I think it's time for a little reminiscing...
My dad was my junior high school principal. I don't know anyone who wants to relive their middle school years and you certainly won't hear me say, "Wow. 7th grade. Those were the glory days." Having my dad as my principal added some unique challenges to those universally awkward years, but it also had some surprising benefits.
This post isn't about the benefits.
Today's story takes place a couple of weeks into my first year of junior high. (Does that sound like I spent many years in junior high? I didn't. It took me the standard three years to make fizzy stuff in test tubes and read "Jonathan Livingston Seagull".)
I had taken my trusty hall pass to the little girls room to "powder my nose". There were two very obviously 9th grade girls already in there enjoying a date with the Marlboro Man. Now imagine a naive little girl with standard first week of junior high jitters compounded by a complex about her dad being the principal. All I could think was get out of there... FAST.
I heard the voice of Nancy Reagan saying, "Just say no. Just say no" over and over again in my head. As if one of the girls was going to hold me down while the other shoved a cigarette in my mouth. But then something happened. Those girls starting talking to me like we were at a garden party and that day I learned what I believe is a universal truth. Say what you want about their choices regarding cardiovascular health, the girls who hung out smoking in the bathroom were some of the nicest girls in school. (Just don't mess with their boyfriend 'cuz then they'll rip your bleach blonde hair out. I've seen it.)
These girls were so sweet asking me how I was liking school and if everything was going okay. In the midst of our girl talk I happened to mention that the only reason I was going to our particular school was because my dad worked there.
"Who's your dad?"
"Ummm... the principal."
I don't know who was more stunned; the girls for thinking they were busted or me for being shocked I said it. It just kind of hung in the air for a second and I waited for one of them to push my head in toilet. Instead they flew out the door and took off in a trail of smoke.
No kidding, some of the nicest girls in school.