By Kay Richard
A couple of months after sidling through the doors of the local junior high school, I was still trying to remain as inconspicuous as possible. My locker was side-by-side with Brenda, an eighth grader known mostly for her sarcasm and lack of empathy.
Always trying to fit it with my peers, I begged for sling back loafers to replace my Buster Brown lace ups, headbands instead of barrettes and pierced ears (no!).
For Christmas that year, I was given a white, three-ring binder with the profiles of the Fab Four on the cover. Suddenly, I was the envy of all the girls including Brassy Brenda. I sashayed the halls in my fabulousness.
It was short-lived, however, when I made a rookie faux pas. I’d been noticing that many of the cool girls were suddenly sporting a tie clip on their blouses. Ever wanting to join their ranks, I stopped at my Aunt Evelyn’s house on the way home from school and asked if my uncle might have an old tie clip I could have.
The next morning I arrived at my locker wearing Uncle Nere’s gold and rhinestone tie clip on my Peter Pan collar. Brassy Brenda was on me like a magnet to the North Pole.
“Whose tie clip is that”?
I turned and smugly replied, “I got it from my uncle”.
She crowed, turned to Cruel Candy on her right and said, “She’s going steady with her uncle”! They walked off in hysterics as I tore the tip clip off and ran to the bathroom where I spent homeroom period getting my tears under control.
The following spring, the school hosted a Friday evening dance in the cafeteria. Patty and I were sitting on the sidelines when the cutest boy in all of the junior high schools in central Massachusetts asked me to dance to the Beatles song, If I Fell.
I saw Brenda’s jaw drop into her glass of punch as Joey and I swayed to the music and when school convened on Monday, I was sporting his black onyx ring on a chain around my neck.
[EDITORIAL NOTE: Reader's stories are welcome. If you have not published here or not recently, please read submission instructions. Only one story per email.]