How are you today? Hope this note finds you well, if not, let me be the first to say I’m happy we are friends 🙂
Today I would like to share with you a moment back in the fall of 1996. I was around fifteen years old about to start another year at Sacred Heart High, a private school in a tinier town. Summer’s kiss still lingered outside the school holding back her natural rival. The pool back then thrived in my neighborhood, only two blocks from our two bedroom single level house. I wanted to sound just like Mariah Carey and the lead singer of Offspring.
The high school’s principal, Mr. M, ex-wrestler/football player who loved his Zubaz in purple and gold. He could be found in the front pew on church days, a brass baritone loudspeaker demanding us to follow suit. A force to be reckoned.
As our role model, he naturally enforced the dress code. We were not subjected to uniforms but to random visual inspections. To judge length of shirt we stretched our arms to the ceiling. Skirts were acceptable if they reached past the fingertips, arms loose at our sides.
I would practice in front of a mirror every morning before the country bus came to pick me up. By hunching both shoulders, most of my wardrobe passed by a cotton thread. It was easy to avoid parents, bus driver and secretary with clever choreography. Never could fool Mr. M.
He caught me on school Spirit Day that year. I wore a white tank top and school girl skirt, a present from my grandmother. The bell had rung and hallway echoed as he approached. “Raise your arms, Anna,” he commanded with no greeting. I hunched my shoulders and zipped up my hoodie. Silence. I didn’t dare remind him that I was supposed to be in algebra taking a test. “Now at your sides.” The space between crushing my lungs.
“Come with me, please.” My eyes burned with shame and embarrassment. I knew what would happen next. My mother would be summoned from her Religion class down the hall and my grandfather called. A double whammy.
Moral of the Story:
Either shrink your arms or carry an extra set of clothing on you at all times 🙂