboard player (because i certainly haven’t,) and then kindly suggesting that he pay all of my chiropractor bills.

I had such a hard time with the art of bang maintenance that I opted to grow them out. I proceeded to bleach my hair with Sun In and crimp it  every day until it eventually looked like Mount St. Helen’s on a hot day. It was the 90s, folks. Hairspray, vests, tube tops, hats with sunflowers on them, hair that falls out in clumps. These were our very own fashion rites of passage, and you better not make fun of them.

My best friend in elementary school had become popular overnight when we reached the seventh grade. I had the privilege of riding on her popular coattails for a while.

But my brief liaison with popularity ended one day, when she came up with this simple formula:

Walking around with best friend Kate from elementary school+scorched hair instead of bountiful 90s hair+band geekiness+ Screech- from -Saved- By- The- Bell -like -tendencies= popularity quotient going down drastically .

She wrote me a note using lots of cuss words, had all the other popular girls glare at me when I tried to sit with them in the lunch room, and threw my stuff out of our shared locker.

There are three things that are a sure in life. Death, taxes, and girls being ridiculously mean to each other in middle school. World without end, amen.

Thankfully, after a long lonely season, I bonded with a group I affectionately refer to as the “Banned Locker Refugees.” All of us had our stuff thrown out of mean girl lockers. We had an incredible assortment of haircuts, including the “mushroomed,” the “feathered like a hawk,” the “skater gone bad,” and the “I stuck a bowl on my head and my mom cut around it.” None of us had the right bangs. But we laughed a lot and a we enjoyed each other. I still talk to one of those girls almost every week.

I had survived Middle School. Just barely. But I survived.

Anyone have funny 90’s moments? Horrible middle school moments? Wonderful middle school moments?

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3 thoughts on “Big Bangs and Marching Bands

  1. I could never get those bangs right either. How did they DO IT!?!? I could also never get my socks to scrunch exactly right beneath my pegged jeans. Middle school: ouch.

  2. When my mother was a kid, her mother would always cut her hair in a pixie style, because there were five kids and Grandma just didn’t want to mess with anything extraneous. In revenge, my mother decided I would be a pseudo-Samson and never allow me to cut my hair in any appreciable way, which meant that I had feet of hair that wouldn’t curl for God Himself. I usually kept it in a low ponytail, because I also never figured out how to do the bangs thing, or anything more complicated than a braid.
    Besides, its utter boringness allowed me to make fabulously abhorrent fashion mistakes, like my favorite sweater in the 6th grade that was red with a Persian cat on it with actual synthetic fur. *facepalm*

  3. I burned my forehead doing the half-up, half-down bangs. Scars!
    But my middle school years weren’t that bad. I dressed in extra large clothes and was part of the smart-kid crowd, but we had fun! I still keep in touch with most of them. We listened to Queen’s Bohemian Rhrapsody every recess on a walkman. Rock on.

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