...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

like a high school keg party, but in your driveway

i realize this is going to come as a huge surprise to all of you, but i wasn't a member of the popular clique when i was in high school.

i know. shocking, isn't it?! oh, sure. the kick ass rack, still in its adolescent stages, held it's allure, but trust me. i was very much the female equivalent of
brian johnson.

("well, in physics we...we talk about physics, properties of physics.")

i was a brain/basket case always on the cusp of being kinda cool, just a hair away from legitimately hanging with the princesses and the jocks, but spending most of my time with the criminals (who were the most fun despite the anxiety i had about associating with them then).

being popular wasn't really my goal for high school. in all honesty, it was simply easier being the brain/basket case.

easy enough that i've opted to retain that title in my adulthood.

("uh, excuse me, fellas? i think we should just write our papers.")

however, growing up and becoming an adult doesn't mean you can leave the clique arena behind. i realized this week that, for me, it has simply transferred from high school to my happy little cul-de-sac.

the arrival of spring means my neighbors have emerged from the caves they nested in all winter. after a few deep stretches and belly scratching (god please, let that have just been a belly scratch hairy neighbor did a second ago...) the street transforms into the love boat and the neighborhood cruise director is already hosting lots of gatherings on the lido deck that is his driveway. garage doors stay up, lawn chairs pop open, perhaps a boom box is cranked, and beer flows as the circle of mischievous jocks and princesses partake until the sun sets. they talk loudly as they get a tiny bit drunk, and perhaps remember to pay half-eyed attention to their future criminals as the younger set wreaks havoc under the street lamps.

and i sit out in my yard (the equivalent of the back row of saws in shop class, let's say) and i watch. because we
don't drink, don't smoke, we were pretty quickly disqualified from the social gatherings within a matter of weeks of moving here. summer nights mean miller time here. drive down our street on trash day and you'll note the players by the empty beer cases tucked jauntily in the recycle bins. apparently, we don't look like the millers.

(an aside - i'm not against drinking. i quite enjoy a drink here and there. but i have been known to then have quite a lot of sex after having quite a lot to drink, so i save these periods for special occasions such as birthdays and holidays and not spread it around the neighborhood, all willy nilly like)

("yeah, but it was only...was only because i didn't want her to know that i was a virgin, okay?")

tonight's gathering included the following members of our neighborhood clique -

  • the foreign exchange student - years here, but still with the distinct yet unplaceable accent. a laugher, the foreign exchange student is always willingly accepted into the fold because you just assume that in a year, they'll be gone so it doesn't matter what you do to them. this isn't the case in a neighborhood clique, of course, but by now it's accepted.
  • the stuck up girls - these are the girls who were princesses in high school. talking to the serfs was a chore, so they simply didn't. this is a trait they've held onto, so there will be no waving as our minivans pass on the street. should you accidentally make eye contact in the grocery store, let their spontaneous yet intent study of the various cartons of yogurt serve as your signal that there will be absolutely no pretend prattling.
  • the "out to stud" jocks - past their prime, these men will get an occasional wild hair (usually after plenty of miller lite) when someone grabs a basketball or football and they'll kick their bravado into overdrive. loud, never empty-handed (the cooler they carry over serves as an extra chair if need be) and often married to the stuck up girls. after a game or a lull in the conversation, they'll pick on someone who dares drive down the street just a bit too fast.
  • the neighborhood spicoli - his passive/aggressive/passive nature makes him a time bomb of fun. this is someone you only see during the evenings as he saunters out, barefoot and bleary-eyed, from whatever it was he was doing in his basement prior to the siren's call of the first pull-tab.

ok, i admit it. i read this and it sounds like i might be pining to be a member of my suburban neighborhood's popular clique, and sure, for a time, we attempted an allison reynolds makeover so we could comfortably hang with the jocks and the princesses. but we gave up when it became clear some cliques can't be busted up or into. when it was over, we didn't consider each other friends. when you move into a neighborhood, like in high school, you just deal with what you've been given.

and that's fine, because honestly? i'm pretty happy as the dweeb.

("you see us as you want to see us...in the simplest terms, in the most convenient definitions.")

and yes, i just gave myself a smiling, self-congratulatory punch on the arm.

further cementing that dork status, of course.



Blogger Nanette said...

Oh how I love thee!

Let's just pour pixie sticks onto some cap'n crunch and watch it all unfold together.

Shermer High School, Shermer Illinois 60062=best movie evah!


Wednesday, March 28, 2007 2:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A kick-ass dweeb, now there's a cool concept. Evidently I went to the wrong school (and live in the wrong neighborhood).

Would you believe in the stereotype school movie of the century there wasn't nothing like me? Even among misfits I'm a misfit ....

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 7:46:00 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

You have such a girly boner for John Hughes.

I'm trying to figure out where I would fit in this neighborhood clique. I'd probably most like to be the neighborhood Spicoli, but having never smoked pot in my life, I don't think I could pull it off.

Farmer Ted, perhaps.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 9:00:00 AM  
Blogger Desmond Jones said...

(sigh) You remind me so much here of my 10-year high school class reunion. Ten years on, and all the kids who were 'cool' in high school were still playing the same pathetic 'popularity' games they played in school. Except it looks a whole lot different at 28 than it did at 18 (to say nothing of 38 or 48).

In high school, I was some sort of bastard mixture of The Brainiac, fringe jock, and occasional class clown. Which is why I met my wife in college. . .

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 9:43:00 AM  
Blogger Confused Husband said...

at least you venture out to sit on your lawn while they are at the kegger. I'm more of the recluse that don't venture outside unless I'm going somewhere. Or I have a yard to mow or garage to clean. But I also live in aneighborhood that is over run with blue hairs.

I LOVED that movie! Summer on the other hand refuses to watch it. Whats wrong with her?

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 9:58:00 AM  
Blogger Rug's Bug said...

Seriously. Can you, Nanette and I all move to the same little cul-de-sac? We could invite Kelly, but I don't think she'd move. I see fingernail painting, the occasional wine cooler and a stack of magazines.
You're post reminds me so much of my former neighborhood.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger April said...

80s movies still totally kick ass. i don't care what anyone else says!

i think those in the popular cliques are just boring anyway...who wants to be perfect?? Heh. And I don't know why anyone would drink Miller Lite!

And have you seen what he looks like these days???

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger you da mom! said...

i've always been really antisocial, too, and adulthood doesn't change that, i've found.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 1:59:00 PM  
Blogger The Savage said...

I was the guy in highschool that made the guy that ate the bugs for gas money gag....

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 3:19:00 PM  
Blogger Recovering Soul said...

Okay, so I admit (sadly) that I don't know most of the 80's references you made. I think I saw the Breakfast Club once!

But, I also was not much into the high school thing. I was a decent kid, just never really fit into a specific group. I decided not to go to my 10 year reunion a couple of years ago, simply because I didn't care if I saw any of them again.

But in an attempt to fit into THIS cool group I have done some research and found out that I don't want to be a Neo Maxi Zoomdweebi.

So there.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 3:44:00 PM  
Blogger Nature Girl said...

I pretty much keep to myself here in my neighborhood too, I didn't even try to break into the "in" crowd. Now I'm leaving and faced with the whole thing all over again in a new neighborhood. I think I'll keep to myself there too. I guess that will make me the basket case that won't ever let anyone be nice to her.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 5:49:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I make much more of an effort to get along with the neighborhood than I did with my classmates in high school. I have to see these people everyday. I could always slink into a corner and hide in high school.

But you're right... high school never ends.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007 9:49:00 PM  
Blogger Nanette said...

Rug's Bug, that sounds like a great idea...I'll even take to drinking again. :D


Wednesday, March 28, 2007 11:05:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

Nanette - Here's my toss up after telling you I love thee, too. Play along...

Nanette: What are we having?
Me: Just your normal every day lunch.
N: Milk?
Me: Soup...apple juice.
N: I can read. PB & J with the crusts cut off. Well you, this is a very nutritious lunch. All the food groups are represented. Did your mom marry Mr. Rogers?
Me: No, Mr. Johnson.


Nanette: What's that?
Me: Sushi
N: Sushi?
Me: Rice, raw fish and...seaweed.
N: You won't accept a guy's tongue in your mouth and you're gonna eat that?

Yeah. I'm that demented and sad...because it kicks ass!

xi - thanks for stopping through. and i dig you're bucking the stereotype trends!

ftn - sigh. girly boners. i have one right now just typing 'girly boners.' i will say it a lot again. the world has you to thank, farmer ted. as for me, i'd probably be that chick who dated long duck dong. no wanky my girly boner.

desmond - at my ten year reunion, it was like walking back into study hall. same players. same game. i was voted 'most changed' and i thought to myself, "that's not so hard based on what i'm looking at around here." seriously, by the end of the evening, i wanted to go all "carrie" at the prom on most of them. needless to say, i've not been to another gathering.

confused - how in the world has summer gone this long in life and not seen this movie! let alone refusing to watch it! that cinematic masterpiece can be found on most channels on any given weekend, though i don't recommend it that way because of the editing (but damn if i don't sit and watch it when i find it on!)

rug - i have this campaign going on to litter my neighborhood with the blog people i "know" because seriously, i can't take these "real life" people! barring anyone wanting to move here, i'm willing to consider some kind of compound in the wilderness. as long as there are magazines. and ok, some wine coolers. we can be demented and sad together!

april - 80s movies (minus Weird Science...blah!) make me happy. I even can dig that stupid Corey Feldman/Corey Haim vehicle "Dream a Little Dream" if necessary. But give me the Lost Boys (please) instead.

and yeah, maybe give me Anthony Michael Hall these days, too. He looks quite intense. That could be a most interesting thing. You think he'd get irritated if i just quoted his lines?

you da mom - i'm actually more social than i ever was in high school, but considering high school was just four years of me putting in my time between the bell, that's not a big stretch for me!

savage - seriously, what you're telling me here doesn't seem to surprise me in the least. and yet, yeah, i still, you know...

rs - i suppose i can forgive you your age-related misstep here and praise you for having the initiative to go out and pick a great line to reference. if necessary, i'll consider coming to your house and we can do an entire weekend of these classics. i'll allow you to slip in random song quotes if you must. and i would hope you would, just so i can show off my stunning ability at that, too!

stacie - i so understand. but actually, i just realized tonight that i'm not as much of a hideaway on my street as i thought. there is honestly a household of people on the corner we *never* see. or else they are vampires and therefore wait for us to all be asleep.

chag - the only good part about revolving around neighborhood cliques versus high school cliques is the general absence of such petty drama. and no proms. that's a good thing, too.

nanette - i raise a glass of something to the fact that you're willing to get debaucherous! this compound idea gets better and better! Our new neighbors will be yelling "What was that ruckus?"

Us: "what ruckus?"
NN: "we were in our homes, and we heard a ruckus in here."
Us: "Could you describe the ruckus sir?"

sigh...yep...girly boner...

Thursday, March 29, 2007 1:19:00 AM  
Blogger Nanette said...

Demented and sad....but social.

girly boner indeed :D


Thursday, March 29, 2007 3:04:00 AM  
Blogger FTN said...

How dare you insult 'Weird Science' in my presence. Anthony Michael Hall did not make a bad movie in the 80s. And yes, I'm even including the Kenny Rogers classic "Six Pack" in that grouping.

I have spoken. Don't argue.

Thursday, March 29, 2007 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Recovering Soul said...

I feel like such an adult having this conversation.

Thursday, March 29, 2007 11:25:00 AM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

ftn - it's ok, kids. sometimes mommy and daddy fight. and believe me when i say i'll fight about the 'weird science' thing. oh, sure. i'm going to make you think it's just because i did not, in fact, find kelly le brock beautiful. but that's just to stun you. sooner or later, it's time to play the fiddler...

and that's when i mention a little AMH (he digs it when i whisper that in his ear) vehicle called "johnny be good" my friend.

"every college in the country wants johnny. 'cause when he's good he's very very good. and when he's bad he's better."

(this is pretty much what everyone says about me, too. just a little tidbit for you.)

this movie sucked. like "weird science." i'd watch "six pack" 24 hour straight rather than "weird science". someone at CMT is *really* dropping the ball on that.

rs - you will be sucked into the 80s movie cult, my friend. oh, it may be unwillingly at first, but sooner or later, you're going to find yourself on a saturday afternoon, coming across "the breakfast club" on WE or VH1 and you're going to watch it. you'll turn the channel really fast if someone comes in the room, but you'll switch back. i know. trust me.

me or judd nelson will see to it.

Thursday, March 29, 2007 12:09:00 PM  
Blogger Rug's Bug said...

The compound in the wilderness sounds really great. Then no one will look at me funny when my kids act like they've been raised by a pack of wolves.

Thursday, March 29, 2007 9:43:00 PM  
Blogger Edtime Stories said...

wow, I like the entry, but reading through the comments got me all confused.

it is early... I will try again later.

Friday, March 30, 2007 6:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

we totally live next to each other... we don't drink, don't smoke, so we're not the cool ones at Miller Time either. I thought ours were the only asswipe neighbors, but I guess not :)

Saturday, March 31, 2007 2:00:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

rug's - exactly!

i sometimes get "the look" that i like to think means i plucked my kids from aliens and am failing at acclimating them to human society!

ed - good to see you stopped through and at least tried to get through the random madness of the comments! you know i always appreciate you're showing up at the party.

lady c - ah! good to see you back around! i think every neighborhood has them; however, i think i have the largest concentrated population of them right here on my cul-de-sac.

Sunday, April 01, 2007 11:56:00 PM  

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