Friday, August 31, 2012

When Dress Code Includes Math But Excludes The Frightened Tall Middle School Girl Trying Not To Violate Code While Not Dressing Like A Pioneer, Or, Please, Show Mercy, Middle School Is Hard Enough Already, Plus Now There Are Robots, by Allison

So last night was V's Middle School Parent's Night. 

And for reasons partially or mostly due to starting my own middle school career a head taller than everyone, covered in poison ivy so bad I had to wear gloves and eye doctor sunglasses, gloves like I was pretending to be Michael Jackson,
topped off by ludicrous haircut attempt to emulate Olivia Newton-John, who while very fab, was not making the best hair choices during the "Physical" era, and that is what I went with,
I get twitchy when the words "middle" and "school" are used in conjunction with a place I am supposed to be.

 So, although I truly try to NOT FREAK OUT and have no skin disease or headband on forehead or such, going to Middle School (which by the way, is fantastic school on our girls' school campus of K-12, with crazy good teachers and robots and computers doing graphs and camping trips and world cultures and it is almost overkill on the good, except there is no such thing as overkill on the good as far as middle school kids education and socialization) FREAKED ME OUT.

My fault.

School is great.

But as am Terrible Allison Who Makes Everything About Herself Even Though This Night Was About V, I start getting twitchy.

I don't know if I can do a robot using a computer and degrees and such (Note: I do not have to, V does, she will own that task and love it).

There is camping??? (Note: I do not have to go camping, unlike Girl Scouts, kind of stuck on that one, but in this case it will be V, and she will love it)

And in math class all I do is try to figure out the "fun" test problems set out to remind parents that we are idiots and better keep our kids in this very good school or world is doomed.
(Note: Did figure the straight lines/circle make 11 pieces of pizza thingy, but that is because there are similar things on the LSATS and that part of my brain is not totally rotten yet).

I feel like I am getting assigned to read a novel every two weeks, which I am totally down with and glad to have permission from very cool English teacher, then remember, oh, it is V who has to read a lot, that is going to be un-fun, chasing her around with books.
But yet again, it is awesome teacher on the case, novel reading is already beginning, why am I being such a head case?

So clearly, it is good I have Matt chaperoning me at Middle School Parent's Night, and he should have brought taser.

Because during all 6th grade parents in theater learning about the extremely impressive and quite intimidating computer network and systems for their projects and I think also NASA activity and cloning, all I can do is fixate on one thing:

 Shorts Issue.

Here is the point where you say, "Allison really is not a reasonable person at all, somebody tell someone."

But bear with me.

I have noted and will continue to note until am muzzled or mute spell performed
 (Which? Is not going to happen because absurd family members of mine won't read all the Harry Potter books, fab books and also probably would give them ideas on ways to silence or redirect me, so they are missing out big time) that I grew tall at early age, like, conveniently right when Middle School started.

So throw Foot Taller Than Everyone Allison into the poison ivy Michael Jackson disguise outfit, bad hair, and overall abject fear, layered with constant wishing I could shrink and be blond and named Jill, and I am a muddy soup of UGGGGG. 

I am in no way saying anyone else ever had this particular set of Things That Made Them Insane, could have been just me.

And thank heaven for most excellent friends
(Note: They know who they are, and also I have waxed poetic about them and their ability to marry non-lame, in fact awesome people, and then have non-lame, in fact awesome kids), discovery of both Jane Austen and Duran Duran, and for hair growing out of bad haircut.

Still tall though, and now there are more tall girls so it is less of a thing, but you know when it becomes a thing?

Shorts Issue.

Guys, parents of boys, darlingly petite ladies or mothers of petite girls or anyone that has not dealt with this, gold star for you.
Am Jealous.
Because having been tall girl and now mom of tall girls, the nebulous rules on how short shorts or skirts can be are very, very tricky to navigate when wearer of those objects is tall.

Thusly revealing more leg than person with a smaller shorts coverage v. leg exposure ratio.

I had one particular vice principal who at least three times a week would make me do the "put your hands by your side, where your thumb touches is appropriate length" but guess what?
That is still a very short skirt or pair of shorts on the Early Tall Girls.
(Subnote: Tall is awesome. Super happy to be tall, happy my girls seem to be going down that road, very handy in spotting things across rooms, am totally cool with the Tall. Subsubnote:  Middle School Allison felt VERY differently and wanted voodoo spell to shrink her to 5 feet one. )

Due to the sad fact that stores now sell tiny, microscopic faux retro Barbie sized running shorts or cutoffs that make Daisy Duke look like a sister wife, even non-uniform schools have got to kind of address the "Please do not be naked or appear to be almost undressed, even if the cute guy at Abercrombie says the shorts are cool, he is moron,
 (Note: Allison is not expert in much, but retail employees and their sub-categories totally fall within my Extreme People Watching Ph.D) and let's take a little stroll down the Champs-Elysees, which is when you leave Forever 21 and head to France, and chic ladies insousiantly explain to you that nothing needs to actually be exposed to oxygen in order to count." 

I get it.

Agree with it, in spirit.

But as I cannot contain the flashback to "Show me if that skirt is thumbs length or not, young lady," rinse repeat four majillion times, and also, as person who knows what is in stores when
(Note: it is not hard, people. Whatever season you are in, the store has the other stuff in stock. Buy the snowboots in September. Bathing suits in February. It is a twisted crazy system set up by maniacal fashionistas who make designers put out next season's stuff way too early, which trickles down, in similar fashion to Meryl Streep's MOST EXCELLENT diatribe on teal in The Devil Wears Prada, to every store selling stuff way too early, which long story short: Not A Whole Lot Of Shorts In Stores In Early Autumn. )

School rule is now five inch inseam on shorts or more is appropriate.
So the hunt begins.
The great white whale of suitably lengthed and sized shorts is ON. 
Great to have it clarified.

But while it is awesome to have dress code shorts deal spelled out, get this? 
Totally valid and correctly inseamed shorts still look SHORT if you are TALL.

And it appears that V's Middle School is NOT populated by vice principals obsessed with skirt or short lengths of girls (and I am grateful for that for many, many reasons) but still, I know she's worried she'll break the dress code, and buying all new shorts at the very end of summer when fur and snowboots are out in stores is NOT FUN.

But as everyone views a situation from their own personal place, through their own prism, and in my case on this, the prism is Prism Of Crazy Traumatized By Shorts Length Rule And Now Will Rally To Fight The Good Fight for All of The Early Tall Girls
(Note: none of these girls want me to say one word. The one in my house wants me to go away, like, NOW. But she just saw me do a flash mob at a swim banquet, so there is little hope of reining me in).

So while informed, note-taking parents at Very Important Middle School Informational Meeting Of Extreme Awesome Curriculum Don't Even Try To Help Them With The Math, Is Too Hard For You are observing intricate and fabulous computer network, courseload, camping trip information, cornucopia of fantastic education, asking good questions, being NORMAL, I am all
(Note: At this point, I hear a small sigh, known to me as Matt resigning himself to whatever nonsense I am about to unleash)
 "Um, can I talk about the shorts length thing?"

Excellent Educators: "Sure . . ." (slightly quizzical look, no nets out to catch me and drag me out, though)

Me: "I know the new rules say five inch inseam for shorts
 (Note: At this point, anyone not directly providing clothing for a tall girl or who has been one is bored, thinks I am lunatic talking clothing at very important educational meeting, wondering what in the world) but you know if you are tall?
Girls shorts are hard to find that are not either big basketball shorts or shorts with inseams of five or less, and even those of five inches or more seem short on a tall kid."

Excellent Educators: "(To themselves silently thinking, Great, she's got three girls coming through here?) Yes?"

Me: "I am just saying, it is hard to follow a shorts or skirt dress code and still not appear to NOT be  following it when you are tall. "
(Note: Huge self restraint, did not go into personal story of Allison Shorts Length Persecution And How It Sucked)

Excellent Educators: "Yes, ok . ."
(Note: Hurrah! At this point the Formerly Tall Middle School Girls Now Currently Tall Moms, or current mothers of tall girls quietly agree or murmur "yeah, the shorts thing is no fun" or such! )

Which does not make me less crazy but does kind of somewhat prove my point, which is this:

Even the best middle school there is, (and ours very well may be that, there are robots you have to BUILD and press conferences and world knowledge and MATH, the likes of which I have not ever seen) there will be personally excruciating growing up is hard type bridges, rope courses, tightropes, mine fields, obstacles for each kid, it is the way it works.

 Have not ever met anyone who smoothly sailed through middle school saying, "Well, that was just a breeze. Hormones? Ha. Constant self-criticism? Nuh uh. Square peg, round hole? What is that?" 

I wish that very much, for all the kids I currently parent or know or do not know or anyone, but I do not think it works that way, will aim to cushion the falls, bolster the good, nurture the awesome, find brain bleach pen to deal with the rest.

And putting things in perspective, shorts issue is NOT a big deal and I am totally making it all about my own flashbacks of Please Stop Announcing To Everyone I am Tall They Can See That.

If that is any kid's biggest problem, world is a good place.

But try telling that to a pre-teenage girl who has no idea what to wear and if she will get in trouble somehow and how is now suddenly taller than our babysitter and didn't these guys used to be my height, what is the deal.

Or at least, that's how my brain worked/works.

These girls are so together, smart, sporty, all the kids, boys and girls, these are kids I have known since ever and adore, and the teachers are fantastic, why do I hide under the bed when hearing the word Middle School? 

I have decided that this shall be one of my new pretend jobs: Getting Over It, Subcategory Allison Shut Up The Kids Are Cool No One But You Remembers The Poison Ivy.

I will dedicate myself to this job as I do all my other pretend jobs, I swear.

Just promise, Middle School People, if a shining, shy but happy tall girl comes within your path, do NOT ask her if her shorts are too short.

Ask her about math.

How art is going.

Please. Do it for the children.

 And if that is not incentive, remember I will be vengeful ghost.