My final year of high school was a great year. I had gone through all the uncomfortable stages of trying to fit in and mold myself into a carbon copy of all my peers. I had finally reached the final year of my schooling and at the same time I found a certain amount of inner peace and my skin finally fitted me fairly comfortably. I had lots of friends and they were all understanding of my reading, writing and dreamy nature. The subjects I studied at school were largely ones I enjoyed, including English, History, Accounting, Science and Maths. I had boyfriends but they were all peripheral to my own goals and future plans. Life was fabulous.
This glorious year culminated in a celebratory “knees up” in the form of our matric dance. The girls in my year had looked forward to this event for the entire school year and dress and hair discussions were the flavour of each and every day.
I don’t remember the venue but it was large as we were a group of 300 hundred matric students at my high school (10 classes of 30 learners). I do remember the theme was Under the Sea which seemed amazing at the time. I shopped for a dress with my Mom and sister, Cath. It was so much fun, we tried on long dresses and short dresses, straight skirts and full ones and I eventually decided on a dress that I still think symbolizes my personality – then and now.
I thought I would write a 99 word piece of flash fiction to encapsulate my memory of this day:
“She stood on the cusp of her new, post-school life. Today symbolized the end of childhood and the beginning of an exciting journey towards adulthood. Her dress fitted her perfectly, and she loved its short, full skirt of many shimmering colours. Her blonde hair had been curled, teased and coaxed into a fullness she had never achieved before. The overdone make-up of the late 80’s and early 90’s decorated her youthful face and sparkling eyes. She was ready to make the transition from one life to the next in a swirl of loud, pumping music and glittering disco balls.”
I grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa during the 1980’s and was a young adult during the 1990’s. I studied to become a chartered accountant through correspondence courses at the University of South Africa (“UNISA”). I did my articles at KPMG in Johannesburg and that is where I met my husband, Mr Fox.
One of my favourite songs as a young adult was So You’d like to save the world by Lloyd Cole. My dear blogger friend, Paul Andruss, reminded me of this song this morning when he left a comment on my blog saying that we will change the world one small step at a time. If you don’t know Paul, you are really missing out. He is a fantastic historian, writer and gardener and you should go over and visit his fabulous blog http://www.paul-andruss.com/. He is also a resident writer for Sally Cronin’s blog and you can read a recent post of Paul’s here: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/01/19/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-gardening-column-with-paul-andruss-about-the-new-gardening-column/
The first verse of this song is as follows:
“So you’d like to save the world
I suggest you take one person at a time
And start with me
Not an ordinary girl
Not someone that I should hit upon
And ask, “hey what’s your sign babe”
Have you been reading my mind
(what did you find)
Nothing more or less terrestrial
Could I keep you in mind.”
This post was inspired by Irene A Waters from Reflections and Nightmares blog. You can read Irene’s lovely post here: https://irenewaters19.com/2018/01/02/high-school-graduation-times-past/
Robbie and Michael Cheadle are the co-authors of the Sir Chocolate Book series and Robbie Cheadle is the author of Silly Willy goes to Cape Town