Junior High and Anthony Michael Hall

I was recently party to a conversation with regards to junior high school. A woman I know was discussing the school we both attended, and she stated “Those were still the best days of my life”. People, I was astonished. Junior high? I myself was so miserable in junior high that I almost can’t comprehend how someone wouldn’t be, let alone being able to think of that time with nostalgia and fondness. Let alone saying that your junior high years were the best days of your life. When I close my eyes I can picture myself perfectly, with a late-eighties spiral perm and teased bangs, tight rolled-up jeans and a tucked-in Depeche Mode t-shirt, and glasses that I refused to wear which subsequently caused me to wander around in semi-blindness until I obtained contacts at the age of fifteen. I can still feel the struggle of fitting in, the difficulty in figuring out who I was, and the almost total lack of self-esteem.

Later, I slowly started to figure out who I was and what I wanted. I can see myself evolving as a teenager, losing the rolled-up jeans, but not, sadly, the perm. I picture myself in a black babydoll dress, tights, and strangely, army boots, which would later make way for short plaid skirts and turtlenecks. My goal in life was to be a concert pianist, and then it was to be a great theatre actress. In grade twelve I was introduced to and fell in love with calculus, which shaped the rest of my academic career. Just writing that makes me feel like Anthony Michael Hall in The Breakfast Club (“and in the physics club we talk about physics”). Maybe I should rename this blog “Nerdy Girl in a Boy House”.

I have never been happier than I am right now. I love my husband, my children, my dog. I’ve never been so happy with my physical appearance, despite the fact that my varicose veins make my legs look like they are being strangled by boa constrictors and a hundred fine lines have taken up residence under my eyes. I’m happy and content with my life, but never at any point did I think I would be where I am right now. I, who in grad school had a poster of the feminist manifesto on my office wall beside a picture of a fish on a bicycle, am a housewife.

It’s not like I don’t have some internal struggle with this, especially when I hear about old colleagues achieving success and traveling around the world, or when the boys question me about my pre-partum life. But at the end of the day, this is where I want to be.


  1. OH I KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN. This is definitely the happiest time in my life – high school was like some weird Pit O’ Misery where nothing I did worked. So I meet these “high school was the happiest time of my life!” people and wonder who they ARE.

Leave a Reply