Monday, May 16, 2011
Teen Ager, by Gail Earl
In 1968 my family moved from Michigan to Santa Monica, California. I had one year of high school left. We loved living right on the beach and spent many hours riding the surf and enjoying the beautiful weather. I remember the anxiety of starting back to a school filled with strangers. I didn't know a soul and didn't really go out of my way to initiate any friendships.
My boyfriend then, (husband now) moved out here with my family, so I had no desire to meet new people. He and I were in our own little world. I tried to be invisible at school. Of course, being "cool" was most important at the age of 17. I had always believed that I was cool, but none of these new people knew that yet. There was a very fine line between being cool and being invisible. I never did anything to draw attention to myself.
One day while waiting in the hall for a class to end, I put my finger in into a little hole in the locker I was leaning on. I'm not really sure what that hole is for, but some lockers had them punched out and some didn't. As all the students gathered in the hall talking to their friends, I amused myself by hanging my finger in this little hole. When the class emerged from inside the classroom and my classmates began to enter the room, I discovered that my finger was stuck. Not just a little stuck but really stuck. My finger was definitely not coming out. Now this is not good for an invisible girl!
The teacher came out and tried to help but had no luck. He called the janitor who greased up my hand but also had no success.
Well as you can imagine, a crowd gathered and everyone watched as I stood there humiliated as students laughed and gathered their friends to come and see the girl with her finger stuck inside the locker.
After what seemed like forever, they ( 2 rent-a-cops and a janitor) decided that the only solution was to take the locker off the wall and go to the nurses office to work on my finger some more. Of course, one locker would have been too simple. This locker was attached to a row of six lockers. So off the wall they came and I had to walk through the history building and down through the center quad, where all students gather and socialize.
Believe me, heads turn when they see a row of lockers being carried carefully so as not to injure an already swollen red finger.
Once we were in the nurse’s office, they iced the hand on the outside and greased the finger on the inside of the locker. Eventually my hand was free from the row of lockers.
So much for being invisible. From that day on, I'm afraid that everyone in the school knew just how cool I really was!