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Okay…so I didn’t really “get it on” at my eighth grade graduation, but how exciting is a fourteen-year-old’s eighth grade graduation?!?!
First time for wearing a fancy dress, first time for flowered corsages, first time for serious slow-dance time, and if other “first times” were applicable to you back then, then the first time for those as well!
In 1995 I was seriously ready for my first sexy dress, but fate it seemed would have a slightly different plan…
…We were sitting there in English class, ignoring the proper use of adverbs, and doodling on our notebooks. No one was writing out their future “married names”, but instead it was fashion sketch-fest, as the girls drew the dresses they’d be wearing to graduation.
I had no idea what my dress would be, but I thought of my sister’s dress from a couple of years ago. My mother had made it herself, exactly to my sister’s specs. So I put in my request that night.
Things didn’t go as planned, since apparently my mom had “gotten over” sewing. So she told me to wear my sister’s dress. I’d have no problem fitting in my tall and lanky sister’s dress, but that wasn’t really the issue. The issue was floral prints. My sister’s dress looked like an English garden on a heavy dose of crack, plus an added shot of “puffy”. While this had somehow been in style in 1993, things had changed a lot.
From the classroom sketches alone, I could see that the coolest ones were subdued and a whole lot sexier. Dresses hiked high to the knee, in plain dark colours and spaghetti straps…the entire room would be full of lip-glossed girls who were growing up fast.
I needed to get that too.
A lot of challenges awaited though. Like the challenge of not wearing a bra, not wearing make-up, and not being allowed to shave my legs just yet.
But still I would conquer; like maybe a clingy dress that ran down long and sleek, with a built-in bra that my mom wouldn’t even see.
I could do it!
At first my mom said no to the “new dress” plan, and instead suggested that I wear a glittered Indian suit.
An Indian dress with “leggings” at a party full of white people?!?!?! All I could envision was getting beat up and having everyone call me “samosa” for the next three years. So I stayed firm…NO Indian stuff.
My mother then decided that the best dressy outfit could be found at the local Farmer’s Market.
No, I didn’t mis-type that.
I acknowledge the inherent oddity of buying a dress at the Farmer’s Market, but my parents were on an obsessive “Farmer’s Market” kick. They would go there twice a week, as they got all high off of shopping outside and paying in cash and striking a deal.
So off we went to the Farmer’s Market…
…After walking around through several aisles and filling our arms with vegetables and fruit, we had arrived in the “clothing section”…or the Southwest side of the parking lot. We strode our way past too many stalls with tie-dyed shirts and leather belts, but eventually came across it..the formal wear.
And that’s when my mom said: “There they are! I saw these last week; they’re perfect!”
And there they were. Out of the back of a van, various hanging flowy vests with flowy bell-bottom pants. The material was light and airy, and the colours were dark. They were also printed, but with muted floral prints, to keep with the times.
So they fit the overall theme, except…it was a vest with matching flowy bell-bottom pants.
Somehow this god-awful trend had slipped through the cracks of 1995, and I do admit that the combo was a little “in”. But I should also mention that the combo was a little “in” for teachers who liked to dress up, or for mothers who would wear the flowy vest/pant combo on a night out to dinner, glamming it up with a string of pearls.
I was horrified, but somehow in my sick deficient brain, I thought this outfit would be less offensive than a beautiful shimmered Indian dress.
So we picked it up, and threw it in the back of the van with all the fruits. I had my graduation outfit…
…If the outfit itself wasn’t horrid enough, of course I’d have to wear a shirt underneath the vest. I envisioned a spandex shirt with fancy flair, but what my mother brought home was a cream-coloured t-shirt.
But I still had the hair to glam it up with. And for that my mother took me out to a real salon!
As it turned out the girls in my class hadn’t sketched any hairstyles, so I didn’t know what was “in”. And so…a thick French braid tucked under with a hundred pins it was (oh and some baby’s breath flowers too…right)…
…Looking back, I can’t believe how dazzling I would’ve looked in an Indian dress, but how afraid I was to even try it, because of my own neuroses towards my culture. These days I would wear a saree to the bar each and every time, if it wasn’t so much frickin’ effort.
So if there’s anything to end with that leaves me on a higher note, it’s that the (only) boy who slow-danced with me got all “rigid” during Bon Jovi’s “This Ain’t a Love Song”.
Hmm…I guess that big French braid was sexier than I thought…
Your mother comes through again! She’s becoming my hero Romi! I bet you were darn cute with that baby’s breath in your hair and your slinky cream colored … OK hold on, you were in 8th grade so I’ll stop right there but … no wonder your dance partner was aroused. You little skank! Does your mother know about this?? 😀 😀
Woo hoo! First comment!!
Weeeeeee!! Second comment!!
OK I’ll stop now. 🙂
Aww, this story is cute a bit, and also the second story i’ve read about a person’s neurosis. My mom chaproned my 8th grade dance, I was also forced to go, ha ha, the only boy i danced with was the kid that had diarhhea in his pants in 4th grade…My favorite part of this is when you said “An Indian dress with “leggings” at a party full of white people?!?!?!” Lol I know I’m neurotic, but I’m not sure how, bc i never had indian dresses and such, I’m kinda a split person I suppose? Also, good to know you’d wear an indian dress now, those guys are pretty!
lol, i just read the ‘rigid’ part, lmao, If i was dancing with you, there’d be a party in my pants too. 😉
ew, ew, ew – rigid? LOL! 🙂
And people wonder why “Gen X” (of which I think you might just barely qualify) want to spoil out children so! It’s SO, that when they are in their late 20s and 30s, they aren’t writing horrific stories about their childhoods like we are.
BTW: My high school baseball cleats, came from the dump. Yes…my dad found them when he was there dropping off a bunch of crap. They never quite fit right, but I didn’t complain. I knew money was tights. Still…sucked!
We want PICTURES!
Aw, I bet you would have looked great in a saree. Indian chicks are smokin hot generally. Too bad you went with the honky fashion. And I can completely understand poor dance partner guy’s situation. Bon Jovi gives me a boner too.
Also, I don’t know what you looked like in the eighth grade, but I was just telling Em earlier that I think you look kind of like Kim Kardashian. Minus some of the junk in the trunk of course, because seriously, that chick has at least two asses in her pants. Not that I have a problem with that, it’s just gawkingly large.
I second the picture request!
And also, why did you want a bra? I thought you said you hadn’t sprouted yet.
Romi’s mom thought that only sluts wore bras. So of course Romi wanted one all the more, along with those bra filler thingies.
Woot, at least you got some semblance of tail! 😉 And seriously, do you know how often I take the Carlton streetcar through the bazaar and look at all the fabrics with utter jealousy? Dude, I looooove that stuff, if I could walk around in full sparkle all day I’d rock it ’till Sunday.
My grade 8 graduation dress cost my grandmother $8 at a garage sale. And I dyed my hair black…didn’t look so great. I’m still only mildly bitter at my younger sisters $200 grad dress. *Ahem*
Ya I had the ‘rigid’ problem when I was that age, dancing with girls too.
Romi do you honestly think that 8th graders even knew what a samosa was? I think the Indian dress would have been the right decision. I can see why you would not want the hand-me-downs though. I have an older brother and growing up in the 80’s was tough. Why I was wearing acid washed jeans, fluorescent green and pink striped t-shirts and fanny packs well after their popularity had declined made me a very awkward and confused little boy. It was more awkward because I had Auburn/red hair growing up and that does not mesh well with fluorescent anything. I am glad that you were still able to steal a little boy’s heart that night though.
DAMMIT! I was hoping there’d be a picture involved somewhere. Damn!
So. I love hearing that you’ve embraced your culture now, as an adult. That shows greatness.
As far as the 8th grade Romi .. hehehhh . . I couldnt help but snicker.
I love how you can recount all these things with such little effort. Awesome recollection! And, yes… where is the picture of said outfit? I can see how in the 8th grade you worried what other people thought of you- that’s normal. Every kid just wants to fit in. Boner, heee-heeee-heee! Too funny!
Romi- I see you have a huge male following!
I love these stories because they are so easily relatable to anyone who is first generation American/ Canadian.
My parents are from Israel and I can count the times that I felt like I was the oddball out in my class.
Love your stories- plus you should TOTALLy post a picture.
Rigid eh…I guess graduation wasn’t that bad after all 😉 I’m catching up on all the p osts I have missed recently and all I have to say is that your early to mid-teens sounded like quite the journey!
We don’t have all these wondrous events you guys have. Our BIG event is the year 12 formal – the dance that sends most girls into fits of panic at the end of high school. My mother took me out and she decided that a pastel blue shimmery number with puffed sleeves was the way to go. Think 80s bridesmaid. She had to work on the day my friends and I were preparing for the formal… hehehe
Down the stairs I came in all my glory. My once blonde hair was black, the dress was black and I handed my crucifix to her and said, “You can keep that, I’m Pagan” That will teach her to give me access to her credit card in case I needed any last minute bits and pieces. The video of the event is a family classic.
David: haha….thanks for taking comment-control of this thread, “first four” is a first I think 😉
Shweta: you gotta love the Indian suit with legging look; REALLY it’s so much prettier than the horrid outfit I wore!
PS: you can have as many parties in your pants as you want, haha 😉
dobeman: hmm…you’re right, I think I’m borderline gen-x, maybe a year or two too old to be gen-y? But I’m not sure…well I’m old enough anyway 😉
PS: sorry about your garbage cleats, but as a fellow unspoiled (read: unhappy) child, I know how you feel, haha 😉
BetMe: hey there, nice to see you again! 🙂 Well tha graduation was definitely pre-digital camera days, so I need to scrounge around some old photo albums to find a pic…I KNOW there is a pic though!!
Josh: hahaha…what is up with Bon Jovi and his ability to cause boners?!?!? LOL….and dude, I would have stole the show in a saree, but hindsight is 20/20 😉 ..oh and also I had a stick-boy body at the time, so I’m not sure how a saree would’ve looked, haha…
PS: Em and I talked about the Kim Kardashian thing after, and ass aside, I kind of sort of maybe see it…a little, haha 😉
Daddy Dan: I hadn’t sprouted by that time at all, but I wanted one with lots of padding, lol 😉
David: hahaha, yes, yes, it was a half “rebellion” thing, and a half “bra filler” thing 😉
Emerald: your sister had a $200 grad dress!?!?!? Pfft…whatever, she’ll probably peak in high school 😉 …and yes, I love me the sparkle 😉
Kerplar: well at least the rigidity shows that you’re a healthy young male, haha 😉
jcow81: I’m sorry you were an awkward and confused little boy, but doesn’t it disturb you still that flourescent striped shirts and fanny packs were EVER popular!?!? *shudder*…
PS: I don’t think it was his heart that I stole, haha 😉
Red: I am earnestly going to look for that picture, it would be too funny to pass up 😉
PS: I am all about embracing things these days, I am a citizen of the world, just bring it! 😉 But back then…sigh…I didn’t get a lot of embraces, let’s just say that 😉
JavaQueen: honestly, most of the time I surprise myself that I can remember things in such detail, cause by the time I’m done remembering it, I say: wow, I hadn’t thought about that for the last 13 years!!! 😉
geminigirl64: hahaha…do I have a male following? What?!?! I’m so glad you validate that I wasn’t crazy and it wasn’t just me, and when I can find a picture, I will link to it for sure 😉
sammy25: I will definitely say that it was a long, long journey to get to here, and now i just wonder what’s after “here” for me 😉
Anja: “you can keep that I’m Pagan”, hahaha…you go girl! That is the most amazing “formal reveal” I have ever heard, I bet your rocked the socks off that prom 🙂 …SO MUCH better than a blue pastel and (ugh) shimmery number!!
oh how very disappointed I am. I was just visiting this site and begin reading, however I immediately stopped after your RACIAL comment. Quoted “An Indian dress with “leggings” at a party full of white people?!?!?! All I could envision was getting beat up and having everyone call me “samosa” for the next three years.”
I cannot believe you would say something like that about white people! It really shows how ignorrant those “brown” people truly are.
Oh, I forgot to stop by here and say: if you can’t read the “sarcasm” or “humour” tags at the bottom of my post…well shit, then you don’t belong on my blog now do you? You don’t have to think I’m funny, but if you actually think I’m being serious, well then I certainly can’t help you. Toodle-a-oo! 😀