Sunday, November 26, 2006

In either high school or junior high, I adored this poem. Can't remember which.

What a wonderful bird the frog are!
When he stand he sit almost;
When he hop he fly almost.
He ain't got no sense hardly;
He ain't got no tail hardly either.
When he sit, he sit on what he ain't got almost.


I have not thought about it once in probably fifteen years. Came across it online tonight, and it brought a wide grin to my face. Then it occurred to me that other people may have seen my delight in these kinds of things a little odd.

I've never been one of those people who are wired to modify their behavior based on what other people think. Even in junior high, that most agonizingly self-conscious period, I shrugged if something that intrigued me was considered "uncool."

I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure this poem would have been one of those things. I also wrote long notes to my friends in rhyme, had a pet pink JcPenney's shopping bag (rolled into a poofy ball) named "Durf," and made knotted friendship bracelets from embroidery floss a full year before the craze hit my school (which made me uncool at the time, but cool a year later when I was an expert and could design my own patterns).

I remember losing a friend in eighth grade because I refused to say that her bulimic vomiting and dare-based makeouts with Popular Boys was okay with me. I wouldn't answer questions about my sexual experiences (in seventh grade!) at a slumber party. Uncool. I kept on being a girl scout through high school despite its obvious uncoolness. I never did curl my bangs into an enormous Hairspray Cliff. And I didn't care if the popular people liked me or not, which was perhaps the greatest Uncool of them all.

Other than being smart and a girl.

...but I had a happy adolescence. I enjoyed my friends, had my secret crushes, excelled in band (flute) and academics and attended various gifted enrichment programs in the summer. A few guys liked me, and I generally didn't like them back, with one important exception who's downstairs sleeping in my bed right now. And I emerged from adolescence pretty much unscathed.

And really, I still like that silly poem.


Angie Says:

8:58 PM

Oh, I was so uncool, too, but I wish that I hadn't cared about it. Obviously, I didn't change things to try to be cool, but tried to hide my most uncool things (such as girl scouts=swim team.) I actually think that shows how much cooler you were than me, to not care.

Susie Says:

3:51 AM

I've been here reading a few posts, smiling and yes, crying. Congrats on the walking. You are a good writer, I can feel her determination, your admiration :) And I LOVE the poem here, had never heard it before! I'll be taking that with me. I hope my daughter has the courage and confidence to be uncool. I think yours will.

KimS Says:

10:44 PM

I hope she does, Susie! (Honored to have had you visit, by the way! I need to change my settings so that I get emailed when people comment here...)

Ang, I think you were extremely cool. Everybody had their insecurities in high school-- including me. Isn't it good to be firmly entrenched on the other side of adolescence? I'd never want to relive it.

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