Friday, June 20, 2008

lack of photographic evidence...

When I started 7th grade in a new school with no one I knew I was a little intimidated. It may come as a surprise to you but as a child and young teen I was pretty shy. I was uncomfortable around everyone, I was awkward, I was nerdy and I was a bit immature.

I was also very small. When I started Jr. High school I looked more like I should have been entering the 4th or 5th grade...

It was tough for me to make my way. I was surrounded by kids that towered over me (and girls that were actually wearing bras out of necessity). Times were tough. The first several months I remember crying at home after school from the weight of it all. Anyone who says their teenage years were the best of their life? I feel a mix of awe and pity for them.

I wasn't really bullied. I wasn't really picked on. Sure the occasional odd comment was made about how small, meek, odd, nerdy or little girlish I was... but more often than not what happened was so much worse.

I was ignored.

Other than that school was pretty normal. I came and went, I did my work, I had school photos, I went to school dances and stood by myself or with an equally ignored friend. I made it through. I survived. Even with my odd overly colorful way of dressing mixing garish pinks with bright blues, or yellows and oranges, with big earrings and topping it off with the dorkiest glasses that were available at the time, I managed to survive 7th and even 8th grade.

By the time the end of my 8th grade year came I'd even managed to make a few friends through my drama and creative writing classes. I was just starting to feel like things had improved. I was thinking that next year as Freshman in a new school I could be a new me. More confident. Memorable. I was almost looking forward to coming back after summer vacation... until the school yearbooks came out.

There on Page 24 which was filled with some of the tallest bangs I've ever seen, some awkward smiles and one rock star in the making, between the popular blond girl and the cocky preppy boy where my picture should have been, there was nothing.

Not a picture.

Not a name.

Not a "student not shown".

Nothing.

***

This post was written in response to David's question on Weekend Wandering; What was your worst camera nightmare?

I realize it probably had very little to do with the camera and a lot more to do with the yearbook editing... but it all ended in a missing photo so I think it fits.

If you'd like to answer this in a post on your own blog please link back to his Weekend Wandering post and leave him a comment to let him know. While you letting people know... leave me a comment to let me know as well... I'd love to see what you have to say.

24 comments:

CamiKaos said...

PS: This isn't the post I was working on either... look here next week for Cami's 50 favorite Blues tunes - xoxo

Jo Beaufoix said...

Blimey Cami that's awful, I bet your little heart nearly broke. It must have felt like you'd been scrubbed out of everyones memory. Did you say anything? Did your friends notice you weren't there? I mean, I suppose that would have helped a bit, to be noticed not being there, at last you'd know you were missed. Did it effect your start at high school?

God we're so vulnerable when we're kids aren't we? I had a really tough time to the point I didn't want to be here, but like you I kept kind of quiet and got on with it and was overlooked.

It makes me so much more aware of keeping an eye on Misses E and M and making sure they can talk to me and know how loved they are. Miss E especially is so like me it scares me sometimes.

Big hugs to you gorgeous, and blimey Cami, look at you now.
xx

Bubblewench said...

Those years sucked monkey nuts for me too.. but THAT BLOWS. I'm sorry that happened to you!! I never knew..

You should make your OWN yearbook.. ya know.. the life & trials of CK... everyone can send photos of themselves.. etc. Could be fun!

belle said...

That's awful, Cami! You're poor fragile self esteem must have been shredded! But as Jo said, look at you now. Methinks the girl done good :)

belle said...

oh bollox, I do know where apostrophes go. I don't know how that one slipped in. sorry.

Lilacspecs said...

Oy, that's really harsh, especially for a teenager. I was on year book staff in my highschool and I totally would've kicked someone's ass for doing that to someone as cool as you!

ImPerceptible said...

Ouch. My heart hurts for the you back then. But it doesn't hurt for the you now. Because now you're awesome and cool and beautiful and doing your thing and I might be jealous.

Jamie said...

And here I would have given anything to be ignored throughout jr. high and high school. I hope that somebody noticed the problem with the yearbook and did something to help you.

Denise said...

I have to say I agree with Jamie. I would have LOVED to go unnoticed in middle school up to and including having my photo edited OUT of the yearbook (it was BAD, so very bad). As it were I got way to much attention and not the good kind.

sybil law said...

Now that is just sad.
xoxo

missburrows said...

Whomever took the photo obviously fell in love with it and refused to give it back.

Shall we do a re-shoot? In full 80's garb?? Then we can make a book like bubblewench suggests! Blogger Class of 2008!

mielikki said...

I like BW's idea as well. Who needs yearbooks, anyhow....
and I bet, somewhere, there is still some yearbook dork mooning over your picture.

donmillsdiva said...

This was heartbreaking - I wish I coudl tell thaht little girl how special she is...

holly said...

this is quite horrible, really, BUT i soooo wish *mine* would have been left out! jeeeeezus what a horror shot that was. seriously.

but look at your gorgeous self now! you are quite clearly *there*. :) :) :)

and that's way more important. right?

stu said...

That sucks.

I had a friend who wishes he had been left out of the yearbook one year; His name is Brian and they put him in as "Brain". That nickname stuck like glue for years.

-Stu

CamiKaos said...

Oh yes people I did survive, and thank you for all your concern. I think everything that occurs in the teenage years is painful and traumatic. And at the time it made my heart ache... but now.. I really am fine with it. I went through a very long awkward phase... I'm happy with who I am now.

xoxox and real love for those that had it worse than I did in school...

david mcmahon said...

Cami,

The people who edited that yearbook were the ones who lost out.

Not you, my friend. Not you. You lost nothing.

We, the blog fraternity, gained you instead.

Thank you for being such a wonderful writer and an inspiration person.

Coach said...

I totally relate. Unfortunately. What didn't kill us only makes us stronger - and more empathetic.

stephanie (bad mom) said...

I am so sorry for that.

My Literature students were discussing the difference between being hated and ignored (talking about Daisy staying with Tom in The Great Gatsby). Everyone said they would rather be hated, because then you at least know people are thinking of you...

Hilary said...

Well-told.. the emotion came through loud and clear. It's amazing how those days still affect us.. haunt us.. shape us. I too would have preferred to be ignored.. yet here we all are... out there.. blogging.

Here via David's blog.

Lehners in France said...

Gosh I feel for you. I was a geek in big brown glasses, not great at anything but going un noticed. I hope you appeared in the next year book as your confident new invention. Debs x
P.S. Here via David

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

Oh, my! That had to be awful! When we're in the midst of teen-angst anyway, even the slightest thing (which the omission of your photo was not), can cause grief.

At that age, I was usually just the girl in the background; against the wall, invisible. I somehow turned into a better-to-be-laughed-at-than-ignored old woman -- and I had a lot of fun along the way.
I got here through David's Post of the Day. I'll be back.

CrazyCath said...

Oh Cami that is dreadful! I can't imagine how utterly rejected and ignored you must have felt.

Know that you are not ignored now. And I wonder what they are all doing... ;0)

Over from David's. Great post and it does fit the theme (for me anyway).

SuperCoolMom said...

Ah yes. Junior high is also a lovely place when you weigh 110 and are a 5'10" 12 year old girl. Dances were a highlight. As were the nicknames. You can imagine.

(My first day of 6th grade at a new school in the middle of the year, I walked up to the line of kids waiting by the classroom door. A groan went up, "Oh, we have a sub today!" Such a nice way to begin.)

David sent me.