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Social Skillz Fail: Agoraphobia strikes again!

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My first day of highschool was actually my second.

I was so nervous and paranoid that after picking up my best friend, I puked all over the burgundy interior of my mom’s boxy Grand Cherokee. I had convinced myself that once I got to school, I would instantly be labeled a weenie and shoved in a locker, of a trash can, or given a swirly. It’s possible that I had a vivid and untamed imagination.

I was finally able walk, sweaty palmed into school on day two. I found friends, people who were braver than I. Kids who had scouted out the lunch tables and saved me a seat in class.

Fast forward one year. It was the first day of my sophomore year and it was raining. I was wearing my new school clothes, somehow still unaware that it’s not cool to start the first day of school starched and pressed by mom. I walked through the front doors with hopes of a fresh start. Less than a breath later, I found myself on my back, staring up at my new shoes. I had not just slipped in front of the whole school, I landed on my back, legs splayed in the air.

That year I decided to join the color guard. The marching band’s version of a dance team. Yep, that would ensure my cool for school status.

Wrong. We wore crushed blue velvet unitards, sheer blue palazzo pants, and blue shoes. Walking to the stadium once, supposedly cheered on by our classmates, Amanda-a former friend-leaned over the rails and yelled “HEY [MONICA]! YOU LOOK LIKE A FAT LITTLE BLUEBERRY!!!!” She and her snarky friends guffawed at my expense. I danced through tears that show.

I begged to be homeschooled. No go.

My junior year didn’t get much better. Mme Butts, my French teacher kept her room seriously cold. That Spring, as the weather began to changed and sinuses were agitated, the temperature shift from my last class to hers caused horrendous nose bleeds. We later found that I had an exposed artery in my sinuses, but not before I found myself wilting in the front hallway, waiting for my grandmother to pick me up, with a tampon (thank you school nurse) shoved up my nose.

My mother graciously drove me to school every morning, and picked me up when she could, but because I didn’t get my licence until after senior parking was established (I’ll tell you THAT story sometime), I rode the bus all four years.

All four years weren’t totally miserable. I had some great friends in and out of school. And I had some wonderful teachers. There were fun times to be had, they were simply bookmarked by agoraphobia inducing displays of awkwardness. Mercifully, I had accumulated enough credits, perhaps with all the study time I had riding the loser cruiser home, to graduate early my senior year.

I tell you all of this to confess that last week I ran into a girl I went to high school with at the grocery store. I was wearing mom sweats and looking like Frieda Kahlo. So when she asked if Leo and I were going to our high school reunion and I said: “oh, you know, I haven’t even thought about it” I was lying.

Because what if the kids I knew as total asshats are now great people I’d like to know? Like the wrestling super star punk face who’s now a preacher and high school gym teacher. Or what if the kids I knew as great people are now total asshats?What if someone wants to shove me in a trash can, or give me a swirly?

If I do go, should I carry a puke bag? Should I dare dance? What if there’s dancing?  What if I trip? Or sweat profusely, or snort when I laugh, sometimes I snort when I laugh. What if I have a nose bleed? Oh, I know I’m married to a great man and I’m proud of all I’ve done since high school. I’m like who I’m becoming. I’m not the same dorky girl I was ten years ago, but maybe I am just a little bit.


About Monica

Christ following, husband loving, children hugging foster and adoptive mama.

5 responses »

  1. As if I didn’t feel as though I understood you well before, you go and mention color guard. I have worn many pairs of palazzo pants in my day and probably still have a flag or two tucked away in my basement. And in continuation of our parallel lives, I also have a HS reunion this year. Spouses are not invited which seals the deal that I won’t be going – how can they possibly expect people to go to these things without backup??

  2. Monica, I totally feel you on this one. I always felt awkward in high school and was always worrying about what other people thought about my skin, the way I walked, and so many other things. In fact, I was also prone to falls and one time tripped (on air) and fell SMACK down on the both of my knees in the middle of a crowded hallway. Good times.

    I am also unsure about the reunion. Will, like you mentioned, people have changed? (hopefully for the better?) It would be nice to have the group be more inclusive of everyone. Or will it be largely a reunion of the cool kids who stood on the Wall and will I have to awkwardly try to find someone to introduce my husband to? It would be nice to know there would be some friendly faces there. 🙂 Let me know if you guys end up deciding to go.

  3. Don’t go. Just don’t. I can relate to every word of this, and I’ll say again. Save yourself the worthless drudging up on yuck: I did, and I truly have no regrets.

    If you’re dying to see how everybody did, get a Facebook account.

    Finally, I already love you, but the Frieda comment cemented the deal. I just may steal that.

  4. My thoughts on reunions….YUCK!! Didn’t give me the time of day then b/c you thought I was a dork……so……why bother now. Even if you do go….your wondermous hubbalub could be there by your side to protect you from the evils of high school drama reruns. I think you’re cool…..even if you did fall in high school…….

  5. I went to one high school reunion and I must day it wasn’t so bad. In one sense, people hadn’t changed. The drinkers were still in their corners drinking, the organizers were still organizing, etc. But,in another sense, time had been a great equalizer. The popularity contest was over. In fact, some of the less popular “kids” had become quite successful adults and the “most likely to succeed” was doing something quite mundane. So, you might find it interesting. What I am wondering is–how did you get old enough to have a high school reunion??? Where has the time gone???! 🙂
    love you,


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