Your High School Clique

by Grace aka costofcollege

Freaks, Geeks, and Mean Girls: 15 Famous Women on Their High-School Cliques

Here’s Edie Falco:

“I think we were called by the other people, the nerds. That was it. I was in the choir. I spent a lot of time in the art classes. There was nothing fancy or cool about it. It was a little horrifying, in fact. There was one group we called the circus people. I think it was just because they bought a lot of crazy clothes from thrift shops, so they always looked a little bit like clowns and like they had dressed up. I kind of tiptoed my way through school hoping nobody would beat me up.”

Describe your high school clique.  Do you have happy memories, or would you rather forget those high school days?  Do you see patterns repeated with your kids’ cliques, or are they following different paths?

Advertisements

189 thoughts on “Your High School Clique

  1. AP Geeks. My sister used to complain that she was trapped in an AP clique, but I liked it there. It was nice and safe.

  2. I had the same friends in elementary, middle and high school. They made my life so much fun. Transitions to new schools were easy when you already had a “posse”. We still get together once a year, even though we live in different states. I only have one good friend from college–most of my closest relationships were built through my earlier years.

    I regret that my kids have not yet found such good friends. I think they eventually will, but they haven’t yet.

  3. I was the biggest nerd in my HS. I was also part of the theater/music group. We were really looked down on by the jocks (like in every HS movie and show ever) and the rest of the school. My mom yelled at the school board to get us a coach bus to travel to the state one-act play championships (instead of a school bus – a 5 hr trip!) after pointing out that the football and basketball teams got a coach bus to travel to *every game*.

    I like our school system because it seems like it’s cool to be smart, unlike where I grew up, but OTOH that will make it harder for our kids to get into college. ;)

  4. I had a good group of friends in HS that consisted mostly of the AP nerds, but that included the class president and some varsity athletes/captains, so it’s not like we were outcasts. But it took until junior year to really form our tight group.

  5. Hmm. Floater geek? Definitely geek, but not a particular exclusive variety — orchestra geek, theater geek, journalism geek, church-group geek, science geek, and just plain old “egghead-read books for fun” geek. With the teeniest bit of sports cred that may have saved me from complete ostracism. And let’s not forget the first-in-line-for-any-Harrison-Ford-movie-ever geek.

    The weird thing was that we didn’t see ourselves as a clique at all, because we were all the rejects from the two main cliques: the preps (the UMC pretty-cheerleader-lacrosse-douche types); and the grits (the LMC/WC-stoner-burnout types). I had friends in both groups but never really fit in either, and I ended up making friends with a bunch of other kids who were in the same boat. Some of my friends were totally music or art or drama, some of them were totally science or politics/debate or scifi fangirl, but we all just got along and did our own thing without the kinds of minute subdivisions you see so much today. So I guess you’d say we were the “others” more than anything else.

  6. My crowd consisted of the band/choir/show choir/drama kids in high school. It was a small private school, wasn’t perfect, but wasn’t like where DH went. The smart kids could be popular. The jocks could be smart and be in the musical. The groups blended some.

  7. DH said at his school you were pretty much an outcast if you made good grades.

  8. you were pretty much an outcast if you made good grades.

    The key is not to let anyone know.

  9. got together with 2 of my girls from the musical crowd I mentioned this past weekend. We all live within a few hrs but with kids etc we get together about once or twice a year. I was in their weddings and they were in mine.

    My 2 best friends from college, had a falling out with one, and one got married and moved to TN, never see him anymore

  10. The smart kids were the cool kids in my school. I was middle of the road (not a geek but not wildly popular either, sort of a second tier popular group I guess). My boyfriend was very popular so I did hang out with a lot of different people. My friends from high school have all scattered but we still keep up with one another and I try to see them when I’m home. I loved high school but I really found my people in college (out of the shadow of the high school boyfriend).

  11. “The key is not to let anyone know.”

    Yup. I was pretty good about lying about my grades. Even if you’re in AP classes, the trick is to make it seem like you’re barely passing.

  12. well, it is assumed if you are in all honors and AP classes

    I think there is more to it than that. You have to be missing some social/cultural queues to be an outcast.

  13. I was definitely a member of the Pothead Nerds, though I also hung out with the Upright Nerds, and even some Christian Nerds. I went to three high schools and there were Pothead Nerds in all of them, though the proportion varied.

    HS1, in a wealthy part of Seattle, had lots of potheads of every kind. Besides that, there were rich bozos (“yeah, I totalled my dad’s Jag this weekend”), Asian-American nerds, lots of pothead nerds, and a few upright nerds. HS2, in France, had Euro-preps, kids of small business owners who spent their time in the business, Asian-French nerds, upright nerds, and pothead nerds. HS3, from where I graduated, was insanely stratified, to the extent that you never saw people outside your set of classes. In the top college track, pretty much everyone was nerdly in some way. It was rumored that my high school had athletes, but only one football player ever graced one of my classes. My high school was about a third black, but those kids were mainly only seen in the halls. There were three black girls who were in the college track – they came to classes all huddled together and rarely said anything to anyone. The school also had tons of poor white students, who I only ever saw in the smoking area in the back of the school.

  14. Did you notice how many of the respondents in the article said they were nerds or not popular? I think that once you are out of high school, it isn’t popular to have been popular in high school

  15. At both the high schools I attended, the cool kids made high grades and usually participated in lots of activities. I was not cool, but part of an outcast group that, how shall I say this, lived on the edge.

    Moving forward many years and to a higher SES, I see the same thing at my kids’ school. There, the cool kids make high grades and usually participate in lots of activities. Of course, in both eras there’s “cool” and “super cool”. The jocks and cheerleaders who are not academically inclined still usually do well. But generally speaking, the kids in remedial classes tend to be regarded as losers.

  16. I think it has always been the case that the kids in the remedial classes, or worse yet, the sped classes, are not cool. Usually, the popular kids are the ones who take midtier classes and party a lot.

  17. My two boys are so far much nerdier than I was. My oldest in particular reminds me of a certain kind of male nerd that I remember well from high school and college – very straight arrow, somewhat dismissive of people who party or follow trends, very Spockian. He would have been someone I would have hung out with in HS, but not part of my core group because he would have been too upright.

  18. The HS in my current district is very different from the HS where I graduated, mainly because of economics, but also some cultural differences. There are almost no black kids (maybe 3 or 4?), no poor whites, and most importantly to the overall feel, no evangelicals.

  19. I graduated with around 160, so I think there are fewer cliques than with a larger school. I hung out primarily with the girls on my dance team, but a few that weren’t. I tried hard to keep secret that I was in classes like Calc and physics (primarily by drinking on weekends and not ever publicly caring about academics). I was friends with those kids in class but didn’t hang out with them outside of school. Several of these HS friends have moved back to the place we grew up once they had kids of their own, so we get together when I go visit my parents, or they call if they will be in Houston. (Club soccer brings a lot of people here). My husband jokes that I only like people I have known for 10 years, but I do find that old friends are so easy.

    A couple of these friends were discussing how we didn’t really have a Mean Girls clique. There were 2-3 candidates, but they couldn’t get any traction. They mostly dated college guys and didn’t socialize with the rest of us. Apparently now there is a definite Mean Girl clique, led by the daughters of a couple of old friends, which is funny to me. At my school, the cliques were very fluid and not really that intimidating.

    Both my kids went/go to smaller schools where cliques aren’t much of an issue. I occasionally push my son to be more social, but when he shares stories of his school friends they seem to involve taking the parent’s car out at 2am on a school night and picking up other guys. (This started with “how exactly do you flip a car?”) So I’m grateful we live 11 miles from school and friends, and I’ve quit pushing him to hang out more outside of school.

  20. Speaking of awkward phases, did anyone see last weeks’ episode of the Goldbergs?

  21. And like Houston mentioned, and others have brought up on previous posts, my kids don’t have the same kind of close friendships I had. The flip side of that, I guess, is that I was not all that close to my parents then. If I had a problem, I didn’t really bring it to them. My kids seem to enjoy our company and are happy to go to movies or to dinner with us, sometimes bringing friends. They have friends, but they don’t seem to have that strong desire to be away from us and just around their peers that I always had.

  22. MBT, I see the same thing with my kids. They seem to enjoy our company and like to hang out at home. I have a hard time reconciling that to my memory of high school.

  23. I was always closer to my parents than to my peers. Actually, my friends often liked hanging out at my house because they all liked my mother and her friends. I can remember playing penny poker in the evening with my mother, a couple of grad students, my BF, and some of his friends, back when I was a senior.

  24. I had a graduating class of 900, so I have no idea about the other cliques and who fit into them. I floated between the AP geeks and the band geeks, and the rest of the class was indistinguishable. My kids go to smaller schools that have definite cliques and everyone knows who fits into which group. Seems weird to me.

  25. The popular kids at my high school were generally nice and normal. Some of them partied and some didn’t. I was so much my own person that people ignored me, rather than trying to be mean, and the popular kids acknowledged me because I’d help them with their math homework in the library. I was on the edge of the music/theater group but my primary interest was debate, where I hung out with equally nerdy kids from other high schools. Lots of girls- around a quarter of those who started freshman year- had babies during high school but they weren’t in the AP classes- in fact, during a unit on statistics during junior year, we amused the math teacher by using “Calculus prevents pregnancy” as an example of correlation vs. causation.

    Here, people are much more college-focused and neither the Asian parents nor the hippie-liberal parents nor the Christian parents nor the LDS parents let their kids do much unsupervised, and those groups comprise the high schoolers I know. Parents with more seem to actively try to help kids with less- my German literature/statistics colleague hosted a high school graduation party for her child and his friend from a dysfunctional family.

  26. They have friends, but they don’t seem to have that strong desire to be away from us and just around their peers that I always had.

    Was it because they were different people than you? Or was it more cultural? All through the 80s and well into the 90s a well raised high school sophomore was expected to have a car, a job and pretty much do their own thing as long as they were home by curfew. Similar to how a well raised 9 year old c. 1985 was expected to be outside all day only coming home for lunch, dinner and when the street lights went on. Spending too much time at home or too much time with parents vs. peers would indicate something was amiss. That certainly seems to have changed.

    It makes sense though, if you don’t have all that time outside with peers when you’re 9 aren’t going to suddenly prefer to be out and about at 17.

  27. I think culture and economics have a role here.
    ” All through the 80s and well into the 90s a well raised high school sophomore was expected to have a car, a job and pretty much do their own thing as long as they were home by curfew.”
    This would have been true of my first HS, which was very Totebaggy. But not true at all of HS2 or HS3. French kids don’t have cars of course, and tended in those days at least to spend most of their time at home. Many were expected to help out in their family’s stores. And in HS3, the evangelical influence was key. We were expected to call home and let parents know where we were. And curfews were early and strict. Many of my HS friends were from families where prayers were said before all meals, and milk was the only beverage for kids and parents alike! Even though lots of us were from more laidback families, the evangelicals set the norms.

  28. I was in the AP nerd group. I had some pretty good friends there and was friendly with everyone (small high school), but I didn’t totally find “my people” until college.

  29. Rhett, I was definitely socially inept, but I think I also had a special nerd aura that alerted people that I wasn’t one of the smart-kids-who-were-cool but a NERD. Many of the people in my AP classes were in fact cool – they got invited to the drinking parties on the weekends, etc., but I was one of only 3 people doing the calculus homework at the ‘calculus parties’. Sigh. College was so much better!

  30. I found college to be lots worse than high school. There were so many more dumb people. (This was when it was lots easier to get into the UC system.) I made a few good friends, but mostly I acquired a boyfriend and hung out with him and whatever random assortment of housemates I happened to have.

  31. At my school, it was cool to be smart, but not “too” smart. So, basically, taking harder classes, but not all the harder classes, and getting Bs. And the kids knew who fell into what category, no matter what you did or didn’t say about your classes or your grades.

    The big difference I see in my kid’s school now is that it is cool to be really smart — at least so far. The girls who are knocking it out of the park are much admired and respected.

  32. Speaking of awkward phases, did anyone see last weeks’ episode of the Goldbergs?

    This is the best show on TV. Murray Goldberg is my idol. I want to come home at the end of the day, drop my pants at the door, flop down in Mr. Chair, and watch TV all evening.

  33. L,

    Some of it is just an unfortunate awkward phase. See Erica Goldberg’s transformation.

  34. Rhett, it may be that my husband and I are different from my parents. We don’t go out as much as they did, which I attribute to a different era and my mom being a SAHM. For me, when I’m off work I want to be with my kids mostly. My parents expected us to have separate social lives, made their plans and went out. So if you didn’t have plans with friends, you were home alone.

    But I can remember having NOTHING to do, and we’d pool our change for gas and we’d just cruise around listening to music. If we heard about a party that you know, that guy that Maggie went out with, well his cousinis having a party, then we’d cruise by and if we recognized any cars we’d go in. We would never just stay home, or go home early, because of boredom. We spent a lot of time hanging out in parking lots if no one could have a party. And parties were only held when parents were out of town, which was pretty often.

    We expect to know where our kids are kids are going. I think their peers just don’t aimlessly hang out and cruise certain streets like we did. But even without that part of it, I was on my phone in my room with my friends from 7-bedtime every night. (Except those with huge families, whose parents didn’t tolerate that nonsense). My friends just seemed absolutely central to my existence.

  35. “At my school, it was cool to be smart, but not “too” smart. So, basically, taking harder classes, but not all the harder classes, and getting Bs.”

    Isn’t life kind of like that?

  36. Did you notice how many of the respondents in the article said they were nerds or not popular? I think that once you are out of high school, it isn’t popular to have been popular in high school

    I think this is because the kids that us geeks thought of as the popular ones had their own issues and truly didn’t feel like they were popular. A while back, our class president / Miss Popularity got in touch with me when she was planning a reunion. We chatted a bit via email and she said she always felt like she didn’t fit in either. She struggled to find her way just like the rest of us.

    Not to mention that the “popular kids” were a small group just like all the “misfit” groups. So it’s not like they had hundreds of friends either. They had their clique of a few close friends and a larger group of casual friends just like the band geeks and AP nerds.

  37. Many of the people in my AP classes were in fact cool – they got invited to the drinking parties on the weekends, etc.,

    There were quite a few jocks in my AP classes.

  38. Here’s my little gang of nerds, distaff edition. I think this was my 17th birthday and we were all going to hang out at Golden Gate Park. Can you tell where we would have fit in (or not) at your school?

    http://imgur.com/dVw9tiC

  39. MBT – my experience was very similar to yours. My kids are still very young, but it is interesting to hear that it isn’t a common experience any more. That makes me a little sad. Friends like that are hard to establish once you are out of school and working. Old friends are the best.

  40. Rhett, it may be that my husband and I are different from my parents. We don’t go out as much as they did, which I attribute to a different era and my mom being a SAHM. For me, when I’m off work I want to be with my kids mostly. My parents expected us to have separate social lives, made their plans and went out. So if you didn’t have plans with friends, you were home alone.

    This was my parents as well, but I attribute it to them being much younger when they had kids (24) than my wife and I were (early 30s). We had a decade of being single and childless so by the time we had kids, we just didn’t have the desire to go out that much. Then when my parents divorced, my mother was a single adult for the first time in her life (35) and she wanted to enjoy it, as much as she reasonably could having kids.

  41. Rocky – What term would you use to describe that blanket that’s slung over the back of the couch?

  42. Rhett – That’s what I thought. Just checking if my Mom was totally out to lunch.

  43. Afghan. My mom made it. She had no arts/crafts ability whatsoever, but she was still competitive with her sisters who could knit and crochet beautifully.

  44. Oh man, those do look like my HS friends. Both male and female, in fact (all the boys had long straight hair back then).
    Yes, all parents houses had afghans back then

  45. It’s interesting that I hear a lot about how today kids are more subject to the influence of their peers and of general society (via social media) than in days gone by, yet here I see stories about how kids today are closer to their parents and not as close to their friends. I realize these are anecdotes, but still. I think part of it is as has been described that many (totebag) households today are kid-centric.

  46. My husband’s grandmother made SO many afghans that looked very much like that. Same color scheme, too — black, orange, tan, with some green thrown in for good measure. A couple of them still live in the back of our linen closet.

  47. Like LfB, I was part of a bunch of groups in high school–the AP kids, theater/music kids (which overlapped significantly with band geeks, though I wasn’t in band), church kids, etc. I was dorky and not popular but I would say I was well-liked. I don’t have a ton of close friends from high school but it wasn’t a painful experience. I think this might be the case for a lot of people? When people say they weren’t popular I don’t think of that as synonymous with social outcast, just that you weren’t part of the “cool” crowd.

    Weirdly, I feel like I cared much less about what people thought of me then than I do now. Made it pretty easy to navigate–if people had an issue with the fact that I was smart, or went to church, or whatever, it didn’t really bother me at all.

  48. LOL! I think my parents have that exact same afghan – v similar to the Roseanne and RMS ones.

  49. how today kids are more subject to the influence of their peers and of general society (via social media) than in days gone by,

    I’d say that’s pretty much totally wrong. As MBT said, ” My friends just seemed absolutely central to my existence.” That’s not the case today, for any class of kid – poor, working class, middle, etc.

  50. “My friends just seemed absolutely central to my existence That’s not the case today”

    Perhaps. Despite whatever they say on FB & Twitter.

  51. Despite whatever they say on FB & Twitter.

    “I was on my phone in my room with my friends from 7-bedtime every night.”

  52. “I was on my phone in my room with my friends from 7-bedtime every night.”

    Did you have your own line? That was often a consistent family sitcom or movie topic in the 1980s.

  53. Many kids are constantly texting each other — all day (and all night) long.

  54. Graduating class of 24, so we didn’t have enough kids to have well-developed cliques. There was a distinct “popular” crowd, in the usual kid sense of “socially precocious in terms of drinking and dating,” but there were standard hang-outs where you’d run into everyone. Band wasn’t social death but wasn’t cool the same way sports were too. Of course with such a small school you didn’t do just one extra-curric — there wouldn’t have been enough people! My friends tended more to be the smart kids who were happy to get together at someone’s house with soda and popcorn and super nachos and parents home rather than wanting to go to a “real” party with alcohol and older guys.

    My sons just have a couple of friends each at school, in addition to friendships through extra-currics. My younger son occasionally goes off to a friends house or has a friend over but otherwise they just see their friends at school/activities. My daughter, otoh, has a group that formed in kindergarten that has expanded to encompass a bunch of middle school friends, and apparently they have joined up with a group of boy friends and have been hanging out in a large probably hormonal herd at lunch and after school. These are not, however, the “popular” kids (again using the kid definition) but instead the band/honors/arts kids. She is most likely to get together outside of school with her core group of friends, and of course she too has friends from extra-currics that she hangs out with at activities.

  55. MBT, are your friends concerned about their daughters being part of a ‘mean girl’ clique? Do they try to push back on that?

  56. Many kids are constantly texting each other — all day (and all night) long.

    While true – do you think peers are a greater influence than in MBT’s heyday?

  57. Did you have your own line? That was often a consistent family sitcom or movie topic in the 1980s.

    My brother and I had a shared teen line as they were called back then. A lot of our friends had them as well.

  58. Honolulu, “Barry” was definitely in with the cool kids. A friend in college looked wistfully at the sorority girls and said, “they’re all golden and fuzzy”. Those girls would be golden and fuzzy (wearing cashmere) if they were in a cooler climate. We had tons of those girls at Paly.

  59. “At my school, it was cool to be smart, but not “too” smart. So, basically, taking harder classes, but not all the harder classes, and getting Bs. And the kids knew who fell into what category, no matter what you did or didn’t say about your classes or your grades.”

    This was very much the case at my school. I tried very hard to be perceived in this category rather than as “too smart” but I still ended up in that category. Everyone still knew who was ruining the curve.

    “I don’t have a ton of close friends from high school but it wasn’t a painful experience. I think this might be the case for a lot of people?”

    I agree with this as well. I had a group of close friends, played sports, sang in the choir, was in the art club, never really got picked on, but I wasn’t part of the coolest clique in school. I was on the fringes of it maybe. I made my lifelong friends in college – we ultimately had a lot more in common long-term than my HS group, and I also think that the college dorm/off campus apartment living situation can make for stronger bonds.

  60. “My brother and I had a shared teen line as they were called back then.”

    Anybody else here old enough to remember party lines?

  61. “Anybody else here old enough to remember party lines?”

    I remember this being a plot point in old TV shows and having no concept of what was going on.

    I am late 30’s.

    Much like my kid will probably be completely baffled by why the things that happened on Seinfeld were even a problem. SO many plots of answering machines, pay phones, being out of contact, etc.

  62. “Anybody else here old enough to remember party lines?”

    I’m old enough to have a grandmother-in-law who talks about this. (and possibly FIL?) DW’s grandma was a switchboard operator and liked to listen in to any juicy gossip.

  63. I just looked at that photo of Obama at the prom. Definitely cool kid in my HS, but with one difference – no cool kid in my HS would have worn a black or white tux jacket. My prom was the same year as Obama’s, btw, but I guess Hawaii styles were quite different from the South. In my HS, boys all wore colored jackets and ruffled shirts, with colors keyed to their dates dress. Like this

    Of course, MY nerdy-beyond-belief date wore a black jacket that looks like the one that Obama’s buddy is wearing. But in my school it was mega-uncool. He also committed the faux pas of giving me a pin-on corsage instead of a dainty wrist corsage like all the cool girls had.

  64. Rhett – DD who is in 9th grade would much rather be with her friends than with us. Which is how I was at the same age. So I’m not seeing a cultural change.

    I was looking at DD’s instragram account and thinking about how popularity is now instantly quantifiable. The super-popular kids in her high school have 1,200 followers. DD and her friends seem to be more in the 500 range (I have no idea how DD knows that many people to follow/have follow her). Sometimes when I’m driving the soccer carpool there will be discussion along the lines of “I followed this person but s/he didn’t follow me back so I unfollowed them.”

    DD is far more popular than I was. I was in the music/theater/geek crowd which was not at all popular. I don’t remember any pressure to hide your grades or pretend you weren’t doing well but I went to high school in a small college town with a lot of faculty brats so maybe the dynamics were different. Or I was just so far removed from the popular group that I was never aware of this dynamic.

  65. The first year that we lived in the South, we had a party line. Yup.

  66. We had a party line briefly when I was little. I think maybe we had just moved and there was a wait to get a private line?

  67. I went to a HS with over 3000 smart, nerdy kids. There are two criteria for acceptance to this school; NYC resident and be one the top 800 kids of 1000s that take a test similar to the reading and math portion of the SAT. Very few kids took formal test prep or tutoring in the 70s/early 80s so the school did attract a very broad section of ethnic and economic backgrounds. It isn’t like this today because many families spend lots of time and money to ace this test now, but the test used to produce a diverse selection of kids from most of the boroughs.

    When you have 3000 nerds in one school, they can’t all be the nerds and AP kids, so the usual cliques existed in this school. The kids doing all of the drugs wore army fatigues and hung out in a field across from the school. There were still popular kids and they tended to be the wealthier kids from the wealthier neighborhoods in each borough. Some of the largest cliques were based on background; most of the Greeks hung out together at lunch. There were nerds; but they were truly gifted.

    I was part of the circle that was just below the popular kids. I think the reason is that a large number of kids from my neighborhood were accepted into this HS so I knew some of the popular kids since K. I came from one of the more affluent neighborhoods, but I was not wealthy. This wasn’t an issue until junior and senior years when the popular kids tended to go to clubs and bars downtown every weekend and I didn’t have the same amount of money for clothes or bar tabs.

    My town now has 150- 180 kids per grade, and the kids are together for 13 years. UGH!!!! I never would have bought a house in one of these micro districts if I had thought about how small this can feel by MS.

  68. I’m not only old enough to remember party lines, we had a party line when we first moved to Vermont.

  69. Hats off to Barry; if someone publishes your prom picture from the 70s and it does NOT involve a pastel tux and ruffled shirt that matches the date’s dress, you are living a charmed life!

  70. I was looking at DD’s instragram account and thinking about how popularity is now instantly quantifiable.

    I was thinking the same thing. It’s sort of like bullying. It was far worse in the past but adults – parents, teachers, etc. can’t ignore it and look the other way like they once did. Now, there is undeniable evidence that they need to acknowledge – which makes people uncomfortable.

  71. MM, you said it better and with a photo! I see we’re the same age.

  72. Hi, late today. I was part of every group, but I guess close to the popular/student athlete/student government group. My best friend and I were a couple of clowns so we were well liked but not exactly high on the boys “like” list. I always too great pride in being friends with the burnouts and the drama kids and everyone else and I still have a peer group like that. Like someone said above, the popular kids at my school were generally nice. There were some mean girls but also mean boys. In a tangent, I hate the term “mean girls” as if they are something far more nefarious than “mean boys” which is not a term. I think it smacks of a kind of soft misogyny that women are happy to put upon each other.

    Anyway, back to the topic. MBT – you totally described my upbringing. When I was a sophomore the older boys would drop me off for curfew and then I would say hello to my parents and sneak back out the back door and Zach would pick me up at the top of the street. We smoked a lot of pot, even during the school day in the parking lot. How on earth we got away with that and who on earth we thought we were baffles me. I suspect it is because we knew that as long as we were respectful to adults, made good grades and generally didn’t get caught, we were kind of above suspicion. My parents were stunned, stunned to find out that the son of the middle school principal was a pretty serious drug dealer in high school. He took AP classes and was in the school play. Watch out for those!

    My parents still have afgans from my grandmother. Was there a rule that they had to be the most hideous colors? I will toss them when they die, but I will feel badly about it.

  73. We had a party line until I was 5 or so.
    Afghan, definitely.
    I was somewhat unique in my HS, easily part of the jock and AP nerd crowds.

  74. Yes, we had a party line when I was little and my phone number was DAvenport 3-2676.

  75. MM, we had leis, of course, for the prom. Maile for the boys, but there was a fad, probably new around the time of that picture and was getting to be old news by the time I was a senior, for girls to wear maile too, especially when wound with pikake as in the picture. (Pikake and rosebud strands were also highly acceptable.) The multi-strand pikake that the other girl has was also a primo lei. The rope style of pikake too. Double carnation was more like an average lei, and something like single-carnation-and-tuberose was not considered a lei suitable for prom — that’s the sort of thing they give tourists at the airport.

    Now I’m remembering a discussion on “mums” from back on the old site; they were a mystery to those of us not from the right area (Texas, was it?)

  76. Afghan, but I am happy to say we did not have one in our house growing up or later in my own home. My surviving aunts were not crafty. I remember party lines, but even in the 50s they were uncommon – no one I knew had one, but they were still in existence.

    I went to high school for only 2 years, after a cross town move, and did not attend either of the feeder junior high schools. I attributed my general lack of membership in a core group to all three of those details. Our class size was about 700. There were identifiable groups – Key club and pom pom girl (less effort or talent required than for cheer, membership based on good/cool girl affiliation) were the activities of choice for smart popular kids. Cheerleader and athlete had less cachet. We had a work-study program even in our UMC high school – that is where the druggies and non college bound found themselves, but 85% of the kids went on to at least junior college, and many of the other boys enlisted – military service even with dangers in Vietnam era was a respectable choice around DC. We had few science nerds because the science and math offerings were terrible at my school, no AP physics and no calculus at all – they could get an out of neighborhood transfer out. As a matter of fact, I got an out of neighborhood transfer in because of Latin. I tried to fit in with the hippie political nerds on the literary magazine, but I didn’t make the inner circle. I think I was considered an odd bird with privileges because I kept getting special treatment – being allowed to opt out of classes and tests, to cut school seemingly without repercussions, to wear forbidden hippie clothing, to get a diploma without sticking around for senior year. But I had plenty of acquaintances and dated more in my last year of high school than in any other time of my life. My hs best friend and I went to the same college but drifted apart a couple of years later.

  77. I didn’t have a party line, but I remember that I used to give the first two digits of my phone number with the name of my neighborhood. The first two letters in that word corresponded to the numbers on the phone. My grandmother still has one dial phone attached to the wall in her kitchen!!!!!!!!!!

  78. ELgin 7-3457
    and of course, Rocky, we would have been in the same area code back then.

  79. I still have a crocheted afghan . . . my great-grandmother made it for me in shades of magenta, light fuschia, and white, and it picks up a color in our Hawaiian print cushions, so it lives in our living room in a basket with a couple other throws.

  80. Hum… I just realized that I don’t know anyone’s phone number. Well, I know my own phone number. But, unlike when I was a kid, that doesn’t do you much good anymore.

  81. We have two somewhat hideous afghans in our family room that my husband’s mother made. I have no pretensions of having Pinterest-worthy decor anyway, and they are comfortable–we use them all the time.

  82. We had a party line till I was in high school but we only shared with one neighbor. When my Dad went to OCS in the late 60’s, his house still shared a line with ~10 neighbors and my grandma listened to the phone line while she did the ironing, as did all the other farm wives. My mom wasn’t fond of the fact that the entire neighborhood listened in any time she called him long distance from Colorado- her call was the excitement for the week. My dad’s phone number was nonstandard (too short) by the late 60’s and the phone operator insisted it was incorrect and he had to explain how to complete the call.

  83. Oh, and when you share a line with ~10 houses, you have a special Morse code ring that identifies if a call is for you, in case anyone wonders.

  84. “shared a line with ~10 neighbors and my grandma listened to the phone line while she did the ironing, as did all the other farm wives.”

    Imagine if they had speakerphones back then.

  85. My folks economized on a lot of things, but a private line was one thing they were willing to pay for, when we could get it.

  86. April 1877: A telephone line connects the workshop of Charles Williams, Jr., located in Boston, to his house in Somerville, Massachusetts at 109 Court Street in Boston, where Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson had previously experimented with their telephone. The telephones became No. 1 and 2 in the Bell Telephone Company.

    I’m always surprised that the land line telephone is an 138 year old technology that predates the car by 9 years.

  87. My town now has 150- 180 kids per grade, and the kids are together for 13 years. UGH!!!! I never would have bought a house in one of these micro districts if I had thought about how small this can feel by MS.

    This was my experience growing up (Bergen County) with about 100 kids per grade. But we did combine with 2 other towns for HS with a total of about 240 per grade.

  88. L. My son was a couple of years behind damon and affleck. They werent cool or considered particularly great looking, just drama nerds

  89. Lauren, my Dad’s graduating class was 24, and that was after they consolidated. At his 50th reunion, I think no one had divorced and half the class was married to someone from either the same class or the same high school and still lived in the same area. At my grandma’s funeral, I met his elementary school teachers and people he’d spend 12 years riding the bus with.

  90. I did have my own phone line. My brother’s and my bedrooms were upstairs, and his phone was on my parents’ line, so if my friends couldn’t get through on my line, they would call on the house line and I would run back and forth between my brother’s room and mine talking to both. (Apparently my parents didn’t spring for the 3-way calling). My brother was just a grade ahead of me, and a football player, so on Friday and Saturday nights there was a lot of social coordination going on (with my friends wanting to know where his friends were going to be). Later, when my younger sister was added to my line and my parents would ground me from the phone, I would make her trade bedrooms with me so I could still talk on the phone.

  91. HM – my friends in that discussion I relayed do not necessarily know their daughters are the Mean Girls. I do have another friend whose daughter was the quintessential Mean Girl in my daughter’s middle school. They were best friends at home, and she would invite my daughter every where as her security blanket, then ditch her as soon as they got there. Her mom had been a victim of mean girls in her high school days, and would talk to me about how much she didn’t want her daughter to be “that girl”, but seemed unable to control it. (There was a very involved, spoiling grandmother who encouraged that behavior, always telling the MS girl how hot and sexy she was, etc, letting her sleep over when she was in trouble, overriding mom’s rules. The mom couldn’t put her foot down because Grandma had just donated a kidney to one of their family. It was all very complicated.)

    And mums are definitely a Texas thing. https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRROr2oiaRlMsJX1vGyFlnWldw4ZPGBd9QMTNWMopifQ6hfjjdIBg

  92. Speaking of Southern traditions, is “football boy” a thing all over the South? A high schooler was explaining to me that she had to make a batch of cookies for “her” boy. Not a boyfriend- she’d been assigned one for football, basketball, and even soccer. I’m no raging feminist, but really? This is a thing?

  93. Whaaaat?! I mean, in high school I did in fact cook for boys in the sense of bringing extra food for school outings, but that was for bait, not a school requirement.

    Do the boys get assigned girl athletes to bake for too?

  94. Rio – I think they had that on Friday Night Lights. A rally girl?

    I’m not encouraging it, but I don’t necessarily think it’s a feminist issue. It’s more a product of a desire to create a mini celebrity culture. Like “oh, the football players need a certain entourage, and we want to be part of it.”

  95. Rio, that was not a tradition when I was in school (although we did decorate the boys’ rooms before the state championship), but I know some of the neighbor girls have to do this. They are on the dance team, but I would guess it’s all girls in dance, cheer, etc. One was appreciative because her “boy” was nice about it and appreciative. She said some guys were not even thankful, but I would suspect that at least some of those guys are socially awkward and have no idea what to say other than a mumbled thanks.Another thing I thought was weird was a friend whose daughter was a cheerleader grumbled about having to get them a gift for every game. Apparently after every single game they get a little token from the mom’s club thanking them. Huh?

  96. Speaking of general craziness – did anyone catch the house hunters Chalotte with the SAHM of three dogs who insisted she couldn’t live in a house with fewer than 4 bathrooms?

  97. Rhett – I’m already behind on my “Lakefront Bargain Hunt” and “Log Cabin Living” episodes to watch another trio of identical beige suburban colonials that may or may not have granite counters.

    And soon they’re adding “Lake Living” to the lineup.

  98. Milo,

    From that thread, it all looks like good training for the future members of PTM’s mothers group.

  99. Milo,

    You need to watch it while making up elaborate back stories for the coupes. Our theory of the “CEO” with the 320i, the SAHM to three dogs and the 500k house was he was circling the drain financially and the wife was oblivious.

  100. Yeah. I suspect they’re at least a decimal place removed, financially, from PTM’s fellow Mothers.

    The couple on Lake Bargain Hunt the other night were from Auburn, AL. An IT guy and a nurse, iirc. They spent $330k.

  101. I ran into someone I used to go to school with, who kept working into the conversation that he is CEO of his company. I googled it later, and it’s a 15-employee t-shirt company.

  102. “I googled it later, and it’s a 15-employee t-shirt company.”

    Very lucrative supplying all those family reunions in the South.

  103. This is where it came from!

    While one of my sisters was quite familiar with several members of the football team (back in the 60s), I can’t remember any other “treats” that she offered up, and I can’t recall her decorating football players’ lockers.

    But I kid you not. The Mother’s Club has a day towards the end of the year where we are supposed to decorate our kids’ lockers.

    Sigh!

  104. PTM -My kids’ school does this thing where you buy a book for the library but as a bday gift for your kid, and you dedicate it with a message to them that gets printed and pasted in the front. I hate public FB declarations of affection; I certainly don’t like writing bday wishes to my kid for every other parent and student to read for the next decade.

    They also do friendship grams. #1 really wanted to get one this year, and told #2 that they were going to buy them for each other.

  105. PTM, what a pain. The moms just hand over their credit cards in my school so the kids can decorate their own lockers.

  106. PTM -My kids’ school does this thing where you buy a book for the library but as a bday gift for your kid

    In lieu of actual gifts one presumes.

  107. Oh! And not only is it a gift of a book – you don’t even get to keep it. It’s like totebag performance art!

  108. Rio – when I was in high school in suburban Houston we had a Senior Girls club. Our main focus was supporting the football team. You broke up into groups of about 8 girls and each group was assigned one or two football players. We toilet-papered their houses a couple of times a year and made them goodies, etc.

    We had about 500 in our class, so there were many levels of popularity/nerdiness. I was several levels up from the real nerds, but at least as many levels down from the popular cliques. I could easily travel downwards and mix with the nerds, but could only move up a rung or two in social settings.
    Of course, most of that was probably all in my mind, but I was shy and not full of confidence in high school!

  109. You broke up into groups of about 8 girls and each group was assigned one or two football players.

    So it was like a harem?

  110. Ha Ha, Rhett – not quite!

    We also had to paint a bunch of banners (on butcher paper) to hang up in the hallways during football season, and sat together at pep rallies (in our pep rally “uniform” of denim overalls and hawaiian shirts in our team colors)!

  111. Someone made the comment about how the kids in a microdistrict are all together for 13 years. We are in the same situation. I do not like it. There is no chance for a kid to reinvent himself. And I think every kid needs that. I can’t imagine what I would have done without that chance, in my case, every year in HS.

  112. Rhett – I didn’t see that HH. But did you see the HHI in Italy with the family that had 9 kids? I was fascinated that they sold everything to start anew in Europe without work permits. Eventually the money will run out, right?

  113. I saw the HH with the 9 kids in Italy. I couldn’t believe how many people they stuffed into a small home. I was thinking the same thing about the money running out because it didn’t make sense.

  114. Eventually the money will run out, right?

    I didn’t see that one. But, it depends on how much money, What’s the MMM/Duggar cost of 9 kids…$75k? That’s 3% of $2.5 million. Not an outrageous inheritance or trust fund balance.

  115. Lemon – they are probably independent congregation missionaries – you can’t just plop down in a country and live there. Or they may have some EU courtesy based on descent that allows them to stay indefinitely. We used to send lots of folks to work in the London office without normal work visas as long as they had one Irish grandparent. Easy to find in Boston.

  116. Milo, that sounds dreadful! I would never write something personal about/to my kid in a library book that could be read by everybody!

    I think some of my Mothers must have sisters in your neighborhood.

  117. Certainly not in lieu of.

    Oh! And not only is it a gift of a book – you don’t even get to keep it. It’s like totebag performance art!

    Lol. Very true. And if you don’t do it, it’s because either you’re not passionate about reading, or you don’t love your kid.

  118. it’s because either you’re not passionate about reading, or you don’t love your kid.

    Most likely both.

  119. Milo, 6:05 is a trip down memory lane! My elementary school had something like that. The child got a polaroid picture of herself holding the new book on a bulletin board in the hallway. My parents thought it was stupid and never participated. Now that I think about it, the school had a lot of sneaky ways of trying to get kids to beg their parents to donate.

  120. But the school picks the book, don’t they, or you have to choose off their wish list. If you truly got to choose the book I would definitely be interested in donating the complete PS238 or Kid Beowulf. Or for that matter the Giants and Ice series, which they weren’t carrying yet as of a couple of years ago.

  121. I was on the fringe of the various popular sets of girls. I was tolerated because I got good grades. Otherwise all the popular girls were either good looking, carried themselves well and/or projected confidence. I had none of this and felt like a thorough misfit. I realized that the confident kids had support and encouragement from their families in a way I never had. Like many posters described my parents had active social lives and were not concerned about what their kids were feeling. Over the years I decided to parent differently. I am not surprised that posters kids choose to be with their supportive parents.
    DS has been called a nerd but I don’t think it is a bad label because kids in his school are quite Fred like – they will play a sport and play in band. DD never has any problems making friends – I am taken by surprise by how well she gets along both with her friends as well as their mothers.

  122. We are supposed to buy pages in tribute to our kids in their yearbook. I absolutely refuse to do that. I expect Junior to finish 7th grade (many of us have), and I expect him to be a fine young gentleman. I have no desire to extoll him in public, particularly with a nice photo of him running in meadows or doing equally stupid.

    If anything I’d publish a picture of him playing a video game with an inscription that this cost me $20k plus this year.

  123. “doing something equally stupid.” Sorry, I guess I was outraged.

  124. Why not a photo of him running through a meadow staring at a cell phone?

  125. PTM – I have donated birthday books but it is a simple label with the child’s name and age. My kids loved it but DS in the last year has outgrown such childish feel good things.
    This is the first year I ordered a yearbook because it is DS’s last year of elementary school. I have noticed that both my kids are bringing home much less memorabilia.
    PTM – Have you organized the Mother’s Day tea yet ? That holiday is next weekend.

  126. I was going to ask when that tradition started of parents buying yearbook ads. Although my parents never would have bothered, it was a thing in both high school AND college.

  127. “But did you see the HHI in Italy with the family that had 9 kids? I was fascinated that they sold everything to start anew in Europe without work permits. Eventually the money will run out, right?”

    Well, the Duggars are rich because Jim Bob is a shrewd businessman. But there’s a branch of daughter-in-law Anna’s family tree that they keep quiet about, or so I’ve read. Anna’s sister Esther has nine kids or so and they’re kind of like missionaries who have all been traveling and, at times, living solely in a pop-up camper. Other times they’ve taken shelter in church basements. You know, *I* like camping as much as the next guy, but…

    Also, you can Google the Rodrigues family. Same deal, bigger RV.

  128. I’ve donated You Can Count on Monsters and Andrew Henry’s Meadow to my kids’ school. I also occasionally order through Scholastic so the teachers can add to their classroom free reading collection. Kindergarten has acquired Magic Tree House this way. Given the lack of reading groups, it’s the best way to ensure kids have books at their reading level in the classroom.

  129. If you truly got to choose the book I would definitely be interested in donating the complete PS238 or Kid Beowulf

    That way you can be sure that nobody will ever check it out and mess it up. Not like with Junie B. Jones.

  130. Even bearing in mind the camel and the eye of a needle, it would be hard for me to take seriously someone trying to promote their religion while basically bumming around homeless with the whole family. Like, yeah, I can see that’s working well for you.

  131. PS238 is about a secret underground elementary school for kids with superpowers, and it also has one normal student whose parents are superhero tiger parents convinced that little Tyler is going to start showing his powers any day now so of course he has to be in the gifted program.

  132. Naturally I figured they were Duggarlike and probably went to an ultra conservative christian school in the Midwest, but I didn’t think missionaries. But that has to be the case. And I totally called it that the space under the stairs would be a bedroom.

  133. Well, the Duggars are rich because Jim Bob is a shrewd businessman.

    Well, they’re also cheap as hell. They not only get all their clothes at the thrift store, but even all their shoes. I’d have to draw the line at shoes.Also, they aren’t blowing thousands per kid on club teams, or having to save for college, or organic foods, etc. I can’t resist pointing out to them (through the tv) every time their kids can’t do math that there is nothing sinful about education.

  134. Rhett/Milo, that Charlotte couple also was in a second HH where they bought a vacation place in Charleston (I think). It came on and I immediately was like, hey, it’s 4 bathrooms lady! If I recall correctly, she was really concerned that the condo they bought in Charleston would be haunted.

  135. Even bearing in mind the camel and the eye of a needle, it would be hard for me to take seriously someone trying to promote their religion

    Reminds me of when they tried to convince my 8 yo self that the church was God’s house and please help us with the fundraiser for the new roof. Um…you claim this is the home of the omnipotent creator of the universe and He can’t leverge that into enough income to fix His own roof? Yeh, what you’re saying isn’t adding up.

  136. I missed the 9 kids in Italy HH–will have to keep an eye out. We marvel at a lot of the HHI house hunters and their reasons for moving because sometimes they really don’t make much sense and we’re always wondering what the full story is. Like the couple that moved to Nicaraugua with their kid so they could have more “quality family time,” but then the dad was going to have to go work in the U.S. for 5-6 month long stretches to finance the move.

  137. I always love the HHI where they move to Mexico to immerse their children in a different culture and then end up in a area with all expats, gated communities, and an international school.

  138. “their reasons for moving because sometimes they really don’t make much sense and we’re always wondering what the full story is”

    Down to the banana republics,
    Down to the tropical sun,
    Go the expatriated Americans,
    Hoping to find some fun.

    Some of them go for the sailing
    Caught by the lure of the sea
    Trying to find what is ailing
    Living in the land of the free.

    Some of them are running from lovers,
    Leaving no forward address.
    Some of them are running tons of ganja;
    Some are running from the IRS.

    Late at night you will find them
    In the cheap hotels and bars,
    Hustling the senoritas while they dance beneath the stars.

    Down to the banana republics
    Things aren’t as warm as they seem.
    None of the natives are buying any
    Second-hand American Dreams.

    Expatriated Americans,
    Feeling so all alone,
    Telling themselves the same lies that they told themselves back home.

  139. Milo- perfect. I fantasize all about moving the family to some exotic location. DH responds with a less eloquent version of the above.

    (though I often argue that I think the expats are likely to be a self selected crowd that is, on average, more interesting than the culdesac neighbors in suburbia)

  140. The preschool my kids attend(ed) has a book fair every year where parents can, in addition to buying books for home, buy books to donate to the school. They put a little tag on it indicating the child whose family donated it.

    When my oldest was there, he found a book with his name on it. Per his teacher, he then quickly reviewed all of the books in his room, found a few more with his name on them and pilfered them. So much for our family’s literary legacy. :/

  141. Rhett – nice. You could also take a page from Patterson and have people write for you.

    On the Duggars – DD and I were catching up via DVR last night. Did you see the one where Josh showed the kids pigs’ feet in the grocery store? And Michael, about 3ish (?) said to the cameraman, “Somewhere, there’s a pig running around without his feet!” Funniest line I’ve ever seen in that show. I also noted that Jana, while redecorating the girls’ room now that the others have moved out, looks flat out depressed. I wonder if she’d like to hang out at our place this summer. She needs a change of scenery.

    On expats – my brother and his family moved to an island years ago, as I might have said before. They planned to stay for 18 months. It is now 16 years later and they’re still there. They have had a blast, but the kids end up a year ahead in school, and have to complete a year of HS on the mainland in order to go to university. And then uni on the mainland. So, the family togetherness bit only lasts until they’re 16, at which point they’re several hundred miles apart, which is a total drag on all of them.

  142. Canadians can get great tax advantages by moving to an Island – my cousin did so many years ago. Doesn’t work for US citizens unless they renounce citizenship.

    Risley’s comment about “family togetherness only lasts until they are 16…” absolutely epitomizes the difference between families in the current parent trenches and the boomer generation/many of the previous generation, at least those whose background or circumstances did not prevent them from ever leaving home/neighborhood/farm/town. The entire point of reaching 16 or 18 was that you got to leave.

  143. “Milo- perfect.”

    I feel like Jimmy Buffett is a genius just as a lyricist, before you even consider his talents as a composer and performer.

  144. Meme, yup. I couldn’t wait to leave home. I went away to college at 17 and never went back except to visit.

  145. “We are supposed to buy pages in tribute to our kids in their yearbook. I absolutely refuse to do that.”

    Ditto. This year, I will hug my kid and congratulate her for making it through a tough year, and, heck, for surviving MS largely intact and mostly sane. I will attend the stupid mandatory “everyone gets a trophy” celebration. But I will NOT treat it as a Nobel-Prize-worthy accomplishment. Summer is reward enough.

  146. Meme – yes, although there are some locations that would’ve required them to give up their property in Canada, so they had to find a place that allowed ownership in both countries. Interesting that in other generations, leaving home at 16 was the desired thing while for my generation (or at least, for my family) it’s a downside of this decision. In the past few years, as they have sent kids off, I’ve thought that this must be the one time they’ve regretted the decision.

  147. “Like the couple that moved to Nicaraugua with their kid so they could have more “quality family time,” but then the dad was going to have to go work in the U.S. for 5-6 month long stretches to finance the move.”

    “I always love the HHI where they move to Mexico to immerse their children in a different culture and then end up in a area with all expats, gated communities, and an international school.”

    This week was a two-fer! Moved to Panama because mom really really wanted to expose their kids to a different culture and learn Spanish (because it’s not like they could really learn to speak Spanish at home in South Florida). And then they chose the gated/suburban/cul-de-sac community that was Just Like Home. But at least it was close to the airport, so dad had an easy commute back to his dentist job — every WEEK. Which he really really really needed to do, because she chose the over-budget one, and she always gets what she wants, ha-hah.

    I’m thinking she wanted to live in the tropics and he must have screwed around or something. Because boy, that whole episode just made no sense.

  148. Meme – age has something to do with it, too. Similar to you, my parents were still in their 40’s when they became empty nesters. That’s a little young to be making career and life decisions based on where your kids might be living and the possibility of grandchildren.

    But if you’re near 40 before you start having children, and you’re 65 when they’re gone, you’re more likely to be thinking about retirement locations when they’re starting their own lives.

    When DW’s cousin, an only child of older parents, got into my alma mater, his parents bought a condo nearby and started planning their move across the country. They’re retired (at least in the MMM sense); they didn’t have anything else to do.

  149. so dad had an easy commute back to his dentist job — every WEEK.

    Traveling every week? That’s just insane. Who would do something like that?

  150. Completely off-topic: I have posted before that one branch of my in-laws has a strong preference for leisure. A long point of contention for my husband and BIL is that their 80+ year old mother would be out there mowing the lawn while the grandson my age (my husband’s nephew) sat inside watching TV. This has been going on since he was about 20. When my MIL died two years, my daughter was supposed to get a few pieces of her favorite jewelry, but it was missing, and we assumed they had given it to the girls in their family. The lazy grandson that had been living there abandoned the house in disrepair, and my BIL has been clearing out the mounds of clutter and garbage left behind to prepare it for sale. When clearing out the shed, he moved the lawnmower and found the jewelry hidden there. I don’t know if this is a last bit of humor from my MIL – the one place she knew they wouldn’t look, but the lawn mower kept it safely hidden for the last two years.

  151. LfB – I cannot stand the episodes where women act like they refuse to be constrained by a budget, and roll their eyes at their husbands for somehow expecting their princess-ness to be held in check. Do people really act like that? I am hoping it is an act to get themselves on the show, but my word – women also get the concept of living within their means.

  152. OK, so from the “differences between moms and dads” or “optimists vs. pessimists” files: Phone rang this AM, I’m downtown at my office — DS has a field trip today we forgot about, he needs the supplies. Oh, and they’re leaving in 30 mins. I start running out the door, crossing my fingers I can get home and to school in time. I call DH on the way, since he is 15 mins closer, and it turns out he has a meeting he can reschedule, so he runs out the door and I turn around.

    About 20 mins later, I get a text: “And he throws the 99 mph fastball for the save!”

    Realization #1: If I had done that, my text would have been more along the lines of “OMG, whew, can’t believe I made it in time.”

    Realization #2: How much happier would I be if I viewed every little victory as another notch in my Belt of Parenting Awesomeness, instead of a barely-averted disaster that I was lucky to skate through?

  153. LfB – by now both my kids know the strengths and failings of both their parents. They will not ask Dad to help with any logistics because they know that they will end up at the wrong soccer field or at the right one but after half the game is over. OTOH, they can study for a test with Dad who calmly discusses the subject matter with them (will interrupt test prep with music playing/TV watching), finds real life examples to help them remember and so instead of panicking they feel well prepared (more so than they would if they studied with Mom around).

  154. women also get the concept of living within their means.

    There was a recent one where the guy’s father had a 3 hour round trip commute every day for 20 years and he didn’t want that for himself, so they were looking at homes near his job in DC. The wife was casually insistent that he just suck it up and move to some exurb so she could have her dream house.

  155. “This was my experience growing up (Bergen County) with about 100 kids per grade. But we did combine with 2 other towns for HS with a total of about 240 per grade.”

    Denver Dad – can we play “It’s a small world after all”? because I think we may know the same people! LOL! And this was the reason I did Catholic school from K-6, public school 7-8, and a Catholic high school in Southern Bergen County when I grew up mid-county. Each shift I met new people.

    “Do people really act like that?”

    MBT/LfB – I watched an episode of Love It or List It where the hubby stormed off camera in a huff (like a 12 year old girl) because he didn’t get something he wanted inside the house. The reason – the foundation was leaking and crumbling. Eventually he got his custom skate ramp (because he *studies* skateboarding… seriously said that) in his backyard and they decided to love it. I have a feeling that his emo-induced temper-tantrum was real.

    MBT – I think hiding the jewels under the lawn mower was a fantastic idea.

  156. “The wife was casually insistent that he just suck it up and move to some exurb so she could have her dream house.”

    Yet another Love It or List It showed a couple who bought a house in the ‘burbs because they wanted the space (she wanted a thousand bedrooms or so, and he wanted a garage for his race car). They were there a year a hated it – their friends were too far, it was too quiet, the layout of their house sucked, etc. I really wondered why they purchased it in the first place – all those things were pretty freaking evident before you signed the paperwork.

  157. Off topic. If anyone is looking at going to Europe this summer business class fares are at record lows and the dollar is at near record highs.

    Delta – Boston to London in business $1849.60. Seattle to London $1,925.60. Dallas to London – $1864.20. Philly to Paris on USAir? $1704.90. These are all round trip fares.

    The kids of course can suck it up in coach – it builds character.

  158. “There was a recent one where the guy’s father had a 3 hour round trip commute every day for 20 years and he didn’t want that for himself, so they were looking at homes near his job in DC. The wife was casually insistent that he just suck it up and move to some exurb so she could have her dream house.”

    And $100 says that if they do that, within 6 months, she’s complaining that he’s never home. I’ve seen that in real life many times.

  159. Remember, hgtv is semi scripted tv. In HH they already have a place under contract and find two others places to view. That is why property virgins and some of the vacation home shows are different an actual house hunt that ends up sometimes with no.house or an entirely different one.

    This season of flip or flop has been a dud so far, and for some reason they moved scott mcgilivray to diy network. As with all cable tv, the formula gets stale.

  160. Rhode, I think you’re a bit younger than me so I don’t know that we know the same people. But for what it’s worth (I figure I’ve given enough info here that anyone who wants to unmask me already has), I lived in Closter.

  161. LfB, I’m going with it being a mother/father difference. My wife is similar to you that she looks at everything as a parenting failure on her part, whereas I look at it as even though we are far from perfect, we’re doing a pretty damn good job.

  162. Denver Dad – while we are a bit far apart in age (about 10 years), no one leaves Bergen County so it’s quite possible we know the same families (both DH’s and my families still live there with no desire to leave). And I was wrong… I had you pegged into another “3 towns = 1 high school” district. I love the town where you grew up!

  163. I’m sure we probably have some acquaintances in common, but my whole family left. Obvioulsy I moved across the country, my mom and stepdad retired to South Carolina, my brother moved to Sussex County, and all four of my stepbrothers have scattered to different parts of NJ.

  164. LfB, in a situation like that I would have told my kid, “Too bad you didn’t bring this up earlier, looks like you’re going to miss the field trip.” Interestingly enough in such situations the kid/teacher generally figured something out.

  165. @HM — To be fair, (a) he’s 9, (b) the teacher did sent us a reminder yesterday, and (c) we spent last night and this AM dealing with DD’s prep for this week’s math unit test, after her glorious 46 on the last unit test. AND it’s “teacher appreciation week” and he was told to remember a bunch of stuff for that (which is what I remembered to remind him about this morning). So I really do consider this our fail more than his.

  166. I’m late to this, but MBT– I consider the lawnmower thing a stroke of genius, too!

    And LFB– I tend to look at things the same way, and I love that shift. I’m going to tuck that away in my back pocket for when I’m stressed, “Hey, look what I pulled off!” sounds so much better.

Comments are closed.