I loved that I was starting highschool. And I ended up having a great freshman year. The friend drama of junior high was gone. I was making more friends and able to be a part of more things. I was old enough now that some of my friends were actually driving, and along with that came more freedom. "Cruising" was one of the main forms of entertainment in my little town. There was a loop through town that the cars would follow from the school to the Dairy Lane. You'd seriously just drive that circle over and over again for fun. The fun part was seeing who else was out that night. If you saw someone you wanted to talk to, you'd hope they would pull into the school or Dairy Lane. Then you'd roll down your windows to say "hi" or even get out and stand next to your cars and talk. When we discovered that the boys we liked were out on a particular night, we'd scream and primp and plot.
A significant part of my 9th grade year was cheering for the boys' basketball team. This included my brother, who was a junior. I loved it. It was really exciting! (That's my brother #23, front right, and that's me standing, farthest right.) We did our Homecoming dance routine to Batdance by Prince.
I was Homecoming Queen candidate from my class. After the ceremony was over, my youngest sister Tracy was crying in the school bathroom. She was in the 2nd grade, and she was really upset that I "lost" (even though I was only a freshman). It was so sweet. Sure, I would have wanted to win, but I was sort of relieved when I didn't because the winner always got a huge, long, open mouth kiss from her basketball player escort. (I still can't belieeeeve they always did this.) All I could think about was how much I didn't want my dad and grandfather, etc. to see a boy kissing me.
I continued on in band, and since I was in the 9th grade now, I moved on from pom pon girl to playing my flute in the marching band. (That's me, on the far left.) I loved going to parades and performing, etc., but it was a lot of hard work. We would have practice for at least 3 hours on Saturdays and often before school, too.
I loved going to a small school. (As quiet as I was, I think I would have vanished in a big school.) I was in every single school club and activity (except FFA!). As much as I loved playing volleyball in junior high, I didn't go on to play in highschool because I think I reached my peak or maybe just didn't want it badly enough. I couldn't serve overhand very accurately - and I was really bad at spiking, too. I don't think I could jump very high. Or maybe I didn't want to mess up my hair.
I was still a decent student - English was my favorite class, as usual. I entered Algebra I, which I didn't understand at all. (I mean, I was getting a B- I think every quarter...so not that bad, but my hopes at being valedictorian were dashed.) Side note: I tried to take Algebra in college two different times (just so I could say I mastered it, not because I had to). Even with multiple tutors, I was in danger of making a D and had to drop it.
I clearly don't have an aptitude for higher level math (Thank goodness for Consumer Math the next year! I never took Geometry or Trig...), and it didn't help matters that the new boy in school was in my Algebra class. It made it hard for me to focus; I had a big crush on him. After awhile, he started to like me, too. He started sending me secret admirer notes on index cards.
Thus, another period of teenage angst began. My parents were mad at me a lot, and my brother and I often fought about it. (This was a different boy than the one he had the encounter with outside the cafeteria.) My family didn't trust this boy because he was new/they didn't know him, his hair was longer than most of the boys, and he had...an earring! :) He also raced motorcross. I liked him for the very reasons they did not.
My dad found out I was cruising Crane with him (and others) one night, and he went ballistic. He was yelling at me, and I was yelling back that I didn't do anything wrong (because I didn't!). I locked myself in my room, and he was so mad at me, he punched a hole in my door with his fist. Before you form any judgment toward my father (he's really a pretty calm, quiet fella), there are things to consider.
I was his first daughter to be out in the "dating world," and really, I was only 14. Despite that I'd never done anything to make them not trust me - and overall I was a good girl, I had a very stubborn, haughty way about me when it came to authority. I'm sure it was infuriating to have a discussion of this sort with me back then. It was BEYOND my comprehension that I shouldn't be allowed to go out whenever and with whomever I chose. AND finally, I know my parents were scared to death that the same thing that happened to them in high school was going to happen to me. That's probably all the explanation that is necessary. I think their own experiences greatly shaped the way they looked at me and feared my decision making. Right or wrong, it was what it was, and we had a lot of head butting this particular year over this particular boy.
We hung out a lot here and there during that year, but he was technically only my "boyfriend" for a short time. (And we only really kissed once.) I was babysitting a couple of kids, and he came over with his friend. It was no big deal, and he didn't stay long. I walked him to his car, and he gave me a pretty short New Year's Eve kiss. Well, one of the kids told their parents, and their parents told my mom and dad's best friends, and they told my parents. So I got in trouble again.
And then another time, I was supposed to go riding around with him and some other friends after a dance. My brother happened to be there, caught wind of it, and forbade me to go. Actually, now that I think about it, maybe I was going to ride with him on his motorcycle. (Ha! It's all becoming clearer. No wonder he didn't want me to go.) I can't remember exactly how he kept me from going (because it doesn't sound like me to obey - he was probably physically going to stop me), but I was sobbing hysterically in the school bathroom. The teacher chaperone knew what was going on, and it was all just so embarrassing.
I mention this story because it was one of the only times I had conflict with my family. There was just no way for them to know entirely what was going on in my head. They didn't know how serious I was about the kind of life I wanted to lead and what I was adamant about abstaining from. I know it was less about them not trusting me and more about them not trusting him. This guy didn't have a great reputation; why should they trust him? I didn't have the respect for my parents' opinion and authority that I should have had. And I was definitely too emotional/silly about the guy - he would behave badly, and I would forgive him each time. It's definitely my prayer that my kids can rise above all of the boy/girl craziness when they get into high school.
In addition to my youth group, I was also in a new group called "Clean Kids for Christ." (See? What were they worried about?) We did activities regularly. I think this church camp retreat (above - me with two of my best friends then and to this day, Missy and Lori) was a CKFC activity.
We went to Young Christians' Weekend at Silver Dollar City. This was another yearly event, and I always looked forward to it. I loved listening to the cool Christian speakers (like Joe White from Kanakuk), and I just knew they were talking about the things I wanted in my life.
I'm wearing my brother's baseball game in the picture. I LOVED wearing his jacket. Of course, girls always wore their boyfriend's jacket, but I never had a real boyfriend from my school, whose jacket I could wear. (I did, however, wear Michael's jean jacket in junior high and also Matthew's blue and white plain, collared jacket when I was "going" with him. ha!) Anyway, I always thought his jacket "made" my outfit, and I always wore it, even after he graduated.
I spent most of my time at ballgames. I VERY RARELY missed a game. These were the social events, and they are why I was NOT good at doing my homework.
Notice how I still have my mouth closed in that picture, as with every other picture on this page.
Oh, wait. I let my guard down for a second. Here is one of those pictures I was talking about - one of the few that exist of my braces. This was at my house, when we threw a birthday party for Missy. I'm wearing my puff-painted cheerleading t-shirt.
My friends and I were spending the night together at Lori's. Well, I had a crush on her brother at this point. He wasn't there, but I posed for pictures in his room, wearing his school jacket. I had also written him a letter prior to this, but then I felt embarrassed about it, so I found it in his drawer and destroyed it.
A very big part of my life in highschool was my ROOM. I loved my room. I had the biggest room in the house all to myself. I was so particular about it. My brother always thought it was funny to sneak into my room and slightly rearrange items because I could always find the differences. It was full of my "treasures" and keepsakes, all of the "things" that meant the most to me. Plus, one of the telephones was in the hallway right outside my room, so I could pull the long cord into my room and shut the door.
Here's another shot of my room. I had a lot of stuffed animals, dolls, figurines, music boxes, shells, peace signs, and pictures of boys. The big one up above is Donnie Wahlberg. I loved the New Kids on the Block. So much. I fulfilled my lifelong dream of seeing them in concert 2 years ago. And I'm not ashamed to say it! :) My girlfriends and I would get together to watch the videos over and over again, squealing the whole time during the very inappropriate hip thrusts, etc.
As you can see, my hair was still pretty high. I had written in my diary a story about wanting to leave the Broiler Festival early one night. (That was our big town festival every year in August.) I listed the reasons why I wanted to leave - "Boy A" wasn't there, "Boy B" wasn't paying attention to me, one of my friends was bugging me, and "anyway, my hair was flat." :)