May 30, 2010

In Which I Reflect on a Middle School Situation, Publishing a Work I Will Read in Shame in a Matter of Years

In the lunchroom on Thursday, I begrudgingly handed the PTO moms a ten dollar bill in exchange for a slip of paper that read GRADUATION DANCE ADMITTANCE. While taking down my name, one of them gave a prepared speech: "It's Hollywood-themed, and we'll have a 'red carpet' for the parent 'paparazzi,' and, oh, you're all just going to have so much fun!" Before walking away I said thank you and glanced with hatred at the Marilyn Monroe cardboard cut-out that stood pitifully next to the ticket table. And I normally LOVE Marilyn Monroe.

Then Saturday came. I got a rare pimple in the middle of my left cheek and didn't notice for a while (I slept in then listened to Daniel Johnston until late in the day.) While searching half-heartedly through an old issue of Sassy for the six-step zit-zapping guide, my phone buzzed and Ella wanted to know when I was coming over to get ready. Right, that. Soon enough, her mom was waiting outside, so I ran a brush through my white hair and grabbed my leather jacket.

At Ella's, I put on a little eye makeup but found myself constantly cleaning the black gunk off my glasses. I attempted to hide my pimple with concealer but realized that pale is more "me." I felt secretly cool about not having shaved my legs. I decided none of the accessories I had brought would work, but I felt like without any, I was too typical-looking. Too normal. Not weird enough. For once, I felt under-dressed. And underwhelmed. We headed off to the red carpet.

...Which was a long piece of construction paper, with unsure, smiling, they-grow-up-so-fast parents on either side. I saw some friends and, forming what from afar must have looked like a giant meteor of satin bows and taffeta, we all crowded around one another and exchanged compliments. But they seemed, well, genuine. No one was fishing for a confidence-booster in return. Thoughtlessly and without feeling awkward, I was suddenly embracing friend-acquaintances with which I've never clicked this whole year, and we showered each other with nice things about the other's makeup. One seemed shell-shocked at the decency of my appearance and gave me a hug, but I only found the situation funny and sweet. Everyone admired my shoes, and ignored the far from smooth legs that were attached. I then linked arms with a couple pals as we jokingly glided down the red construction paper. I smiled at parents, and then at the Broadway-themed lights that had been mixed in with all the Hollywood stars and movie posters.

If you're not already familiar with the term "grinding," it is when a bunch of kids stand in a line, closer to one another than they would be on a class field trip, and grope like there is no tomorrow, while adult chaperones stand nearby in a panic about the youth of today. Usually reserved for the Cool Kids (or so I'm told,) last night it defied the politics of lunch table seating arrangements, making the lyric "this is why I'm hot" seem less timely than an all-inclusive "This is why WE'RE ALL HOT! Yay team!" The argyle sweater vest-sporters grinded with the girls in Pink perfume. Girls who won Most Likely to be a Philanthropist grinded with the dudes who felt so passionately about the Cubs vs. Sox debate. It was a moment of unity, of disposal of the social structure we'd known for three years, and, in a weird way, a kind of "HA HA" to the nail-biting adults that stood close by, wondering how Twilight hadn't worked as something that would keep kids sure that, while dancing, they would make room for the holy ghost. You decide if that last part is good or bad for yourself. But that's not actually my point.

Normally the idea of a bunch of hormonally raged kids trapped in the same building -- in this case, a single room -- means that the most scarring happenings will ensue. Something was different this time, other than the awful stench, which made me want to run to a Walgreens for giants and bring back a humongous thing of Febreze to shoot at people while screaming about how, one day, hygiene will reign over Pink brand perfume and Axe! IT WILL REIGN!!!! But other than that, the room was alive in the best ways and no one seemed terribly self-conscious. No one stood in the corner and whispered. No one cried in the bathroom. No girls who grinded were called sluts. And there wasn't even just grinding; people were actually dancing! Donks popped, locked, and dropped with confidence. Everyone was very firm that they fancied a bad romance over just being friends, and were in agreement that shawty had indeed gotten very, very low. Up went hands in regard to the single ladies, and our heads and hearts were truly on the dance floor.

As for me, I learned about a few financially secure men who wisely keep some of their money saved in the bank. I considered Jay Sean's inquiry of whether or not I was "down." But mostly I put away my unreasonable cynicism and insecurities -- that having fun with my peers would mean contradicting my "non-conformist" attitude, hairy legs, granny glasses, and big, fat, pimple. I danced and enjoyed myself and realized that not being the conductor of a grind train doesn't mean that I have to be a wallflower, and then realizing that any labels are stupid, and that I shouldn't make my dress look ugly because I didn't feel "different" enough, and that I shouldn't buy a Daniel Johnston record because Kurt Cobain wore the shirt to the VMA's, and that I can listen to him and enjoy a little Beyonce on the lunchroom dance floor, and that I would really rather everyone just be themselves. And then I was happy because it seemed like everyone was just being themselves. Normally passive-aggressive, catty types seemed sincere when they said they liked my eye makeup. The Dudeliest of Dudes grinded with the girls that hadn't considered a hair straightener or spritz of perfume for the night, maybe because...what's the big deal? I think everyone was just into the music, and into doing what they wanted, and was trying not be dramatic and shut other people out, and to appreciate one another, and to appreciate the small size and community qualities of our grade that we won't have when we enter high school in a few months. Holy shit, a FEW MONTHS. Anyway, that's that. Then I went back to Ella's, where we watched Destination Truth. Today we went to bookstores and added to the fairy dwelling in her backyard. We then listened to Lady Gaga and Jay Sean. We can do all of that.

(Look, I learned a lesson! But you know what's scary? MIDDLE SCHOOL TAUGHT IT TO ME. Shit, I think they DO prepare you for the real world, a little?)

202 comments:

1 – 200 of 202   Newer›   Newest»
A Stylish Mixture said...

Wow, that is a lot and I love the wording. Mine 8th grade dance is um, I forget but I think in a week. It will be something like yours, except mine is stupid (well you pointed out yours was eh) and the dance occurs after school, which basically means school clothes and nothing else really.

Megan said...

Nostalgia.

carolyn said...

awesome.

Marine said...

Ahah that sounded nice =) I can totaly picture you little monsters dancing on a Lady Gaga song ^^
Thanks for explaining "grinding"... 'cause in France we don't call it like that, it's more like "stuck and close"... but it all means the same, right?
anyways, it's nice to hear you had fun even thought you didn't look nerdy enough.

<3
Marine / another fucking fashionista

Shelley Noble said...

Not patronizing to say, you are so endearing!

Meaning that I read this as you being one of the most intellectually worldly wise souls growing up and writing intelligently about the verisimilitudes of her life.

Please consider saving these to publish as an important diary in years to come.

Jenna said...

Brilliant post.
Might I just add - you're an amazing writer!
I can't believe you're not in high school yet! You write better than the majority of my teachers!


thegirlwhocriedwolfe.blogspot.com

Under Urooba's Umbrella! said...

YOU WRITE LIKE THIS?!
AND YOU'RE THIRTEEN!?
AND IN THE EIGHTH GRADE!?

So there is hope for this world after all.

:D PHEW.

Poppy said...

I went to a party yesterday, and I certainly know what you are talking about. its disgraceful how much people grab! and by the end you are so uncomfortably hot it isn't fun dance at all!
I love your blog Tavi!
Love Poppy
my fashion blog The Culture Kitten: http://poppysperspective.blogspot.com/

idrumz said...

OMG Tavi!! You are the most mature 8th grade girl ever! This is so entertaining!

Because guess what?

I'm in 8th grade too, going into HS in a few months. Sadly, my school's graduation dance is yet to come(a lil less than two weeks), and the theme SUCKS. Ugh... "Tropical Paradise". And I can totally relate to this experience with all the smelly, grinding teens in past dances. But, what matters most is to have fun without worrying, hm? ;)

Amy and Kevina said...

Although this is obviously not your best piece of writing, I really appreciate the candidness of this journal entry type post. I appreciate that you chose (and I do think its a choice, even though it's a difficult one) to value the style and self-identification of your entire class, rather than writing them off, or belittling their epitomization of middle school.

For what it's worth, I chose to look at my final middle school dance from the view of a disenfranchised and superior-feeling outsider, but can look back now with an attitude more like yours.

aaa said...

the title of this post is so smart and i enjoyed this piece of writing a lot. thank you. we didn't have this kind of dance-thingum back in middle school in my country. but i think because our education system is so different. we get to high school at 13. and there is a dance thing this year for me at the end of the year. you make me so excited.

Eline said...

This is such a great post for someone your age! Truly, I didn't realise this at the end of my teens and most people are stuck in that little confined character they've built for themselves well after they've reached adulthood (and sometimes can't ever let it go). Hooray!

the_eye_collector said...

It's really nice to know that people can genuinely have moments like these, where they feel only benevolence towards the world and can bury past dislike or resentment that they hold towards other people. Everyone needs a moment of community now and again. On the other hand, I still think it's good that you're not so desperate for the acceptance of your peers as most people are at thirteen. Of course, it doesn't pay to always be contemptuous of other people or to deliberately make a huge effort just to be different, but it's encouraging to me to read the blog of someone who cares very little about what small-minded people think of them.

girl on fire said...

this is so so inspiring for anyone and everyone who has been in high school/middle school.
i've had a few nights like this, and i'm in my last year of high school, and trust me, they get more and more frequent, as everyone drops the pretenses and just grooves out to the trashy music (we're all forced to listen to rubbish every once in a while. we've all gotta bear it together.)

love the way you write, lovely little lady.
x

bestie said...

That was a great read. <3

Maggie said...

Your writing is hilarious and awesome. That is all.

tali said...

you speak so truthfully...i love it!
i'd really like to see you in an ordinary outfit, just blending in, i can't quite picture it.

i love your blog, it makes me smile :)

Taj said...

omigod, tavi. I am seriously about to cry!this is so nostalgiaic!I'm about to go and all my friends from 8th grade on FB!!(CREEPSTER ALERTlol)

p.s. uneed to write a book. I would buy it!

T. said...

What a great post! Now I want to see your too-normal outfit.

Lovers, Saints & Sailors said...

I loved reading that. There are too many reasons to get down in one comment so I'll just say that.

Thanks.

Nabil said...

That was really good, Tavi, and I'm glad you told us.

Nico said...

I second the "Awesome" comment!

CORA said...

ahh, that was so awesome, you write so well. We don't have all these 'graduation dances' and whatnot, its pre' exciting if i'm honest.

Cora x

Ace-Of-Aoife. said...

Oh.
So thats what dances are like across the pond. Hmmm. I didn't think MTV would ever lie to me. Or over exaggerate. Hmmm.

Enia Is (Almost) Here said...

this is a great, great post and piece of writing (no patronizing age-related attachments allowed). and you know what, you are absolutely bang on. which is why i love my national/midlake/fleet foxes/beach house/insert any 'smart' indie band and my 80s cheese. and which is why i am a feminist and i giddily appreciate my boyfriend's 'fashion!' present when one arrives for our anniversary. and why i am doing my phd and yet love photography and fashion and writing that is as far removed from academic as possible. we are not just meant to be one thing. and if we are, it should be the one thing we want to be, no matter how messy or complicated that is.

Peacock's Hat said...

Ah, that moment where you recognise that being different for the hell of it is a little pointless. I remember that moment well. Life gets a lot easier after that point, well, not easier, but just a hell of a lot less effort.
Glad you had a good dance.

SarahPeslar said...

this can only bring up the "joyful" memories of middle school ( elementary school) that I am left with. I think what you describe here resembles every generation, and will continue so until the day we leave this earth.



http://fashionsmind.blogspot.com/

fozmeadows said...

Just so you know? There'll be no shame when you read this later. Only pride, and maybe a little grinning.

Jenny said...

Sounds fun, great to read

Jenny said...

Sounds fun, great to read

thispoorlittlerichgirl said...

I laughed for a long while at 'conudctor of the grind train' - Tavi you are hilarious.

You should post pictures of what you wore!
http://thispoorlittlerichgirl.com

NYC, Style and a little Cannoli said...

great post and interesting read!

Sarah said...

You should consider yourself lucky to have this insight at such a young age! It took me a long time to be able to look back at the experiences of my youth with a similar mindset. Let me just say that the politics of school and "popularity" only get better with age. High school is slightly better than middle school, but college is incredible. Your intelligence and maturity will get you through til then, when you can finally be yourself, wholly embrace yourself, and find others out there like you to connect with.

mleeoliver said...

Hah I kind of slowly realised this, later than you but still. It's so freeing once you realise that you can look so different to the metal heads but still listen to metal, and then listen to a bit of beyonce, and then to a creepy electronica band like the knife, and know it's not about trying to please anyone anymore. As I've been at uni too I've realised people (some people anyways) become less and less caring about what you look like vs. your interests vs. whether those are the same as them. It allows you to grow more into yourself. In a way dressing in a certain way specifically to not conform is just the same as dressing in a certain specifically TO conform..

Devery said...

"We can do all of that. "

Yes!! Exactly!

I love this entry. I love you!
x to the o to the oxxoxox

D

Moira said...

i graduated like 2 months ago, and we also had some sort of grad ball. more of a party though, and it was the best 5 hours of my life. <3

and when you said 'because it seemed like everyone was just being themselves', you are so right. even at mine.

XOXO

Chloë said...

i will highly anticipate the day when your fist book comes out! (because i'm pretty sure that will happen eventually). you write so well and have a great honest perspective on life. very entertaining indeed!

I'm Liza said...

Tavi, you are brilliant. We have our eighth grade "formal" this Friday and it is entitled "A Night in Hollywood", also. Very interesting.

Steve said...

What, that actually happened? Cliques in your school must not run very deep, because nothing like that ever went down when I was in middle school or high school (or college for that matter, where people were divided by race, though that's another story).

The most human I ever saw anyone being was towards the end of high school, when it was pretty obvious that even the 'cool kids' were really insecure about themselves. They were usually the nicest people at that point, while the 'smart kids' and over-achievers became the real bullies.

thevintagedevil.com said...

dude i almost died of laughter! i loved it!

clasaadi said...

I don't think you'll ever read this in shame, quite the opposite: as years go by you'll see what an early breakthrough you had with this, how you don't need to chose a label for yourself and stick with it, how you really CAN like totally different things, specially things that don't fit with your image, and still be yourself. Actually, liking those unlikely things IS what makes you yourself and not a clone of all those of your "clique" ;)
Hey, most people only realise this after college lol

faduncan said...

you make me smile, and sometimes tear up (in a good way), everytime you post. i think you're the greatest.

ninaparenteau said...

i'm always so impressed by you tavi. even if i cant relate, i loved reading this, because it really let me see through your eyes for a little. thanks, i really enjoyed reading this. :)

darlingmagazines.blogspot.com

*Alberta* said...

You write so creatively.I'm 19 but I really enjoy reading your blog.

km. said...

This is beautifully written!! I've been following your blog since the beginning and it's great watching the evolution! You are and always have been a very eloquent young lady.

http://collectionsandcreations.blogspot.com/

KD said...

This post encompasses some of the best middle school memories. Also: " Everyone was very firm that they fancied a bad romance over just being friends, and were in agreement that shawty had indeed gotten very, very low. Up went hands in regard to the single ladies, and our heads and hearts were truly on the dance floor." Genius.

Rachel said...

i had a mullet back in eighth grade and the entire year in school pretty much sucked, but the class trip to washington dc made me realize that it was only one year out of many, many, years in academia that each in their own ways would be challenging and fun.

i really love this post. you pretty much summed up immediate importance vs that of long-term.

Jessy said...

Oh ny goodness! This reminds me exactly of my eighth-grade dance a few weeks ago. our theme was also Hollywood-ish though no one took it seriously. You are an awesome and hilarious writer !

jessy-missj.blogspot.com

FASHION SNAG said...

You make me smile! x

www.FashionSnag.com

Chanhattan said...

You're story of graduating from Middle school completely sums up what I've been feeling, but have failed to put in words about graduating from high school. Well done my dear, and I know you will absolutely hate high school, but you're supposed to. Those that feel high school is the best years of their lives, are destined to lead very vapid lives.

xoxoQ said...

OMG i was laughing SO HARD reading this!!! you are so brilliant!!!! this is exactly what my dances are like and you capture the moment flawlessly, with equal parts nostalgia and dry wit. UR such an awesome writer!!!

tay said...

wow, this reminds me so much of my eighth grade grad dance! i'm glad you had so much fun, and i'm even happier you realized what you did before high school. have a great summer <3

Kales said...

Tavi! First off, I really really really want to meet you and have coffee and play dress-up and talk about books and magazines and such. It would be amazing, just sayin'.

But, on this subject. I'm very glad you have realized that you can do things that seem "OMG! LOL, look it's RoBeRt PaTtInSoN!!!!1!!" and teeny-bopper and such. Sometimes, it's just necessary to let loose and have fun, and let go of the "old soul" (I'm one too- you're not alone)thing, for just one night.

I thought I was "too cool" to go to my eighth grade dance. Pop and R&B music? Girls with piles of makeup, cheap dresses, and way, way too much hairspray? Guys with Axe (need I say more)? Not my thing. So I skipped it.

But this year (my freshman year in high school), I was convinced to go to the homecoming dance. So I got dressed up, and I did my makeup, and I went with a group of girlfriends. And it was actually- gasp- fun.

As soon as I walked in that door, I was disappointed in myself for having thought I was too mature and, heck, even too good for these special events. Because it's a part of the teenage experience. I'm not saying that it's necessary to go to the spring fling and fall festival and winter wonderland and party every weekend and whatnot- but every once in a while, we teens just need to be teens.

On a side note- your description of grinding is spot-on. I learned first-hand, even tried it a little (before busting into giggles and resuming my awkward little "swaying back and forth" dance), about the, uhh, dance, I guess I should call it. I walked into the dark gymnasium, lit by twinkling Christmas lights, and saw long chains- excuse me, trains- of people, literally suctioned together, swaying to the beat of the latest R&B song. It was a shock, I'll tell you. But it was a high school experience, nonetheless.

You are a great writer, Tavi. I really enjoy reading your blog. Please, remember to let yourself have those teenage experiences sometimes. Because, as they say, "you're only young once."

itsmelissy_ said...

I'm glad you're wise beyond your years and realize that being yourself is infinitely more cool than being "different." I kinda wish I would've gone to your 8th grade dance, sounds fun haha.

cancercowboy said...

i'm glad you had fun; thats how it should be ^__^

Melissa said...

This is exactly how my 8th grade dance was. Maybe without a commentary.

Melissa said...

This is exactly how my 8th grade dance was. Maybe without a commentary.

Lauren said...

this is one of my favorite posts. The mix of nostalgia and fist pumping to the "who cares about image? just have fun and be in the moment" thing.

ohgeeitsgreat said...

:) I'm graduating middle school next year!

please read my blog at http://ohgeeitsgreat.wordpress.com/

louise or valentine said...

i love your post, so nostalgic and very on-point. i'm glad you appreciated your last middle school dance. things get different in high school and the camaraderie you feel with your entire grade at once may not happen again.
i just sat with with marina abramovic at moma's the artist is present. i sat all night to see her in the morning and the community i fostered with my fellow sitters feels a lot like you were describing.
we were all different but here for a similar reason. we bonded and banded together over an experience, quite like growing up and graduating, that we, only in that moment, could share. and nobody could take it from us.
enjoy it, tavi! you've earned it (as cheesy and as yearbook-y as that sounds).
*caroline*

Allie said...

This post makes me so happy. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

WendyB said...

Everyone's entitled to dance to Single Ladies once in a while, no matter how indie he/she is.

Izzen said...

Hurrah, your life will be infinitely superior now you've succumbed to the joy of the occasional dance to really awful music. I may sound sarcastic but really am not. I just wish I had learnt this sooner!

http://izzenxoxo.blogspot.com/

Zoe said...

That was so funny and inspiring at the same time! really great writing! but, now that youve told us that you went to a dance we're gonna wanna see pictures! haha oh my razzmatazz i sound like a mom. im a junior in high school. but none the less i wanna see anyway! haha im glad you had that experience

Birdie said...

I wish that that could happen to me. I dont think any of the snooty bitchy girls would ever be nice and genuine!

Birdie said...

I wish that that could happen to me. I dont think any of the snooty bitchy girls would ever be nice and genuine!

Frockspotter said...

Oh I wish my school dances were like that, they usaully consist of about 100 teens standing in groups in the corner of the hall while the music slowly deafens them...

www.frockspot.com :)

Rena said...

Even the most hardened nonconformists can be overcome by the graduation dance. It goes against all principles of whatever label normally worn proud during the regular school year (nerd/indie/freak/loner...all of the above. *raises hand*), but damn it is fun.

Emilie ! said...

Miss tavi certainly is a journalist! Now I'm not going to overthrow you with all the 'omfg you're still in middle school, you're 14, how can you write like thissss?!?!?!?!' but I do have to say that you a completely TERRIFFIC writer, each long piece of writing you publish I actually read, and ACUALLY enjoy reading!

Unlike any other, fo sho :)

Emilie xxxx

fromahappieangle.blogspot.com

saharmom said...

reminded me of my grade 8th dance. I partyed my ass off. hee hee hee

Maia said...

I know both you an myself have blogged about fashion and its provocativeness, and I'm so proud (it is weird to be proud of someone older than me?) that people like you and me, and so many others truly know how to be ourselves, and straying from the mode. But sometimes, we get caught in opposite style ruts, where we think we have to dress "un-normal" to be special. I wish people at my school could let go like the ones in your school.

Great Post, and just thinking about the unification of one grade, makes me sooo happy!

I hope you post pictures from the party! and im glad you had fun!

Chaz said...

You are so amazing Tavi!
I am 14 too
I have just started a blog
check it out!
xx

Erin said...

aww I love this post so much. well-written and happymaking. :)

Me said...

You sound a lot like Daria, which, of course, is awesome.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had realized all of this at grade eight graduation, I wish my graduation was this great, and I wish I had this point of view before high school started rather than right after my senior prom when it is all ending and I feel like I completely wasted it all. Oh, well. Amazing post, by the way.

Gabriela said...

i wish this realization had come to me, like, BEFORE I HIT 17. because seriously, you can only be purposely nonconformist (and ultimately bitter and frustrated) for so long in your youth!

sounds like you had fun! i wish i'd gone to more dances now, hehe.

claudia beetlestone said...

so i am in eighgth grade as well, and this little post made me laugh. you know why? one because im jealous that this happened. and two that u consider yourself a non conformist instead of considering yourself YOURSELF. and three that i wished this would happen at our end of the year dance would happen almost like that. but guess what? it didn't, and i was the girl standing in the corner without my friends to go to. and i was the one crying in the bathroom and wishing i had someone to dance with. that being said i think thats funny, and it is very heartwarming to know that sometimes stuff happens the right way. not for me though. blah. anyway i enjoyed reading this because it pretty much directly has to do with me (minus the hairy legs). love your blog and your writing
-claudia beetlestone
http://beetle-bug.blogspot.com/

Pierre said...

your best post ever!

lumberjackie said...

my 8th grade dance was like this too... in fact, it's practically EXACTLY alike. oh the nostalgia. what's weird is i met my boyfriend there and we broke up an hour ago. sad coincidence, but oh, what memories this blog brings back... it was really nice to read, and i basically felt the same when i was at my dance. i was sort of surprised school dances outside of the bay area were like this too. i thought every other school in america had those dances that were in john hughes movies and stuff, but i guess we're not alone. sob.

Boston Baked Beads said...

Last night on 60 Minutes they asked Anna Wintour who might replace her as the editor of Vogue in future years. I think I may have an idea who. You are wise beyond your years and very entertaining.

* said...

Lovely! I wish my grade eight dance had been like this. Alas, there was a lot of crying and I'm sure I wasn't nearly as stylish as you. Glad you had a fun time and are learning how to synthesize all the different aspects of who you are. I'm still working on that, ten years later!

märta said...

you are brilliant!

/ M

http://artbymeat.blogg.se

Kath said...

Hah, this sounds like a college admissions essay, to tell you the truth.


I hope you do enjoy high school!
Oh my, you'll be a freshman when I'm a senior. :O

And yes, you can enjoy all those things while being yourself. This will happen constantly throughout your high school career.

anihanks@aol.com said...

I think that this might be my favorite of your posts (other than the Rei rap which I show my freshman fashion students).

So, from one Sassy reader to another- keep up the great and honest writing:)

Anne from El-No Chicago

firefly said...

My graduation dance, err, is in a few weeks, and goes until 10:30. I, of course intend to dress perfectly casual and mope around and complain about graduating and HAVE FUN. Your dance sounded awesome! Now only if our cool Cali kids could comply...

fireflyworks.blogspot.com

marie said...

I haven't been around in a while and usually I just lurk anyway, but I wanted to say that I love, love, love this post. It is everything I wish I had realized before I turned 23. And maybe I've said it before (and if not then surely thousands of other people have), but your writing style, your voice, your command of the English language is fabulous. Stunning even, particularly considering your age and almost certain lack of training. The fact that I follow your blog despite my almost complete disinterest in fashion will attest to this. Many kudos and thanks to you.

hannah zbitnew jagger said...

ooh my grade 8 dance is next week..glad you had such a great time..thanks for being such an inspiration to us all!

<3

http//cyrillawest.blogspot.com

Katie said...

Absolutely awesome :) These are the kind of things we need to remember and hold onto.
I know it's a cliché and that probably things will be different once we all graduate but those few moments where everything seems right.
I feel a little lifted because of this.
Thanks!

laia. said...

this is wonderful, tavz.

acotacoo said...

do you know what highschool your going to yet ?
since you live in chicago its a big deal choosing where to go and getting admitted

Sewon said...

"hygiene will reign over Pink brand perfume and Axe" AMEN TO THAT but unfortunately it never really reigned in college and some people seem to maintain their habits through adulthood. sigh. also, this dance reminds me of my middle school one except we had the "yellow brick road" = yellow construction paper. and i had a skater boyfriend because i thought i was supposed to. xx

Niamh. said...

Your Blog makes me Chuckle :)
in a good way of course. it always leaves me craving prada and proenza schouler and whatnot. so not good for my bank balance. this just makes me wish i was american and didnt have to wait until you are 17/18 and only get one dance.
oh, well, im irish and proud!
keep it up :)
Niamh.

Claire said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dana said...

This is so fantastic. It makes me miss middle school. I always loved school dances for this reason :)

The Beauty Ally said...

I can't even remember my 8th grade dance... but reading your post reminded me (somewhat) of the feelings I had as a 'weird' kid in Jr. High. I'm glad it was a fun night for you, Tav! (I can call you Tav, right?) I hope you'll have more of those fun nights! Ppl grow up so fast...


That last sentence makes me sound like I'm old, but I'm really not... (I'm 26). XO

Stephanie said...

Have you read The Perks of Being a Wallflower? This post reminds me so much of Charlie, the narrator - especially your last paragraph.

Congratulations on finishing Grade 8 and realizing everything you realized. I hope high school turns out the same way.

xx

RGR said...

I do know that I've felt most mature since separating from high school friends that were still too Daniel-Johnston for Beyonce. But then I went to college, and these days The Daniel Johnston kids think it's cool and ironic to wear sweatbands and dance to "All the Single Ladies," which is okay but it isn't being themselves. And this irony sucks sometimes because I love, really really love pop music. I love Gaga and Britney's "Toxic" more than Daniel, and nearly as much as Calvin Johnson, because it's so fucking sincere and free of irony.

But further, hipster irony embrace of pop music sucks sometimes not just because it mocks things that are, well, intrinsically good. But because when we make fun of Lady Gaga, we may say she's "an attention whore" but really we mean she's a "whore." We say she's "crazy" 'cause she's got Philip Treacy all up on her head. We say she's a "slut" 'cause she is Queen of No Pants. We call her a hermaphrodite because we're afraid of her.

As a society, we only do this to female pop stars, largely.

As a girl like you, all my life I wanted to be "alternative." Just like Kathleen Hanna or all the way back to Hannah Hoch, we wanted to be with the cool kids, the artsy, interesting, noncomformists.

But once we all got there, we saw that the punk bands and the Daniel Johnston fans and the Roaul Hausmans still asked us to make em sammiches, thought we were "cute" for making zines or whatever, and still made "Britney Spears is a Fat Slut" jokes and called Lady Gaga a hermaphrodite.

I know you know what it's like, and you're only gonna keep knowing what it's like. But it fucking sucks for our subcultures to replicate oppression and power structures of our regular cultures. (Read: Uncle Terry, Dov Charney, etc.)

What I'm also saying, though, is that everytime someone makes fun of Lady Gaga's vagina, it hurts me because I relate to her--as a woman, as a Free Bitch or whatever, as a McQueen-kinda-powerful-girl, and her realness. For all her smoke and mirrors, she is what she is. And extravagant, over-the-top pop music is a last holdout for that kind of Liza Minelli come-as-you-are-as-a-woman sensibility. And we all need to be in solidarity, 'cause even though Beyonce is a jillionaire, doesn't mean we should call her a slut, right?

And in the era of irony and detachment of subculture, in the American Apparel/Animal Collective/Globalized/Post-Feminist Hipster Generation, we need to hold on to unabashadness where ever we find it. And we need to protect our rights to act like Free Bitches and not get called sluts for it.

This is convoluted. Rich Juzwiack wrote something similar about how he related to Queens like this, like Madonna, as a gay outcast growing up. It's here: http://fourfour.typepad.com/fourfour/2009/10/madonna-and-me.html and it's one of my favorite things ever written.

So yeah, all I'm trying to say is that it's good to love pop music and defend it and realize that nonconformity is pretty conformist now, and the Fashion world is a little different but there aren't even many Sassy-level femme holdouts, all our indie is still controlled by men who don't take us seriously.

You know this. You read TB. But I've lived it sooo long and the Gaga generation is the most empowered I've felt since I first heard Bratmobile or whatever since I was younger than you and I was confused because They Always Told Me there were no girls in punk.

<3 RGR
http://peasant-poesies.blogspot.com

C said...

I loved reading this entry, and I think I may be justified in saying that it is without a doubt my favorite post of yours of all time. Please post pictures?

catie- saycestlavie.blogspot.com

Lauri S said...

:) That's a lovely post.
I really like part where you talk about "labels" and people being themselves. That is so important! and I've only learnt it recently. I suppose the idea of labels try to make the difference and sort of decide something is better than another thing. Bullshit. We're all the same. Regardless our music taste, or fashion styles, backgrounds or education...we all feel the same emotions and we all die one day. for me that's all that matters and all is left to do is to enjoy, just like you did at the party.
I wish people stopped worrying about fitting in one stereotype...
Thanks for the post.

love from argentina,
Lauri x

the dress girl said...

that was possibly the most beautiful thing i've ever heard. really. props on keeping the same train of thought for like 7 paragraphs.

Tavi said...

Stephanie-Indeed I have! I love that book.

RGR-THIS THIS THIS. Thank you for articulating why I love Gaga. My generation doesn't have any other crazy naked pop stars! And what you said about even the Daniel Johnston boys being all MAKE ME A SAMMICH is terribly accurate. There's this Sassy article about how some punk rock/grunge boys actually care about the movement and about changing things, but some listen to Daniel Johnston, Nirvana, etc. just because it's all "blah blah no one understands me, why can't I get what I waaaaaant" and they're actually terribly self-indulgent and self-obsessed. (Which is only a fraction of why riot grrrl is my favorite punk movement, because it's not like, I HATE MY MOM! I DON'T UNDERSTAND WOMEN! etc., and was actually about CHANGING THINGS.) Anyway, xo to you, you're amazing.

Lucy said...

Great little story Tavi! This really taught m a lesson : be yourself.


www.lucyplease.blogspot.com

Katie and Kelci said...

LOVE. hah amazing insight!! let's all hope a few of us out here can feel like college taught us some stuff for the real world. we shall see in 2 weeks. you have a suuuppperrrrr bright freaking future tavi!

gabi palmano said...

http://highfashionisdead.blogspot.com

Chérie said...

THIS SPEAKS TO ME. Like, not even kidding, really, it does in a huge way. Oh my god. But uh, anyway...

I don't feel like this a lot. Usually I don't even go to school dances because I think they're really stupid and depressing and it just shows how dumb teenagers are. But sometimes... magically... you just DON'T CARE. You party with your friends and everything is very sharp and raw and REAL. Even though some people are grinding and some poeple are dressed kind of... suggestive... no one brands them and you're all united by one fine thread. And you don't brand yourself and you don't try to be different because for some reason it just doesn't matter to you. Sometimes I get so caught up in if I'm "original" and how disgusting teenage girls can be, what with all they're "mainstream crap", that I forget what it's like to live. I can't say that I like pop music because it's too "overdone". It all just goes back to labels on culture, and that whole system is just kind of messed up. It holds people back from who they are.

Salma Khan said...

Oh Tavi, your writing is perfection. You made me nostalgic about my middle school days. You hit on point and don't worry, you won't embarrassed by what you wrote, your writing is timeless :)

Chérie said...

P.S. I'm happy that you posted this instead of pictures of yourself in outfits. I like that a lot, because you have super good taste, but this really helps some people who are still finding theirselfs, i.e. me and a bunch of others. I'm glad you don't JUST take pictures of yourself. I think that's what makes this blog so freaking good.

Sarah said...

hahaha middle school, such a fantastic time in our lives.

www.summersdaughter.blogspot.com

Gorgeous. said...

Wow. I really liked that post. I can definitely relate to you on that one.

:) I love you Tavi!

Me.

Bianca said...

when i was first reading this, about the moms and daces, i almost gaged too. but i must admit it was all good fun, middle school that is:)


http://crumpetsandt.blogspot.com

Vicktor said...

Wow Tavi, that was amazing and very inspirational! You taught me something that middle school taught you; isn't the circle of knowledge great? :)
The wording is quite spectacular as well.

Alison said...

I really enjoyed this post. I remember being surprised by moments like that in middle school, and it made me a little sad that things kind of went back to normal the next day. But it is nice to see that middle school teaches us a few things, because if not, what a colossal waste of years! I hope most people look back years later and have at least a few good memories.

Domino said...

Your so interesting. You&I are very similar...hahaaha

come by and say hello.
http://domino-fashionprodigy.blogspot.com

xx
Domino

hannahbelle said...

Great post :D
It cracks me up, because at first I was like EWW GRINDING KIDS THESE DAYS etc and then I thought, wait, when I was in 8th grade I would have said the exact same thing about grinding, and I would have stayed far, far away from it because that's just how I was.
So yeah I'm old but it's cool because apparently I was old at 13 too.

Jess said...

I'm in eighth grade too, and one of my friends is the girl who (at a dance) would stand off in the corner and scoff at the grinding and non-indie music that is being played. It's almost like she is better than those (so-called) popular kids because they are stupid enough to be mainstream. I am so glad that you blogged about this. You are spot on.

Lindsey said...

Wow. I don't think I've read something so well-constructed and so terribly, perfectly true in a long, long, time.

It's totally true, though, and I've been having a similar sort of epiphany this year as well. Who cares about labels and who the most popular kid in school is? Chances are, the nerd you made fun of back in freshman year will be the one to become someone.

And yes, we must all stop worrying so much about how others perceive us. I, too, used to fear that I couldn't listen to Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus or whatever because it was too "mainstream" and everyone knew me as the girl who listened to music no one had ever heard of. But I've gotten over it. I can now openly admit that I love Hannah Montana just as much as I love the Virgins or the Hush Sound or whoever.

And don't worry about high school. It really isn't a big deal. I'll be a junior next year and as long as you have good friends and your head on straight, you'll be fine. =)

xeroxahippo said...

we never had dances at my middle school, but I've heard from my other friends that the 8th grade dance is most awkward due to the height difference because the girls go through puberty earlier than the guys. but ughhh axe. it is a deoderant! people abuse axe too much. people are abusing axe way into their college years. it just doesn't stop.

Jocelyn said...

tavi, you are the most adorable, wonderful girl. good luck in high school!

zoomslow said...

Thanks for the nice description of your night :-) It's so amazing when something that you could never imagine happening, actually does happen - it's like, "um, what? this is like really good!" Haha hold this memory in your heart with an iron grip, so that when you study fashion in uni. you can draw strength from it! :-)

BEN said...

schools dances, dont you love them?
NO, NO I DONT.
sigh, being a kid is so hard.
NOT
writing thingys, with more thingys is fun
YES IT IS
this is a shamless self promotion,http://www.off-thetopofmyhead.blogspot.com
REALLY, I DIDNT NOTICE

Mathilda said...

Brilliant!!!!!!

What a writer you are, Tavi. I hope I can follow your career to see you side by side with Dorothy Parker in the Librarys of the world. You´re one of the greatest, girl.

Let me whisper something at your ear. You don´t have to live seven lives to do all the things you are meant to do. Talented, oh, so much, that you are.
Be a writer. That´s what you are here for. Write. Write. Write. Don´t stop. I have the same pleasure reading you that I do with Dotty Parker, Fran Lebowitz, Katherine Mansfield (this post particularly is so Mansfield), Virginia Woolf and so many other excellent writers of this beautiful language called English.
(Please, forgive mine. I´m a foreigner.) Thank you.

Vintage Style said...

I LOVE the way you write its AMAZING your words are soooooooo true and hilarious.

Poroma said...

Hm. The difference between Tavi and I is...I thought I was cool in eighth grade and Tavi really IS cool in the eighth grade.

Seriously though, when you look back on this (you know, when your granny glasses will actually be on a granny) I'm sure you'll laugh at the outdated references, but your writing is crazy good and nothing to scoff at. I hope you continue writing, because you have real talent. /corny-ness(corniness?)

Um, the REAL point is I wish I was as cool as you going into high school. There's a difference between blending in and fitting in, and I think this essay illuminates that. Fitting in isn't always so bad.

eat me said...

And you know what else is funny, high school taught me that too.
(I graduated on Friday and it's barely hitting me as I type this...good luck next year. :) )

Grace said...

Clever and apt, as usual Tavi.

It's been a long time since I was a teenager (when people had pet pterodactyls and Kurt Cobain was still alive and singing his beautiful, grungey heart out), but your writing captures that same zeitgeist of teenagerdom that never seems to go away. I guess things don't really change at all.

www.cultofclothes.com

Lalalala Jess said...

What's with all the generalizing of young adults (i.e fourteen year olds)?
We are not all dim-witted idiots!
I love the Jay Sean reference.
I love it madly...

Holly said...

this sounds a lot more eye-opening than my year 8 dance. we had like a 40 year old DJ and the girl to guy ration was like 3:1
the wonders of the dance floor :) totally understand what your saying

catty said...

Geezus, who are you and what have you done to Tavi?

smile and rummage said...

wish high school dances this side of the pond were this intriguing.
love your perspective.

www.smileandrummage.blogspot.com

Elle Sees said...

love this.
i'm glad you went.

hope505 said...

Good one!! !! I am so glad you went and had a good time. Srsly this could be one of the best parties of your life, enjoyment-wise, from what you describe here...I say this having been a bona-fide socialite for a good few years & been to so many Hot Spots where Everyone is there and I'm on The List, of course...a small percentage of them are just like you describe....heaven...everyone mixing it up all carefree...people dropping their expectations of one-another and what things 'should' be like for the sake of the fun....people being genuinely nice, wow, what a fresh idea. *ha!* & enjoying what the DJ picks instead of complaining that it isn't what you might have wanted, or what you usually listen to...
I'm glad you had a good time.
* : )

amahlia said...

tavi. im graduating high school and i feel exactly the same way. if beng anti social with high schoolers was a sport id maybe have a silver medal. but now that we are all going our separate ways, we've become closer than ever before. its pretty bizzare but it feels good right now.
have fun in high school. its totally dfferent than middle school and people admire individuality way more :)

best of wishes

Eric Waroll said...

I felt exactly the same way a few years ago. Don't worry, everything's gonna be alright!
all the best,
Eric._

Life As I Show It said...

Swell writing Tavi. Took me back a few years and it was exactly the same back then.

Good luck in high school.
Believe it or not...you will love it.

Pyxie Gwynne said...

"...Walgreens for giants and bring back a humongous thing of Febreze to shoot at people while screaming about how, one day, hygiene will reign over Pink brand perfume and Axe! IT WILL REIGN!!!!"

Too bad it's not in High School. I advise you to find a route around the main entrance to the boys locker room :)

Great post! And I really do mean that.

clair said...

just wait until you get to high school. (you may want to actually bring that thing of Febreeze to the homecoming dance... 800 teenagers in a gym at night..)
but yes, high school is much much better than middle school in many ways. and in other ways, it is a living hell compared to middle school. ;3 but you'll like it. be yourself, just like you said. <3

clair said...

just wait until you get to high school. (you may want to actually bring that thing of Febreeze to the homecoming dance... 800 teenagers in a gym at night..)
but yes, high school is much much better than middle school in many ways. and in other ways, it is a living hell compared to middle school. ;3 but you'll like it. be yourself, just like you said. <3

clair said...

just wait until you get to high school. (you may want to actually bring that thing of Febreeze to the homecoming dance... 800 teenagers in a gym at night..)
but yes, high school is much much better than middle school in many ways. and in other ways, it is a living hell compared to middle school. ;3 but you'll like it. be yourself, just like you said. <3

Deepa said...

You are good and you know it! What a brilliant piece of writing. At your age, it sure is. Just waiting for you get published, best of luck!

norawoah said...

Isn't dancing the best? Like the great unifier and fun-maker for all who breathe! Getting to boogie down and learn amazing life lessons, you go girl!

Lena Salgado said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paige said...

i noticed that at my 8th grade dance too. i did not have the fashion sense you have, but i had that same feeling of "i wanna be different". i can tell you strait up that realizing that lesson now will save you so much stress and save friendships in high school. and high school isn't scary. if anything the upperclassman will secretly respect and admire you for your fashion choices. i know i would:)

agent 0017 said...

loved this piece! wierdly true, i think, about eighth grade dances. Must be that by the end of the year, nobody really cares.

littleREDelf said...

i might have had half your brilliant wit when i was in the 8th grade, but hadn't developed the writing chops to really put to words the internal dialogue and conflict of the age that you have captured so well here.

this little snapshot into your life . . . you may think of as carrying a high potential for embarrassment later, but in fact, i think you will be grateful and tickled to read the way you thought, perceived and interacted. i'm 38 now and i LOVE looking back over 10+ years of blogs and the handwritten journals i kept as a girl. remembering names of people i had forgotten about and revisiting the emotions of wonderment and total heartbreak.

this why the diary, the journal, the blog, putting words and thoughts and experiences down are so important and lovely.

your blog is beautifully written and visually intriguing and i always enjoy it, even when i scroll through the images first, then get back to the words. you're certainly a bright, young/old soul and a fascinating young woman!

Madskirt said...

Love your piece.

madskirt.blogspot.com

vickyshazam said...

very entertaining, funny, and a bit nostalgic. i wish my middle school experience was like yours!

i wanna bee cool like tavi/

Yasemin said...

Oh, I totally understand this. High school for me is like this. I think they maybe do teach you a little bit- but it's not definitely not math science or social.

Sheik LeBeau said...

I can't wait to see what you wear to High School... XD!!

Oh and I love how you worded this blog. It's as if I had read a story. I could picture everything...!

Isabella said...

oh tavi, this post is amazingly true to life and sooo well written!! :)

Limey said...

AHHH! You should come to my high school in CHICAGOO! People keep on stumbling across you on ze interwebs and thinking I am you. I get a lot of people being REALLY nice to me for no reason, then asking "HEY ARE YOU TAVI GEVINSON?" to which I reply "...no" and then they give me the cold shoulder...
ANYWAYS. That's my rant and I loved this piece.

Lady Zing. said...

That sounds fun. Nobody dances at our dances. They should advertise for ours like this: "Pay five dollars to stand around. Oh yeah, there will be a DJ." We don't even dress up. :p Your dances sound like so much fun.

Annabelle said...

A great conclusion to the end of middle school, right? I had an epiphany like yours just the other week, I love epiphanies! (Did I spell that right?)
Anyway, see you next year, freshie!

geri said...

best blog post of all time.

DJ 1958 said...

Tavi, I just want you to know that, my high school prom went a blast, too. Because everyone dance and is having a time of their lives. Of course, here in Australia, we go from primary to high school -- there is no middle school. When you are grade twelve, we go crazy that we cannot believe that we're going to be seniors for one whole year!
Yeah, it was scary at first, but all in all, everybody had done their job and now it's all over. I guess you guys start a new year in school in September, huh? Here in Australia, we start a new grade in late January, early February. I'll say...good luck at high school and trust me, you'll survive it just all right!
And you will do well in the real world, too!

Kirsten Wild said...

Love that! It's great to end an era on a high note... people use alcohol/drugs later in life for the same we-all-belong effect that music can provide (and sometimes regret the consequences).

marilynn said...

Thanks, Tavi.

Ricardo said...

ok um wow
firs of all im Victoria and im from MEXICO AND over here we dont go to high school till after 9th grade and well im exactly your age (14)and either you are my twin, my dopleganger or we have some weird connection.. idunno
feel the same way and hope my graduation dance is like that!
reading this makes me feel like you are my bff
ps please make a memoir and include this

Amy said...

Agh. Girl. This is simply lovely. Secretly little parts of middle school and high school (even with all the bogus drama and sincere pains that come along) do teach you something. That is life and that is beautiful, and the way you so well portray that in this blog is incredible. Your voice is so great. I wish that I had been able to effectively communicate life experiences like this when I was in 8th grade (or, now even).

elizabeth said...

I've certainly never viewed grinding in such a way. And if only I could make the same realization as yourself. I'm afraid my middle school experience was far less didactic.

Malina said...

Oh Tavi. You know, I'm sort of afraid of the day you might stop blogging.
I feel like there's magic in fashion in the same way you do, and sometimes your blog keeps me away from thinking about abusive boyfriends and pretentious university professors. Your post (and some movies, granted) was the only way I could ever experience what a school dance feels like, since I live in a country with no school dances or proms.
Thank you.

Shoe said...

Brilliant Tavi!!

xpunkdebutantex said...

this post really resonated with me because, in a lot of ways, i think my own personal experiences reflect those of yours. i too was (and still very much am) the "noncomformist" type - in fact, i was talking to a close friend of mine last night when we came to the conclusion that i like all things "old and odd".

as a now-junior in high school, i can definitely say that my tastes in 8th grade do not differ much from my tastes now, and, at the risk of sounding pretentious, i can safely say that nobody i know shares them with me. nothing says "you're different" than being a classical music and opera fanatic, an alternative music fanatic, a movie buff, a russophile, and a pop culture vulture all in one. oh, and did i mention that i like wes anderson? ummmm yeah :/

i found this post interesting because i found myself coming to your epiphany of sorts at the same time. even if you differ hugely from your peers, there is a level of mutual, of human understanding and love, which comes out especially in high school when people have matured and come to respect differences. and i think the best thing of all is being able to hold your own while still having a good time :)

sorry this was so lengthy, but i always enjoy your blog, and i felt that there were so many parallels in this post for me to not say anything! have a great graduation by the way :)

-gia-
www.giagreene.com
www.facebook.com/gia.greene

ps - we share a birthday?!? april 21!

xpunkdebutantex said...

this post really resonated with me because, in a lot of ways, i think my own personal experiences reflect those of yours. i too was (and still very much am) the "noncomformist" type - in fact, i was talking to a close friend of mine last night when we came to the conclusion that i like all things "old and odd".

as a now-junior in high school, i can definitely say that my tastes in 8th grade do not differ much from my tastes now, and, at the risk of sounding pretentious, i can safely say that nobody i know shares them with me. nothing says "you're different" than being a classical music and opera fanatic, an alternative music fanatic, a movie buff, a russophile, and a pop culture vulture all in one. oh, and did i mention that i like wes anderson? ummmm yeah :/

i found this post interesting because i found myself coming to your epiphany of sorts at the same time. even if you differ hugely from your peers, there is a level of mutual, of human understanding and love, which comes out especially in high school when people have matured and come to respect differences. and i think the best thing of all is being able to hold your own while still having a good time :)

sorry this was so lengthy, but i always enjoy your blog, and i felt that there were so many parallels in this post for me to not say anything! have a great graduation by the way :)

-gia-
www.giagreene.com
www.facebook.com/gia.greene

ps - we share a birthday?!? april 21!

Emilia said...

this is so great! it reminds me of the song from Highschool the Musical - 'no no no, stick to the status quo' where the geek likes hip hop and the basketball player likes to make cakes. and troy loves to sing. xxx

evermorepress said...

tavi, you are gold. pure gold. and continuing a tradition of important, intellectual, women's writing that goes back as far as sappho (who you'd love. she was way into fashion and a wiz with accessories).
if you haven't checked it out before, you might also like christine de pizan's book of the city of ladies. she was a total badass of the 14th c.
these are just two ladies who were totally nineties sassy mag but like, thousands of years ago! (sappho at least).

RGR said...

THIS IS MILDLY RELATED.

Not worth an email, really, but:
I saw on the Twit that you're reading Absolutely True Diary. Is this for school or for personal? I think it's one of the greatest books ever written and should be universally required reading.

Please let me/us how you like it!

michelle bee said...

dear tavi,

i love your words. you so perfectly give a window into an experience every 'outsider' has ever had... but somehow youre able to present it in a really balanced-too-old-for-your-years way. it took me so many years to be able to look back at those years of my life with fondness instead being swallowed whole by my 'woe is me' teenager years. in fact, i still struggle daily against being jaded and disconnected from the life and good things around me. remember all this optimism tavi, it will serve you well in the future.

yay for you tavi! and yay for this blog which i enjoy on so many levels. and yay for a mid-western girl being all about fashion... chicago needs much more fashion!

katie said...

im glad u can finally feel ok in your own skin- its not necessarily a gd thing to try and look different all the time - everyones unique regardless of what they wear or how they do their hair etc.
great post :) xx

confessionsofanymphet said...

I used to love those rare moments when everybody just forgets about popularity and social groups- for me, they came during our school's retreats ( as in,when Catholic schools send us all off to some random place to meditate and relax and think about God, etc.)when on the last night, we all had envelopes and paper and we'd write each other notes saying nice things about each other- sounds incredibly lame I know, but it was nice.
Btw, I wish I'd been able to write like you when I was your age, or just be anywhere near as cool as you. Alas, I was wearing giant Harry Potter glasses and writing bad fan fiction.

Werepup said...

standing in a line and groping? kind of glad that's a dance move that hasn't hit my school yet =P

Rachel Ann said...

Great Story! My eighth grade dance was everything yours wasn't. Catty girls, grinding "popular kids", Girls crying. The whole shebang under a Hawaiian themed roof. Have fun being a freshman! my freshman year was the bomb. Now im a junior and freaking out that i soon have to pick colleges bah! You should be on a highschool newspaper by the way.

-XOXO Rachel Ann
Hey check out ma blog girrrl :)

MIUMIUBlueShoe.blogspot.com

Live and let live said...

Thank you for this. x

Noah Couture said...

Yeah, that sounds a lot better than my 8th grade prom too. In mine the cliques were more separate that I'd ever seen them, everybody just hung out & didn't dance, and it ended with a very awkward prom king & queen dance. And it had the Hollywood theme too!
P.S. High school is SO much better than middle school. I'm loving it already.
- Noah :D

pao0o said...

Love your blog!! & follow you! Do you mind?
Visit me please!! Paola
xxxxzX

meggasus said...

First of all, I want to tell you that you're an amazing writer! I read the entire post and was hooked...it brought me back about 6 years ago to my 8th grade dance. Mine was definitely not as awesome as yours....not even close. I don't think my class learned to be themselves until the end of senior year. I'm definitely following! What dress did you end up wearing?

ktmemory said...

Aww! That happened at my grad ceremony in middle school, as for high school: Good Luck!
Just graduated and glad I did!
http://kemichic.blogspot.com

Katie said...

As if you didn't know... awesome post. Keep observing, keep reflecting, KEEP WRITING! xo quinn @ www.qthestylist.com

Mathilda said...

About your Lady Gaga apology, I understand it. In the beginning, I found her very interesting, like a Fellini character. But I think she could go further as a musician and working in the music industry myself I wonder if she was not picked because she´s Italian, lives in NY...I mean the Madonna type. I think Amy Winehouse would be a landmark in the industry if she wasn´t so lost. I really thought she would change everything in the business. But apparently she lost it.

Beth said...

: D Ah, that sounds like fun.

Aja said...

i love how the school dance is pretty much universal! anyway, will you post a picture of your outfit? :)

cicilaw said...

I can't believe how similar your life is similar to mine (we're both 14!). We hear the same music and DAYUM- Destination Truth. That show is the BESTEST ESTEST BEST! Because I almost pissed my pants when that posessed doll's eye blinked open. That was the scariest episode EVER. I can't believe school's over for you kiddos. Grade eight continues for a few more weeks here.

Artemis said...

End of the school year dance always seems to bring classes together! I just had my last day today, but unfortunately, no dance! Hope you had fun at yours, though!

I just started a blog, so check it out and give me feedback:

http://artemisandhermusings.blogspot.com/

Frances895 said...

I graduated 8th grade last year and I have to say, that was the most accurate description of a middle school dance I have ever encountered. Bravo.

Sinead said...

Fabulous post, wonderful writing. Are you sure that you're only--what?-- 14? Or is it just that 14 is a lot smarter and much more articulate than it was way way back in the day when I was your age? In any case, I thoroughly enjoy your blog, your voice, your attitude. It will be very cool to see who you eventually become, but who you are right now is, I think, singularly stellar, too.

S. Bernstein said...

aww tavi! your writing is very inspirational! I remember having a great time at my first dance, although i wouldn't say it was perfect, there was that girl crying in the bathroom...

yui said...

it's so great that you were able to feel this way straight away. i think it takes most people a few years to realize that what was happening at the end was genuine and kind of sweet...but by then it's mixed with nostalgia and you can't be so sure....
this post brought back so many memories.
congratulations tavi

hasoon said...

Nearly cried a little. You write great, kiddo.

Beth Ruby said...

"Everyone was very firm that they fancied a bad romance over just being friends, and were in agreement that shawty had indeed gotten very, very low. Up went hands in regard to the single ladies, and our heads and hearts were truly on the dance floor."
LOVE IT.
Sounds like you had a surprisingly amazing time! I have my leavers ball next week though so hopefully mine will be as good as yours sounded. I wouldnt mind a bit of Honey B and Gaga "grinding" tbh.
Oh and congrats on finishing (and surviving) middle school :D
xx

Lily said...
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Lily said...

it took me until my mid-20s to learn what you learned at the end of middle school. and yes, in a few years you may re-read this and be embarrassed. but a few years after that, you'll read it again and be really, and rightly, impressed with the smart, insightful, funny, fresh-out-of-middle-school you.

Michelle said...

This is brilliant! You will look back and remember it all because you explained it perfectly.

gypsy said...

hahaha, I remember 8th grade dances- dreadful! I adore how you articulate things, how you put sentences together so artfully. I also would like to say that I didn't learn this lesson until this year! I'm a junior in high school! It's actually quite nice to let go of feeling like you need to cling on desperately to your unique-ness... and realize that sometimes people actually are being themselves, even when you suspect that they're trying to conform. What I learned this year, that you learned already at age 13, was that it's cool to be madly in love with Bob Dylan and jam to a bit of Gaga from time to time. It's nice.

I'm new to reading your blog and I am already head over heels. I admire your level of intelligence and your splendid story-telling. fantastic! I think you'll have a pretty good time in high school if you join some clubs and keep yourself occupied with your art/fashion/ whatever else it is that you love, since sometimes the boredom you experience is overwhelming ;)

xo

http://dancing-gypsies.blogspot.com/

turtle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zatanya said...

As a 19 year old college student, I have to say that your style of writing is amazing. It is so strange having things in common with a 13 year old.

Meredith said...

Tavi, I can no longer treat your blog with the kind of disdain I once reserved for middle school girls who defined their status by their denim miniskirts and looked down their noses at my complete disregard for my appearance and now reserve for my college classmates who refuse to shower because it's so mainstream and dye their hair offbeat colors and refuse to acknowledge my legitimacy as a human and an intellectual because my preferences in clothing tend toward solid-colored cottons and cardigans. I admire your openness and creativity.

Edwina Bulfrage said...

This was easy to read, comical and honest enough for me to justify clicking on the comment button and writing something in appreciation.
Thank-you Tavi, I'd forgotten all this, now I remember.

Ann said...

Wow, that's a huge, wonderful way to leave middle school. I don't think I've ever gotten over the torment that was middle school, but then, it took me until junior year in high school to realize tht I COULD be different.

Katie said...

I ABSOLUTLEY LOVE THIS!

CeliaRehmFashion said...

There is hope for the youth!
Great read

Brigid said...

I have no words, this was incredible. I too graduated 8th grade this June, although I was too obsessed with the thought of "giving in to the norm" that I ignored the senior dance altogether. After which I did realize how foolish I had been, seeing as all of my friends went and my decision had just been an obnoxious stunt. I just wish I had been as smart as you.

Keep on writing! ~ Brigid

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