I’ve had a post wandering around in my head about sharing my current life theme song list (called LTS for short on my iPod). My first thought was to list them all so I could pull out some deep intellectual thoughts and riff for pages and pages on what led me to identify so strongly, then place the songs on the list. Yeah, I opted out of that one to save both of us. Me from getting all squirrelly in reviewing my life up until now, feeling the nostalgic urge to reach for the SoCo (Southern Comfort-the college go to for early morning, deep philosophical moments) and ending up posting an epic, incoherent tell-all. You from having to wrangle through it. Instead, I figure I’ll just post some songs here and there that I love and maybe only mutter a little bit about why.
Below you’ll find Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Want to Be.” The song’s concept has been my theme since sixth grade. In third grade, I was moved into a program dubbed “special projects” that was for test-deemed intelligent kids in my school district. We were kept together as a class from third to sixth. Cliques formed of course and me, being a social lad who could get along with anyone, somehow found myself in the “popular” group by fourth grade. This group was primarily girls from families with money who dressed themselves in designer-brand, preppy gear. I wasn’t from such a family or background, but remember begging my mom to get me the same. On a budget, I ended up with one Izod turtleneck and one pair each of Jordache, Lee and Sasson jeans.
Also as part of this clique, we’d taken to emulating “The Official Preppy Handbook” down to changing our names and talking Valley Girl. By fifth grade, I’d morphed into “Barbi” and had my first boyfriend dictated to be a guy deemed appropriately popular by the group (who I barely knew) versus the guy I liked. By the end of my fifth grade year, I’d had enough of sleepovers where I would lay silently in my bag while the others giggled and chatted about trips (Disney World, Hawaii, Colorado for skiing) that I’d yet to take and weekend events (country clubs, theater, downtown dinners) that I’d never join them in. I’d temporarily lost myself and become an outsider within the world I’d tried so hard to blend.
So, this one is dedicated to my sixth grader who went back to being Barbara and got to go steady with the one she wanted.
They didn’t test until Spring of fourth grade in my school, so I had this experience in fifth grade. I loved learning French and advanced reading and writing, but I, too, hated the social side of it. I was probably the second poorest girl in the class and what little self-confidence I had was sucked out of me. So, I went back to my regular school the next year. I don’t regret it.
Thanks for sharing that Linda. Yes, I can get how the educators probably thought they were doing a good thing with pulling kids into a custom program, but they did nothing for the social blend element. It was awkward cocoon to be placed in, and I sometimes wonder how much better my elementary years would have been if I’d be able to go back to “normal” at my old school.