Tag Archives: high school

I Think I Threw the Presidential Election

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No, not that election. The Eastern High School Class of 1988 presidential race. Like, duh.

I’m not kidding when I say there’s a real chance I may have tainted the results. Add the fact that I was actually one of the candidates, and you’ve got the makings of an Academy Award-winning thriller. Think All The President’s Men plus really big hair, raging hormones, dried out Clearasil acne wipes, and teen angst, and you’ve pretty much got the seedlings of a plot. (O.K., so maybe my story isn’t Oscar-caliber material, but it’s at least BAFTAish, or something the International Indian Film Academy would really like).

Tricky Dick. Image via Flickr.

Anyway, in order to move forward in life we sometimes need to go back. In this case, all the way to 1984, when as an EHS freshman, I ran for and won the Vice Presidential race. Back then, Eastern was the home of the fighting eagles, Future Farmers of America (FFA wants your offspring, especially if Jon Junior knows how to wield a scythe), the Rifle Team, and some sweet hamburger hash made in Home Ec. Serving as Vice President was totally awesome because:

Our lunch ladies loved serving hamburger hash.

1. Similar to other VPs, I didn’t have to actually do anything the entire time I held office. Our class President was the heavy lifter, and as Vice President, I just sat in the lunchroom at after-school meetings, nodded my head strenuously to everything she proposed, and threw back like, three Mountain Dews and five or six Little Debbie snack cakes in an hour. By the time we finished? I cruised out the door in a sugar-coated fog and laid down some serious back handsprings waiting for my mom to pick me up.

2. I trolled around every hallway and corridor in the building without a pass. In high school, the freedom to go where you wanted, when you wanted traded like jail cell currency.  Because I was an elected official, our super-sleuth security guard who busted kids for smoking in the bathroom, cutting class, and bad personal hygiene, just smiled and waved whenever I walked by.

3. Major action in the yearbook. Check out the ginormous pic on the front page of the freshman class section. That’s me in the top left corner with braces, cloisonné earrings, and my eyes closed. I’m probably taking a nap.

I wanted asymmetrical hair sooo bad. But Mom said no.

All in all, being VP was pretty great until all hell broke loose the summer before sophomore year when our reigning President’s family decided to move. Left with a gaping hole at the top of our ranks after summer break, all eyes turned to you-know-who to fill the spot, which I was happy to do because:

1. I still had braces and thought that Class President credibility might deflect from the consistent cornucopia of processed lunch meat stuck between my teeth.

2. Class Officer status was the gateway to being voted Class Favorite. Class Favorite was the portal to, well, an entirely parallel universe of popularity…snagging both the best table in the cafeteria (if you beat the upperclassmen through the lunch line), and the back row on the bus (unless you had a friend with an older brother you could pay to drive you home).

3. I wanted that big picture in the yearbook again.

4. Winning would score major points with my mom.

With a fair amount of effort on my part and the support of my class blowing like the wind at my back, I won. Thrust into a position of real expectation, I surprised myself and thrived.

Life at the time was pretty sweet. Or so I thought. But every rise paves the way for a massive fall, and mine was bathed in a hue of true idiocy.

That's me at the bottom with my feet kicked back on the desk. And a stupid look on my face. And a Mountain Dew in my hand.

In an effort to make everyone happy that year, I played both sides to the middle.  Not in my Presidential duties…I was pretty solid there. I failed in the day-to-day details with my friends…the exact people who voted me into office, but more importantly, shared the highlights of my life.

Whenever my old school besties asked me to hang out on the weekend, I’d say yes, find out that my miscreant upper class boyfriend was going somewhere else with or without me, ditch my original plans, and follow him right down the road to my demise. Not only was I hanging out way too much with someone everyone else said was a waste of a second thought, I was spending zero time with the people who mattered; after saying I would, then bagging out at the last minute, making up a transparent excuse, and canceling plans. I was a total turncoat, or the slam of all high school slams, two-faced.

Aaron Eckhart as Two-Face in The Dark Knight

Image via Wikipedia.

Sitting under a heavy cloak of the damage I’d done, I half-heartedly ran for President again at the beginning of my junior year because, really, what incumbent doesn’t seek a second term? I lost (big shock), to my Sergeant-at-Arms who I thought had my back. But I was totally out of touch, and she probably thought I was doing drugs in the bathroom with my loser boyfriend (for the record I wasn’t), and was looking at a bigger picture than I wasn’t allowing myself to see.  All’s fair in love, war, and high school though, and today I hold no grudge.

Queen Bee (comics)

Class President and Queen Bee. Image via wikipedia.

By winter break, I truly felt the sting of loss. Not the election necessarily, but the gravity of important friendships I let slip away. So rather than spending my weekends pining after a guy who wasn’t going any further than juvie jail (that relationship is a blog in and of itself: totally cute rebel who walks the wrong side of the line and has a Pied Piper effect on anyone who crosses his path, or maybe not anyone, but definitely me), I got my act together. I dumped the loser, started dating a great guy (still older, but every girl I knew trended up), and began the process of fixing all of the important relationships I allowed to fall apart.

English: Studio publicity portrait for film Giant.

By the time senior year rolled around, I was back. Tight with my besties, focused on the future, and ready to run, again, for the spot at the top. I was lucky. My friends gave me a second chance, which isn’t the way every story unfolds.

Eyes clear and looking forward, I realized how much I missed being a leader while following someone else around, and I wanted my old job again. I made flyers, posters, buttons, and glitter-glued banners with my name in huge, neon-lettered sparkle paint. I promised a ski trip to the seniors if I was elected (yes, you can pledge whatever you want in high school and you can actually ski in Kentucky if you don’t mind face-planting down an ice hill in your long underwear and Jordache jeans), and envisioned plans for dances, parties, and prom. I chose a grassroots representative in every home room, spread the word, solicited votes, and put myself out there. I wanted to win. Bad.

But because I was seventeen, or stupid, or still a little too concerned with looking cool, I voted for the incumbent Prez when it came time to cast my ballot. Yes, I intentionally put my chit solidly behind the other team. In case I lost. Which I did. As fate and everyone voting that day decided it should be.

When the school Principal announced that the other girl had won, he made a point to note over the PA system for everyone to hear, that it was the closet class election in the history of our school. This meant nothing to everyone else and the world to me. So I got up, calmly walked out of class (my former officer status still bought me a free pass in the halls), slammed into the girl’s bathroom, and cried.

Big hair can hide your pain.

Had I lost by a vote? Handed-delivered the election to my opponent in a vain attempt to act like I didn’t care? Changed the course of history on that fateful day?

Probably not, but there are lessons to be learned here, and if anyone running for office or running away from the good things in life happens to stumble on this blog, you might consider taking my mistakes to heart.

1. Don’t take anyone for granted. Ever. Especially people you truly love.

2. Protect your base, because if you don’t? They’ll find someone else who will.

3. Stay away from anyone who might tarnish your reputation. Or does drugs. Or gets tossed out of school. Or goes to jail. Or treats you badly. Or is crazy. Or doesn’t floss. Or is a future embezzler. Or kicks your dog.

4. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

5. Don’t try to be all things to all people and try not to be anything to some.

So that’s it. My elected official days are long gone, which is good, because now that I’m writing, you never know when the skeletons in my closet might decide to wake up.

How Nonverbal Communication Can Improve Your Relationship (Part I)

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Unless, that is, you’re a Gemini-Sagittarius couple.  If that’s the case?  Give up and move on.

Assuming you’re not with the wrong astrological mate or anyone who’s appeared on The Bachelor, I have some proven tips that might make life a little easier in the Mars vs. Venus, Mars vs. Mars, or Venus vs. Venus tug-of-war with your significant other.

Gemini

Image by Justinsanity via Flickr

You may be wondering what makes me qualified to give relationship advice.

My answer?

I’ve been in a lot of them.

Once I was wise enough to notice the opposite sex, I immediately became a self-declared, serial monogamist.

serial monogamist: se·ri·al mo·nog·a·mist \ˈsir-ē-əl\ \mə-ˈnä-gə-mist\ nounone Stacie, who spends as little time as possible being single, moving from the end of one relationship to the beginning of a new relationship as quickly as possible faster than you can say “Shazam!” although the relationships in which many serial monogamists Stacies find themselves are also often short lived doomed, the defining aspect of serial monogamy is the desire need and ability to enter new relationships very quickly, thus abbreviating any period of single life self reflection during which the serial monogamist Stacie may begin to ask questions of an existential nature

Middle School Era:

1. Boy asks me to go with him.
2. I say “sure.”
3. We declare our undying love for one other and I write Stacie + Boy all over my Wonder Woman textbook cover.
4. We proceed not to talk, look at each another in the halls, or communicate at all until we break up (which is usually around spring so I can go to the 8th grade dance with my besties).
Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman, displaying her a...

Image via Wikipedia

High School Era (pre-car):

1. Boy asks if I want to go together.
2. I say “sure.”
3. We declare our undying love for one another and slip notes into each other’s lockers, which further acknowledges our undying love, until we get caught writing notes and have to go to detention after school (but we’re together and can pass notes so it’s O.K.).
4. We proceed to talk on the phone all the time, ask our parents to take us to the mall so we can hold hands and look at the cool stuff we don’t have enough money to buy, and write more notes until we break up (which is usually around fall so I can go to the homecoming dance with my besties).

Now wait. Before you get all, “Stacie thinks she’s all that ’cause guys were asking her out all the time and stuff,” remember that I grew up in Kentucky a thousand light years ago.  It isn’t the Deep South, but it is connected to the lower half of Indiana. Which is kind of sad.  Anyway, back then girls didn’t initiate anything with a boy.  Period.  Which I liked a lot at the time and even more now that I have two little girls of my very own.  So there.

High School Era (post-car):

1. Boy asks if I want to be his girlfriend.
2. I say “sure.”
3. We declare our undying love for one another, he takes me to school every day, we go to McDonald’s and hang out with friends, decide we’re bored, and drive around all night looking for a party.
4. We proceed to spoon after-curfew in the creepy basement, watch movies, and look for more parties until we break up (which is usually around summer so I can hang out at the pool with the cute lifeguards and my besties).

1979 Z-28 Camaro from a friend of mine, Bill C...

Image via Wikipedia

College Era:

1. Boy asks if I want to go to a grab-a-date.
2. I say “sure.”
3. We declare our undying love for one another, figure out we’re both way too into Erasure, and make mix tapes.
4. We proceed to go to more date parties, study together after class, and deconstruct why Andrew Shue plays such a doormat on “Melrose Place” until he asks if I like to cook.  And then we break up (I’d rather not cook for my besties.).

Photo of actor Andrew Shue at the 45th Emmy Aw...

I'm a doormat. Image via Wikipedia

So as you can probably tell, I’m the Gemini of the Gemini-Sagittarius couple.  Bet you didn’t see that coming!  Luckily, my husband is a Taurus, and when I start to display my Gemininess, he just ignores me.  In case you haven’t noticed, Gemini have commitment issues (Ha! The plural of Gemini is Gemini!), and if you don’t believe me, go to Wikipedia and check it out.

See?

Not my fault.

But this post wasn’t meant to be about the perfect fit between Gemininess and serial monogamy, or why I’m lucky I married a bull.  It was supposed to be about how nonverbal communication can improve your relationship.  I got so wrapped up in demonstrating my value as a nonverbal communication specialist, that I completely lost my train of thought.

And now?  I need a nap.