Tuesday, July 14, 2015

When Bad Boys Go Good!

It was the 60’s, and I was in high school. 


My high school was huge.  It drew from two large junior high schools (called middle schools today) that were at opposite ends of the County logistically and in every other way.  One was strictly upper middle to upper class kids and the other a mix of lower and middle class kids.  This socio-economic soup produced two distinct groups, who never intermingled. 




Vintage Cheerleader Picture
The “Rahs” were full of school spirit, cheered at every football game (“Rah, rah!!” hence the name) and were good to excellent students. 




The “Greasers” were too cool to care about anything, much less school spirit and academic achievement.  They smoked, drank and many just marked time until they could legally drop out of school.  There was no social promotion in those days.  If you didn’t make the grade, you repeated the grade, over and over again.  Some never even made it out of junior high school. 

Actually, there was a small group of kids, to which I belonged, who were good to excellent students, but didn’t fit in with either the Rahs or the Greasers.  In the interest of full disclosure, I didn’t like football and I did start sneaking cigarettes at 15. 

It was the era of the enormous bee hive hairdo.



This young lady would have fit right in at the court of Marie Antoinette. 

You didn’t want to go NEAR the girls’ room in the morning.  The smell of cigarettes and hair spray was so overpowering that it was not unusual for someone to pass out from the fumes.  I was always expecting the girls’ room to blow up from that combustible cocktail, but it never did. 

As I said, the two main groups never intermingled.  I didn’t really belong to either one, but I generally socialized with the Rahs. 

Until one day………



I found myself inexplicably attracted to a Greaser.  Tommy was the quintessential “bad boy.”  He’d spent three years in the same grade, and all his spare time fixing up an old car. 

He asked me out and, to my surprise, I accepted.  Could it be that I secretly had a “thing” for “bad boys?” 

It turned out that he was actually rather sweet. 




He gave me my first real “Hollywood kiss.” 

But, the relationship was doomed from the start.  At my locker a few weeks later, while grabbing books for class, I was surrounded by Tommy’s ex-girlfriend, Jeannie, and her entourage. 

As they stared menacingly at me through eyes rimmed in thick, black eyeliner, I saw my whole life flash before me, which didn’t take very long at my age.  Jeannie pushed me hard against my locker and said she would pound me into the pavement if I didn’t stop seeing Tommy. 

The truth was that I was getting a bit bored with the whole greaser thing, so I could afford to be magnanimous.  “Fine,” I said.  “He’s all yours.  Just make sure you tell Tommy to stop asking me out.” 

She looked totally shocked.  Jeannie couldn’t believe I didn’t want to fight.  “Aren’t you gonna fight for him?” she asked. 

“Why would I do that?  I have too much self respect to fight for any guy, and so should you.  You’re too pretty to fight over guys.  They should be fighting over you.” 

She had no idea how to react to that one, so she just narrowed her eyes, hissed “We know where you live” and turned and walked away trailed by her buddies. 

I took a big gulp of air and felt like kissing the pavement I did not get pounded into.  My hands were still shaking as I grabbed my books and ran off to class. 

Jeannie and Tommy did get back together.  They both dropped out of school the following year, and I swore off “bad boys” for good. 




Fast forward about a decade, and I meet a great guy.  He served in the military, is an accountant by day and a graduate student by night.  He’s handsome, intelligent, clean cut, and reliable.  When he says, “I’ll call you Tuesday night,” he does. 

A few months later, he takes me home to meet his mother, which is when I find out the truth.  My “good boy” is a really a “bad boy gone good!!” 

Expelled from catholic school for fighting and bad grades, the local public school was forced to take him, but made him repeat the grade. 

I tried to put a good face on what I was hearing and said, “You mean he fell in with a bad crowd?” 

“Fell in with a bad crowd?” laughed his mother, “He was their leader.” 

On the verge of being expelled, yet again, for fighting and failing grades, he was sent to the guidance counselor’s office, yet again.  By this time, the guidance counselor was sick of seeing him.  “Young man, you are bright and bone-idle lazy.  I’m going to give you one last chance.  You’re going to prove to yourself just how bright you are.  I want you to take the College Boards (SATs) next Saturday or you’re out for good.” 

That Saturday, he showed up on time and took the test.  The only person not shocked by his score in the top percentile, was the guidance counselor. 



And, so, I ended up with a “bad boy” after all.  I guess you could say I still have a “thing” for them, especially when they’ve gone good. 

24 comments:

  1. Beautiful wedding couple!
    I loved reading your story. In my opinion, real life stories are more interesting than fiction.
    And really good fictional novels are based on real life events.
    Is it your wedding anniversary? If so, Congratulations!!!

    Irene

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, we don't have a wedding anniversary until September (our 39th), but I just felt inspired to share my little story ahead of time. Glad you enjoyed it. Like you, I do love reading real life stories.

      Thanks for stopping by, Irene.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  2. This was captivating, and what draws an audience into a story is the ability to relate. I knew "Ronnie", and got threatened by a group of girls who told me to keep away from him or else they'd tell "his girlfriend." I knew they had broken up so I offhandledly added, "why don't you say that to him when he's walking me home today." That deterred the troublemakers but didn't stop my knees from going weak.
    Your twist at the end, proves that we all love a happy ending.
    Well done M-T!
    Linda Christine

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's so funny! Your story so beautifully parallels my own. I guess we've all been there, done that and survived to tell the tale.

      Great comment, my dear, especially coming from someone who writes so beautifully and teaches others to strive towards their creative best.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  3. Great story, and wonderful photographs! Thanks so much for sharing with us all.
    big hug,
    Janice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lovely to hear from you, as always. Thanks for stopping by.

      Hugs, M-T

      Delete
  4. Is that Dolly Parton in the Huge beehive hairdo?? Since I wasn't into sports (so no rah rahs ) or fighting (so no greasers) I sort of had a hard time fiting in. I was a weird combination - a very artsy type who loved books, art, theatre & school. However, I could & did stand up to the tough girls. And, there were plenty of them lurking around. I just didn't fit in. I came into my own when I graduated high school.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think that was Dolly Parton, Rosie, just someone from a high school yearbook, I believe. I was exactly like you -- didn't quite fit in. I spent my time doing homework, reading, taking piano lessons, ballet class and going to the opera w/my family. I was a culture vulture way back then, too.

      Also, like you, I blossomed a bit in college.

      Always lovely to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
    2. Rosie, I double-checked on the bee hive picture, since my source did not list the original source, and you were absolutely right!!! That is, indeed, a picture of Dolly Parton from the 60's. Good eye. I've added the source to the photo.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  5. How interesting. I love reading about other bloggers' pasts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So do I, Vanessa. From what I can tell, your present looks quite interesting, as well. Kudos on all your books and film adaptations.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  6. The classic teen drama - good girl/bad boy. Oh, how I liked those naughty boys in high school! Thank God I feel hard for a nice guy at 25 & have been happily married since.

    Thanks for sharing your story! I enjoyed it and photos very much :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean about those "bad boys." Some of them were just sooo cute and sooo cool. Congratulations on your long and happy marriage. May you have many more happy years together.

      Thanks for stopping by, Cheri.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  7. There must have been many girls like us (a bit studious and not sporty). It seems that high school was just not their place in the 60's. But we find our place and your story does have a happy ending. Thank you for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wonderful!! Another kindred spirit heard from. I know we're out there. We are our own little group. Thanks for reaching out, Mme Là-bas.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  8. What a great story! And I love how you told Tommy's girlfriend that he should be fighting over her, not vice versa. Way to have some self-respect!
    In my case, my husband's always been a good guy; I'm the "bad girl" gone good! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No wonder he fell in love w/you. You're a woman w/a past!! I guess I'll have to do my next post on "bad girls" gone good. Wouldn't that be fun?!

      Thanks for stopping by, Deborah.
      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  9. Comment from my male friend, "M:"

    M-T, wonderful story; I cried, I laughed! Imagine Dan a bad boy. Hey is that picture of the Beehive Hair a young Dolly Parton?

    M

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you liked it. You may have a different view of your golf partner from now on (just kidding!).

      You're the second person to ask about the bee hive picture. It does, indeed, look like a young Dolly Parton. I'll have to check further on that.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
    2. M, did some checking and you were right. It's a picture of Dolly Parton from the 60's. Good eye. I've added the source to the photo.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete
  10. Dearest Marie-Thérèse,
    Òh, the classic story that each one of us has lived with and dealt with in some way!
    I've never fought over any boys but yes, I did encounter some bad girls... I was just too shy and handled it my own way. Only after my mid twenties I lost some of my shyness. In the end it all worked out and I'm happy with the end results.
    LOVE your wedding photo. As for the character, I'd rather deal with a guy that has spunk than with an always good guy!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Like you, I was shy well into adulthood. Frankly, I don't know where I found the courage and the "pluck," as my British Grandmum would have said, to say that to her. Fortunately, it was there when I needed it, and helped me avoid a physical confrontation.

      I did get a spunky guy, Mariette. He's still full of spunk at 68, and he's still a really "good guy."

      As always, I love your comments.

      Big bisous, ma chère amie,

      xoxo, M-T

      Delete
    2. We're both blessed! My Pieter is still spunky, even with his digits reversed from yours...!
      Happy Sunday!
      Hugs,
      Mariette

      Delete
    3. A toast to our spunky boys.

      Cheers, M-T

      Delete

My dear Readers, I do so love reading your comments and appreciate the time you take to make them. To make it easier to leave your comments, I have disabled that annoying "Word Verification" setting, which Blogger (in its infinite wisdom) enabled without my consent.

If you have a problem posting your comment, just send it to me at frenchtouchimage@gmail.com.

I will be happy to post it for you and link back to you. I look forward to hearing from you.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...