It was 1981.
It was the year of MTV music channel, Charles and Diana and Bucks Fizz.
It was also the year that we moved house. So for me, it was shit.
I was struggling before we moved and being in a strange house and having to start a new school where I knew NOBODY made matters one hundred times worse. One of the memories that stands out is having to stand in the middle of the classroom while the entire class were forced to introduce themselves to me one by one. This was the idea of my new class teacher, a frizzy haired man beast who quite frankly was a sadist. I stared at my trainers and turned a non-flattering shade of crimson..
I just wanted the ground to swallow me up.
Or for the fire bell to go off.
Neither happened because God apparently hates me.
Now, at school when it came to girls, there were Weirdos, Normals and Bitches. Weirdo’s sometimes mixed with Normals but NEVER with Bitches. Bitches would mix with Normals if there was anything in it for them, like copying homework.
One of the Normals invited me to her party. She lived just across from us. I didn’t want to go but Mum felt that I needed to make some friends so she practically frogmarched me across to the girl’s house.
The party was in the garage. Yep, I wondered about that too but in hindsight when faced with a load of pre-teen girls cart-wheeling perilously close to your Wedgwood collection you kind of see the brains behind the plan.
My heart sank when I saw some Bitches had also been invited. They were all wearing satin trousers because that was the fashion of the year. The girl who’s party it was, was also wearing satin trousers. In contrast Mum had picked out for me (her TOMBOY daughter) a hideous skirt teamed with yellow top and cardi combo. I felt about as comfortable as fly in it’s final death throes after being Nippon’d!
ALL the girls had long hair. There was a sameness about them. Like sheep. No originality, you know? I envied their hair though because Mum had yet to allow me to grow mine. My hair was short (ish) with one side that permanently stuck out.
It’s not that I wanted to look like they did because I don’t do fashion. I just wanted to wear what I felt comfortable in which were my brother’s tops and a pair of old jeans but Gestapo trained Mum was having none of my ‘crap’.
So skirt and cardigan it was.
The girl’s mum tried to get me to join in with dancing and stuff but I just stared at her vacantly while my brain short-circuited so she gave up sodded off back inside, no doubt to wonder what her daughter was doing inviting such a misfit to her party.
I was the life and soul that day. Not.
I couldn’t dance (not that I can anyway)
I couldn’t eat.
I don’t think I actually moved the entire time I was there.
I didn’t drink in order to avoid having to ask where the loo was.
I couldn’t even enjoy the music.. mainly because it was naff party type music, therefore shite.
So it wasn’t the best experience of my life..
Needless to say the Bitches threw some hostile looks my way whilst having a giggle over my clothes.
I secretly hoped one (or all) would choke to death on a sausage roll.
The thought that’s haunted me all these years is why I didn’t just go home? I could see my house. It was literally yards away from where I was standing. I could see my mum having a fag in the back garden. She was enjoying the sunshine oblivious to the fact that her daughter was in some kind of satin infused HELL.
All I had to do was propel myself forwards but I couldn’t move..
Thing is, I was brought up to be polite and by the age of 11 my manners were instilled and I think that’s why I couldn’t just walk off. Excusing myself would involve having to speak and I was struggling to breathe, let alone speak, so I just stood there like an idiot. When the first parent turned up, the girl’s mum took pity on me and told me I could go if I liked..
If I liked?
I was through that garage door quicker than a greyhound out of a trap!
Back to my home.
Back to my sanctuary.
To most little girls a party is the thing of dreams. A chance to dress up and be pretty. To me, it was something to endure. AN ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE!
Mum never knew the real me. Sadly, she died not knowing. She saw extreme shyness, a loner and a girl who was never fully present but had no idea of what was really happening because I struggled to verbalise it. I was one of MANY girls from my generation who were misunderstood and suffered as a consequence. Maybe that’s you too?
46 years later, I know who I am and I’m proud of little me for hanging in there that day and not puking all over the garage floor. GO ME!
As for the Bitches..
“SEE YOU IN THE AFTERLIFE, GALS!”
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