Really, unless you can get Martha Stewart to come here and do the laundry, nothing you can do will make getting our Mt. Everest of dirty clothes clean any more pleasant for me. You can buy the biggest washer and dryer in the world but that just means that I have to fold gargantuan loads and then put it all away.
Lauren changes clothes frequently and then I find little piles of shirts and pants on the floor of her closet and I have no idea whether they are clean or dirty so I wash everything just to be safe.
Most of this is my fault. The offspring wear clean pajamas every night. Everyone uses a new towel every day. I seldom wear anything twice.
I know, I suck. I wouldn’t blame any of you for never clicking on my blog again. But I’m glad you did because today we are piling into Marty McFly’s Delorean and heading back in time to 8th grade (oh how I used to ♥ you Michael J. Fox).
Now that I’ve been working with 8th graders on a daily basis, I can’t help but compare how different things were back in 1980/1981 when I was in 8th grade. And if you were not even born in 1980/1981 this post probably won’t make any sense and you should just skip it. Oh, and I hate you.
* 8th grade girls in 2009 like to sing really loud, especially any song by Taylor Swift.
When I was in 8th grade, we sang songs by Air Supply, Pat Benatar, and Queen.
* If Taylor Swift is the official singer of the 8th grade, The Twilight books are the official book series.
When I was in 8th grade, Flowers In The Attic by V.C. Andrews was the most popular book in school. Cathy and Chris! Locked in the attic! Evil grandmother! Incest! A daring escape! I spent eight hours one Saturday reading Flowers in the Attic from start to finish (and of course I also read Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, and Seeds of Yesterday).
* 8th grade girls in 2009 love their Uggs. I wonder what they will think when they notice me wearing my fake Uggs from Target (henceforth known as Fugg’s).
When I was in 8th grade Nikes were a really big deal. I had a royal blue pair with a yellow swoosh and I thought they were the coolest tennis shoes I’d ever owned.
* 8th grade students are so technologically advanced they could undoubtedly lock me out of my own cell phone, computer, and Facebook account.
When I was in 8th grade we had to use pay phones to call our parents, consult an encyclopedia to look shit up, and use a fucking abacus to help us with our math (after walking five miles to school, in the snow, while being chased by rabid dogs!).
Anyway, enough with the comparisons.
Now that the students are starting to get to know me, they’re getting friendly. They know that I carry a big tote bag with me and that I always have band-aids, extra pencils, and hand sanitizer. I also gave my 7th hour class Blow Pop suckers so I’m probably their favorite person in the whole school. I think I am also becoming the de facto guidance counselor for all boy-related problems. The following is an actual conversation I had with an 8th grade girl the other day (all names have been changed to protect the identity of innocent school children. And me. Mostly me. So I don’t get canned, you know).
Setting: Study Hall
Her: Miss Tracey?
Her: I have a problem
Me: Sure, what is it? Do you need help with your homework? Do you want me to help you review for the science test?
Her: No, I actually need advice about something. You see, I like “Billy” but so does “Susie” and if I go out with “Billy” then “Susie” will beat me up so now I’m trying to decide if I should just get back together with my old boyfriend. Or his brother. I can date either one of them.
Against my better judgment I asked for some clarification on a few things.
Me: Who do you really want to go out with.
Me: Does “Billy” even want to go out with “Susie?”
Me: Then he’s fair game.
Her: Thanks Miss Tracey!
Me: You’re welcome!
Really I’m just being helpful. It’s in my job description. Probably.
Shortly after this conversation another girl came to me with a similar dilemma.
Her: Miss Tracey, I really like “Bobby” but when I said hi to him in the hall just
now he ignored me.
Me: I’m going to give you some important advice. From now on, I want you to ignore
“Bobby”. Pretend that from now on, “Bobby” is invisible. Got it?
Me: Seriously, this is how you land yourself a boyfriend.
I am now drawing a small crowd of 8th grade girls. I swear they have bionic ears or something.
Her: But if I ignore him, he’ll think I’m being mean or that I don’t like him!
Me: No he won’t.
Her: But Miss Tracey, what if you’re wrong?
Me: I’m not. But you have to trust me on this. If there is one thing I can teach
you this year it’s that you must ignore the boy you like. Boys are all about
the chase. Never forget this.
Her: Okay Miss Tracey. I promise.
I think I am qualified to dispense this advice considering I managed, through a series of small yet manipulative maneuvers, to land Dave back in 1992(actually I got drunk on keg beer and let him spend the night way, way, way before we’d gone on ten dates. Or any dates actually. Or quite possibly it was the night we met. Huh. I’m not sure I should be dispensing romantic advice at all but whatever). Then, after a few years, I managed to convince Dave to buy me a shiny diamond ring (that I picked out) and marry me. And we’ve been together ever since so, hello? I am kind of a romance expert.
And who are we kidding? School is all about the four R’s: Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and Romance. Duh. Just being helpful again. I wonder if the school district realizes just how much I am going “above and beyond” my regular responsibilities?
I did manage to help another student make a decision that did not involve boys. The students are studying memoirs and were instructed to select a book from a list of acceptable titles.
Her: Miss Tracey, can you help me pick out a book?
Me: Sure, I love to read. I especially love memoirs.
Her: Well, I’ve picked out this memoir about ADHD and this one about a teen
model but I still need to choose one more from this list.
Me: Oooooh, Stori Telling, by Tori Spelling. You have got to read this one.
Wait a minute. Why the hell is this title on the accepted memoir list? And to clarify, I only went oooooh because I want to read the memoir so I can make fun of it.
Her: *blank stare*
Me: You know who Tori Spelling is, don’t you?
Her: *blank stare*
Me: Beverly Hills, 90210? Brenda and Brandon? Kelly and Donna?
Her: *blank stare*
Me: Oh my God, The Peach Pit?
Her: *blank stare*
Me: Okay, okay, how about this? Aaron Spelling, his wife Candy, they lived in a
big mansion with a separate room just for wrapping presents…..
Her: Who is Aaron Spelling?
Me: He’s Tori’s dad. And he was the producer of The Love Boat and Fantasy Island!
Her: *blank stare* Are there any other books Miss Tracey?
Me: Yes, yes there are.
Okay so maybe that whole exchange did make me feel old (and I actually do plan on grabbing Stori Telling out of the big box of books so I can read it on my lunch hour and then make fun of it).
Then again, Tori Spelling is a published author and I’m not.
Ditto Lauren Conrad of The Hills.
So basically I am an old, unpublished author.
But the 8th graders? They don’t care about that.
They like me anyway.