i was recently reading some snark on the internet, and came across an author lambasting someone for throwing a party for her daughter's sixth-grade graduation, "because that's a thing."
but people - it is a thing.
where i grew up, sixth grade was when you left elementary school and went on to middle school. we had a big assembly, they made us t-shirts with our graduating year printed really big on them and it had all of our signatures on it. i think they played pomp and circumstance?
oh, it was most definitely thing (although, to be fair, my parents didn't throw me a party. it was a thing but not that big of a thing).
and so, for me at least, i left the only school i had ever known. i went from the itty bitty age of five to the huge age of eleven in that building. the teachers in that building had known me for the majority of my life (yes, at one point, six years was the majority of my life). and then i went to a whole new school. in a new town. with new teachers. and hundreds of students, all my age. i mean, that is some scary shit right there. life gets real, real quick, when you leave the sixth grade. you start to understand the word "change"in a whole new way.
and so, middle school. can we just, for a minute, talk minute school? damn. i mean, one day i'm one of, let's say sixty eleven-year-olds, and there's five-year-olds and eight-year-olds, playgrounds, snacks. and all of a sudden you walk into a new school where boys pants sag and bells ring and people pass notes and you have a locker and omg some people your age even smoke! cigarettes!
and the tits. boy oh boy, let's not forget those. they. are. everywhere. did you know some people are a c-cup in seventh grade? i know. i saw it with my own two eyes. girls are wearing v-neck shirts and push-up bras and cleavage lines are out the wazoo. if someone asked me to sum up middle school in word, it would be:
everywhere. all the time. everywhere i looked, except when i looked straight down, naturally.
and to top this all off - all these new kids with new smells and strange hair gels and revealing clothing and painfully obvious different life goals than the ones i was setting - to make it worse, someone comes up with the brilliant idea of making us all change in front of one another every day. i mean, what sick bastard thought of that.
"hey - i know - let's take kids whose bodies are totally changing and on the edge of betrayal at any given moment (i'm looking at you boners), and have them strip down to their skivvies in front of each other. i think they'll really love it and feel totally comfortable with it."
the fuck?! who on god's green earth thought of this? disgusting. i mean, can you imagine being a boy in middle school? don't stand up too fast or look down the hallway suddenly or speak up in class. you are constantly on the verge of getting a boner or having your voice crack. constantly! it's like living with a terrorist in your body - always on guard! red alert at all times!
although, i will say this last thing about the tits: in all of that changing and undressing and redressing i came to realize that many a tit was helped by many a foam pad. and i felt a little bit better about what i was (not) working with. perhaps those sickos realized that to equalize us, to make us see that underneath it all we were really quite similar with insecurities and victories alike, they had to get us in our underwear. kind of like prison guards, or a dictator. because after all that, after seeing how it all shakes out, after knowing that the prettiest girl in school also just got stretch marks on her thighs in seventh (thanks for that one world!), i can sum up middle school in a few more choice words:
tits. or at the very least, the appearance of tits.
so yes. i guess what i'm trying to say is that graduating from sixth grade is a thing. it is very much a thing.