Crabby Old Lady Cuts Loose
Happy New Year 2020

A TGB READER STORY: Rings and Things

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.

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OMG, my doppelgänger! I’m suddenly transported back almost 60 years to my date for my senior prom—the senior class president! I wasn’t unpopular, I was just invisible, and the Brenda’s in my world were as amazed as I. Thanks, Kay, for sharing your memories and reviving mine.

Love this! Back to high school in the blink of an eye.

This was a fun, sweet read. Darn that brassy Brenda, but I still laughed aloud when she crowed about you "going steady with your uncle"! Haha :)

You were lucky, Ronni!
Your conquest rarely happens, and the "mean" gals stay in control for a while more!
But, happy new year; and in high school I did not even attend the dance.

Emiel and others: This post is labeled A TGB Reader Story and includes the byline, Kay Richard. She is the author of this story, not me.

That was a great story and educative for me. Being French I attended high school in France. High schools here must be fun, unless you are not part of the “in” group I guess. In France it’s just about learning; going to school from 8:30 am or so to 6 pm and a lot of home work afterwards. No dances like homecoming, or prom no high school sports team, no parade or school bands, just studying. Learning French plus 2 foreign languages or Latin and Greek (English was my 3rd language.) Here it sounds like such a neat experience that people still have “reunions” years later and know their classmates – we don’t have that in France, no high-school tee shirts either – just heavy, rigid education. But then when I wanted to send my daughter to a French high school in Paris they required a 2-year remedial since she came from the US and education here is not considered as complete and they said she would not be able to follow the levels there. But it sure sounds like it was a fun experience in the US, sorry I missed that!

Ahh, this one hit home.

You nailed it. No. you killed it!

The girl who made my and my best friend miserable throughout seventh grade now lives within blocks of me.

Imagine my surprise to see her all these years later. I knew it was her by her marching style walk.

She was with a friend.

By friend, I mean"her latest sycophant."

It was raining like Satan's flame thrower that day. The kind of downpour that creates ponds on pavement.

I was driving my new Acura.

I had a flashback to that girl bullying her way through life.

So, yeah, I accidentally unleashed my new wheels on "Walden Pond" and gave her a surprise shower.

Am I sorry?


Canadian says sorry for leaving out a word or two.

I meant to say she made me and my friend's seventh grade lives miserable.

It's NY Eve in Clearwater.

Thank you Kay Richard, for your piece.

Happy New Year everyone,

I really wanted to know what happened afterwards. Have Kay and Joey been together for the last few decades or did he dump her and end up with the dreadful Brenda anyway?

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