By Jack H. Smith
Ledger Publisher 

COLUMN: Fashion Show Blues


August 15, 2018

With the first day of school just around the corner, families have been extremely busy with school shopping, getting supplies, and trying to get children into a much better sleep schedule. Each year around this time it always reminds me of the first day of school growing up and so many memories, even if they were not that great.

When I was in kindergarten I was one of those kids that not only didn’t want to go to school, but would throw an absolute tantrum as I squeezed my mom’s leg in pure terror of what awaited me in the classroom. To this day I always marvel that 99 percent of the kids are not like this, but I guess some are better adjusted for school than others.

Once I shook the fears, the first day of school for the remainder of grade school was an exciting experience. It was like going to bed on Christmas Eve waiting to see old friends, make new ones, and all the joys of recess. This would always wear off after about the first week, but it still was a magical feeling.

Going into my seventh grade year and the first year of junior high, I was excited, yet very nervous. I had moved during the summer and would not go to school with any of the kids from my old school, but luckily had a cousin and a few other kids I knew which I hoped would make things easier.

Little did I know that junior high was an absolute fashion show. It did not matter how nice you were, the moment people walked into the school they were judged based on their clothes. Prior to the first day in eighth and ninth grade I begged my mom to get me the nicest shoes possible. She finally caved in and while thankful at the time, looking back on it now I can’t believe how stupid people act in junior high. They say those are the most awkward years one can live through and this certainly was the case. I would rather have all of my teeth pulled while listening to Cher than have to experience those years again.

After the rough junior high years, I was so excited to get to high school where I thought things would be a little bit different. Excited for a new change, I actually was a happy participant in school shopping. In years past, I wanted to try on each and every outfit about as much as I wanted to leave my mom’s leg going into kindergarten, but this year I tried on just about everything.

I was very pleased with what we had purchased and I dressed about as nice as a 10th grader could --- I looked sharp, but boy was that a bad idea. From the moment I hit the bus stop I was made fun with comments like “what time are you going to a funeral” and “did you let your mom dress you”? That entire first day I just wanted to get home, rip the clothes off and burn them. Kids can be so mean.

Prior to my junior year, I didn’t really care as much about what I wore, and was a little more excited to go to the first day of high school. I really didn’t get anything fancy when we went school shopping and for the first day picked a polo shirt with a nice pair of jeans. I really didn’t see a problem with wearing a pink shirt, but this was the 1990’s in Wyoming and it was a little bit different then the current culture where there are “real men where pink” events. I was once again ridiculed from the time I arrived at the bus stop till the day was over.

By the time my senior year arrived, I had a great group of friends, and could really care less what I wore. I went the first day in a “Pearl Jam” t-shirt, plaid shorts, and Doc Marten boots. Nobody said a word. Had I have known this I would have dressed like this more often.

I’m sure my kids are starting to get excited for school, but I may have to check their outfits before they leave the house. I wouldn’t want them to come home upset.


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