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Miss Panther: Then & Now

November 14, 2010

I’ve only been out of high school for six years, and I don’t think I’ve changed too much—though hopefully I’m a little less awkward.

As a teenage panther, I was already an indecisive overachiever. As in, I picked up a zillion hobbies and then dropped them immediately when I got bored. There were just a few that I stuck with.

I took private figure skating lessons for about five years. I was not good. I never had any desire to compete. I just liked skating around with my coach once a week. This picture isn’t from a lesson—obviously, I didn’t usually skate in jeans—but it’s the only one I have, since I never allowed my parents to stay and watch:


I also took guitar lessons for the majority of my high school career. I was a little better at this, but just not serious enough to ever get good.

That’s me in the sweet American Eagle sweater, which I’m also wearing in the ice skating picture (shut up! I loved that sweater). The guy I’m playing with is not my teacher, though—just a guy I was jammin’ with at a party. I was soooo cool.

I was a cheerleader in middle school, but I didn’t make the team in high school, so I tried out for colorguard and drill team instead. Thank God! It was much more my speed. I wish I had some sweet pictures of a half-time show or something, but all I’ve got is me and my fellow almost-captain (we were named captains as seniors, but then they CUT THE PROGRAM) leading the band during the Memorial Day parade.

Just look at all those spectators!

And that’s pretty much it for activities I was really committed to. Mostly, I was professionally emo. Oh, yes. I had a Live Journal blog that I poured my heart out to on a daily basis, peppered with depressing poems, Dashboard Confessional song lyrics and a HUGE amount of pictures I took of myself on my webcam. Seriously.

There are literally hundreds of these on my old computer, so I just picked a few of my favorites:

OK, so the last one isn’t really emo, but awwww, look at my kitty! That’s Roxy.

I also had a lot of hobbies that didn’t last. I took a few dance classes:

Ahhhhhhh!!!! The jazz dance that went with that costume was to “Let’s Get Loud” by Jennifer Lopez. Can’t you just picture it?!

I tried knitting and quickly realized that I hated it. Next up was a cool concept called “T-shirt surgery.” Do any of you 20-something Live Journal users remember this? There was a community where people would post pictures of old clothes they had cut up and re-sewed. It’s actually still active! I used to buy giant, ugly things from Goodwill and try to make them cute. Usually, they ended up still ugly, but more fitted. This was a long-sleeved men’s Quicksilver shirt, and I added RIBBON RUCHING to the sides!

That’s talent right there. I also cut up this shirt, which read “Dad’s It and That’s That,” and wore it with a shiny fuschia satin blazer from Goodwill. Sigh.

I also tried stenciling T-shirts from images I found on the internet, but I sucked at it:

So, as you can see, I have a long history of trying (and failing) to be crafty.

Other than my rampant emo-ness, I was a pretty typical high schooler. I smoked cigarettes and thought it made me look bad-ass:

I was a Counselor-in-Training at a summer camp:

I worked at Dairy Queen:

… And thought my visor was sexy? *shudder*

I attended proms in giant brightly-colored gowns:

I dyed my hair many misguided colors:

I drove my parents’ spare car (except for on really nice days, when they took the convertible and I got stuck with the giant Durango):

I miss that car so much.

I attended a lot of giant sleepovers:

And I goofed off in class. All. The. Time. I was such a smart-ass. My high school English teacher once pelted me with dry-erase markers when I wouldn’t be quiet, and also once taped my mouth shut. In retrospect, that was probably not OK, and I think he eventually got fired for improper conduct with a girl on the softball team, but oh well. I spent a lot of time banished to the back corners of my classrooms, as far away from my friends as possible.

Do you think maybe we were supposed to be playing hockey, instead of posing for group shots? Oh, well.

That looks like sophomore chemistry class. This was probably taken during a test or something. Who’s touching my butt?!

Oh! And I was in a band! My cousin, the aforementioned guitar genius Cool J, wanted to start a band with his girlfriend (a singer) and her friend (a drummer), but they needed a bass player. His girlfriend suggested he ask me to join. I had never played bass, but I had the best teacher on the planet (my dad), so after a few weeks, I was a bass player!

I used to perform barefoot. I thought it was … um … edgy, or something.

Our band was called Roadside June. I picked the name from an online band name generator. This was the cover of our album:

And here I am recording in the studio:

*eye roll* How did I think I could be a serious bass player while wearing corduroys and a pink hoodie?!

We once performed with my dad’s band, which was really cool:

My dad (second from the right) was playing bass, so I stood behind him and played guiro. I put my shoes on for that. Heheh.

… And that’s pretty much it. Basically, I tried everything I could in an attempt to discover who I was and what I was supposed to do, but I never quite figured it out. I did, however, always know that I would end up with a musician. I was always a relationship person, so I fully expected to settle down in my 20s. My high school boyfriend (he’s the one in the prom picture), Matt, is still one of my best friends—Mr. Panther is such a good sport for not having a problem with it—but I always knew I wouldn’t end up with him. I was still looking for someone just like Mr. Panther, though I didn’t know it yet. Lucky me—I found him a couple years later!

Hive, tell me what you were like in high school! Did you end up with the kind of person you expected to end up with?

(All personal photos)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2010 10:18 am

    You’ve had some extremely fantastic (and moving) posts. This is definitely in my top 5 though. SO FANTASTIC.

    – Bianca

    • November 15, 2010 12:22 pm

      Hahah, thanks! PS: This comment confused me, because it has Susan’s email address, but you signed it. WHO ARE YOU?

  2. November 15, 2010 1:59 pm

    You are the BEST blogger!!! Such cute and funny pics. Love this entry!

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