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I drive slowly, carefully

through a school zone

It’s three pm

and school’s out

Little ones everywhere

Heading home

That’s when I spot you

You are not one of them

You carry your books

close to your chest

Your coat just above

the hem of your

checkered skirt

hiked up far above

school regulations

Exposing your bare legs

Pink from the freezing cold

Your quick pace

belies your nonchalance

The price you pay willingly

To be one of the cool girls





99 thoughts on “Appearances

  1. Oh yeah, I saw her too – I even then went to school with her…. although I bet she didnโ€™t even realise I inhabited the same world as her….. she, being so cool didnโ€™t acknowledge the less cool kids, such as me!

    I was one of the girls who had to drive to school on a bicycle in freezing cold as the family moved and I had to finish school at my old school. I was allowed to wear trousers to cycle to school and there I had to CHANGE INTO A SKIRT in the girlsโ€™ toilettes…. Times are changing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I wonder if my school had had a uniform at the time I attended – they do now – if I would have been one of them… ๐Ÿ™ƒ
      As it stands, I used to have to walk two blocks to catch my bus, my hair having turned to icicles by the time I got there (because dry my hair? No way!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dale, that was a little joke. We do NOT have uniforms in Switzerland, nowhere (maybe in exclusive internate schools, I wouldn’t know). But don’t we ALL have one such girl in our class? I bet you too were a hit with the gang with your icicle hair ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  2. Dear Dale,

    Masking tape or staples were two of the things I used to hike up my hems after I walked out the door. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ironically, my senior year I found a niche and became one of the “cool kids” and didn’t really care about it.
    Love the pink legs. I remember wearing mini dresses that were about the same length as blouses I wear today. Your words made me feel that chill. Well done. (We all know that girl, don’t we?)

    Shalom and lotsa warm hugs,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Merril. I wonder, if my private school had uniforms at the time (they do now) if I would have been one like her…
      I used to go to school with wet hair, which would freeze into icicles as I walked to the bus stop – I don’t think I would want to go back either.
      I scored with that find!

      Liked by 1 person

      • By the time I got to high school, we could pretty much wear anything–though in junior high, girls were not allowed to wear pants. I was so far from the cool kids that I don’t even know who they were and never thought about them. Hahaha.

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        • We had a dress code – no jeans, running shoes, t-shirts and then they banned sweatshirts because some had rather dubious images on them! Our goal was to be as bummy as possible (for us “freaks” – hippy-type). I was never a “disco” with teased hair and makeup.
          I didn’t know it but I was supposedly cool by NOT joining a clique ๐Ÿ˜‰
          Love that you were your own person!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. “Your coat just above
    The hem of your”

    Love this, Dale.

    I love sentences that end in the following in poetry to preserve a certain form.
    It’s like the writer decided it’s a short breath poem.
    Few words, inhale, next line.
    Love the rythm.
    I noticed reading Ilya Kaminsky’s Deaf Republic

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  4. You nailed it, especially with the video. I think we all wanted to be like the cool kids. I wasnโ€™t as I didnโ€™t fit the geek mold nor the jock. I was more like the Fonze. Out on the fringe. However, after many years on this revolving spaceship called planet Earth, I have found out that ALL, even the Cool Kids, had their own issues and that you were not necessarily, in their eyes, what you saw in your own eyes. And vice versa. If we were all accepting of everyone….that would be, to me, playing the role of a KOOL KID. Boy did I ramble. Good job Dale.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Jan! Some kids felt the need to belong to one clique or another. Took lots of guts to refuse to be like anyone else. And you are right, everyone had their own issues – hidden behind their supposed coolness…
      Glad you enjoyed.


  5. I wasn’t a “Cool” kid either. I played on teams with them and joined the same groups but fought the “Groupie” stuff. I still run from groups.
    Great write and I can still feel those frozen legs you refer to. Memories of short skirts and knee highs,

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good for you, Jen! I was pretty much my own person, too. I got along with all the groups and was mostly a gym rat.
      If she’d had knee-highs, at least part of her would have been covered. Silly girl.

      Liked by 1 person

          • I remember we started rather late – 8:30, I think… and I took the bus between 7:30-8:00 – so that means I probably woke up at 7:00, showered and ran out ๐Ÿ˜‰

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          • I had practices of some sort. You might think I was athletic but I fooled them LOL It was choir or volleyball or anything just to get out. It was a place to be myself. I was there from 7 – 7 sometimes. Good times as I remember.

            Liked by 1 person

          • I participated in lots of sports. Volleyball, basketball, track and field. I was often there till late, too for practice (plus lunch hours, there was always some sort of scrimmage going on). I didn’t join in on anything else, though.
            I loved my years in high school!

            Liked by 1 person

          • Me too! I loved it. If I couldn’t be on a team I curated it. Or yearbook staff or G.A.A (Girls Athletics). But my independence has always been important to me. Back to Cool Girls..NOT lol I wasn’t one of them, I organized them LOL

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          • That is so refreshing because so many people go on an on about how they hated high school. So cool of you to be part of the curating. It’s funny because NOW I am called upon to help with reunions and such … I seem to get invited to most get-togethers of various groups from high school. And, I graduated in ’81… Ahem.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Curating was fun and taught me a lot of lessons. It kept me a little more grounded because of the responsibilities. I graduated in ’69…double ahem! Then went out into the world of the ’70’s …that’s another story. Thanks for the trip down memory lane Dale. Catch you on the next one! โ˜ฎ

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yah it was fun. Next ride involved a Shag (Hair cut), bell bottoms, smoking (cigs because weed put me to sleep) and lots of beer drinking (25 cents a glass). How about drinking a bottle of Southern Comfort at the back of the movie theatre watching JANIS with friends. oops Gotta go do a mundane shopping. Thanks again โ˜ฎ

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          • I wore a shag haircut for most of my life… I still come back to it now and again ๐Ÿ˜‰
            Hash was better than weed anyway ๐Ÿ˜‰
            Beer – whoa, that was cheap!
            Drank Southern Comfort from a wine gourd on our way to ski trips… Missed the whole Janis thing, dammit!
            Have a great day!

            Liked by 1 person

  6. Q,

    This makes me think back to a time when fitting in was akin to water torture. God, it was so hard trying and then failing and then NOT trying to fit in after all that nonsense was taken care of. And even being an individual, it was no cupcake party. So much drama and intrigue, LOL.

    You made me feel the anxiety of it all with this piece. The wanting to belong to something and the questioning why it was that it HAS to be that way. And then the realization that it doesn’t. None of it easy, mind you.

    I do not envy today’s kids. They have social media to deal with on top of all the other stuff, and that can be a whole nother level of drama and intrigue.

    Perfect song. Just perfect song for this.


    Liked by 1 person

    • B,

      It is so clear to us as relatively sane and adjusted adults today, isn’t it? But back then. Oy. No matter the efforts to fit or not fit in, we still didn’t know if it was the right choice.

      I am amazed I got that across. I honestly can say I didn’t fret over belonging anywhere. I just did. I guess I am lucky.

      Oh hell no. Today’s kids have it rough. Social media has rendered everything so in your face. Thank GAWD it wasn’t around back then. Can you imagine your shenanigans published for all and sundry to see?

      So glad I found it. I was beyond chuffed (yeah, that word again ๐Ÿ˜‰ )


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      • Ugh, it was the worst. For a while anyways. And the whole thing I was trying, it bugged me to no end. Not just because I got picked up incessantly, but because I felt as if all this “fitting in” wasn’t working.

        When I broke from that, things made way more sense. I didn’t fit in. At all. I had friends who were part of this clique and that clique and this club and that club and I had friends who flipped the bird to cliques and clubs altogether. And it made sense.

        You got that across so well. And welp, your personality has always been that of an independent spirit who brings peeps together.

        Oh no . . I cannot imagine. God, I’m laughing over here.

        Chuffed were you? ๐Ÿ˜‰


  7. I really love this Dale, that’s such a hard personal era, adolescence. You did a wonderful job expressing the feeling of so wanting to be one of the “cool kids”, trying so hard,. it’s a bit heartbreaking. Once again you have delivered a compelling piece of writing that we can all relate to. xo

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  8. I attended two different high schools. One in inner-city Detroit and one in the suburbs. The inner city school was easier socially cause you could identify the good and bad kids by appearance. In the suburbs all the kids looked alike so it took some real investigating to sift through the bums. Did manage to find my own group by the time I graduated.

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  9. I like what you have written here. She is not what she seems. Back in the day when I was at school I was never cool, never one of ‘the crowd’ I was bullied, shunned , I was different. I was hurt, sad but hey I survived and I am now what I am and better for it …I still get bullied now but I am what I am .

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I was driven to be a cool kid,(it was a good disguise). I thought I was cool. I must have been doing something wrong/uncool, though, because everyone made big fun of me.
    I just figured they were jealous… LOL!!

    Liked by 1 person

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