humor, Memoir

Cool Kid, Part One of Many

Nike high-tops were all the rage in fourth grade. Boys did not lace them to the top, but instead tucked the tops in their jeans and left the tongues sticking out in front. I told mama I wanted some of the shoes with the big tongues that stuck up. We drove all over looking for such shoes, insisting to the sales people that we were not looking for high tops, but shoes with big tongues.

The next year, high tops were going out. Since they were called “high-tops,” it made perfect sense that regular Nike’s were “low-tops.” I was so proud of my new shoes the first day of school. The boy sitting behind me had the same pair. “Look!” I said. “We both have Nike low-tops.” “They’re not called low tops, stupid,” he said. And the whole class laughed.

As we were leaving the water park after a day of fun when I was twelve or so, my sister snickered and told me to look at the back of my swimsuit. It was ripped from top to bottom, with my white bun glistening in the sun. I’d had no idea. My parents apologetically told me that it had been that way for several hours, but they didn’t want to spoil my fun, so they didn’t tell.

When I was a freshman in High School, I had a new neighbor who happened to be in my grade and happened to be the new school hottie. All the boys liked her, including this one. I never attempted to talk to her; instead, I showed off any time she was out. At the end of the year she announced she was moving, and she asked why I never talked to her. I invited her over for a movie, and she gladly accepted. We sat there awkwardly; I spoke not a word until the movie was over, and then I blurted out, “Can I kiss you?” At this, she laughed very hard and said, “How about a hug?”

Also my freshman year: After a band competition, we were to spend the day having fun in whatever forgotten city we had traveled to compete. All the other kids were smart and brought a nice change of clothes, including tennis shoes. I had a white undershirt and lime green shorts with which I wore my black band socks and black shiny marching shoes. My sophomore girlfriend of two weeks was embarrassed to walk with me and got back with her old boyfriend that day.

My sophomore year: At Christmas, we drove to see my grandparents in Arizona. On the way, we drove through El Paso and daddy pointed out that the hills we saw in the background were in Mexico. Sitting in youth group a few months later at my girlfriend’s church where her daddy was the pastor, the youth director asked who had traveled out of the country. I raised my hand and said I’d been to Mexico, immediately wondering why the hell I said such a thing. Everyone knew I was lying, so I sat there awkwardly and probably didn’t speak the rest of the night.

Also my sophomore year: Daddy got a new electric typewriter—a very fancy typewriter. It had a reverse key and built in correction tape. I’d heard of “word processors,” and was sure that’s what we had. Later in the year in class, I told the teacher I’d been typing on my daddy’s word processor. One of my friends said, “That’s not a word processor! It’s a typewriter!” And the whole class laughed. That’s how I learned that we didn’t have a word processor.

To be continued.

About Nowhere Tribune

A husband and daddy, striving to love his neighbors and be kind to his pets. I love good food, good beer, and a few good friends. My other interests are hiking, taking walks, lifting weights, reading books by manly authors like Hemingway and Twain, and splitting fire wood with my bare hands.


19 thoughts on “Cool Kid, Part One of Many

  1. I am loving this. I relate to the shoes. I was the cityslicker wearing wrangler jeans. Not only that I had the Houston crease and roll at the bottom. Who knew wranglers were a country thing.

    Posted by bigguyhiking | August 21, 2019, 5:07 pm
  2. Sorry, I’m dying at the mental visual of your after band ensemble 🤣

    Posted by Sassyfitnesschick | August 21, 2019, 6:45 pm
  3. Just think , if you hadn’t been so cool, you wouldn’t have so much to blog about! 😉

    Posted by pkadams | August 21, 2019, 6:56 pm
  4. Love it! We all have these excruciatingly embarrassing stories of growing up… but oh, the lime green shorts and black socks ensemble. Please tell me there’s a photo… please!

    Posted by Rivergirl | August 22, 2019, 5:15 am
  5. Wait, they’re not called low-tops?! It’s good to know that my current self and fifth grade you are the same level of cool

    Posted by Shayne | August 22, 2019, 9:35 am
  6. Oh we have all had those moments! Excruciating embarrassment over such minor things! I am sure that I could write a book about my own missteps. I suppose it is what keeps us humble. 😂

    Posted by Middle Aged Momma | August 22, 2019, 11:20 am
  7. It’s great to be able to laugh about these things. We carry them with us and surely hardly anyone involved remembers or cares about them anymore.

    Posted by Admin | August 23, 2019, 10:35 am
  8. Ohh, the embarrassment! I have plenty, like everyone else. I’m in pain whenever I remember any of it… It comes out of nowhere.

    Posted by imghostlypale | August 24, 2019, 2:28 pm
    • Eventually you’ll be able to laugh at it all. I hope so, anyway. At this point in my life, making fun of myself is one of my favorite things to do.

      Posted by Nowhere Tribune | August 24, 2019, 3:29 pm
  9. You sound a lot like me as a kid. Probably a little less dorky, though, because I can’t imagine how anyone could be dorkier than me, ha. But I feel you on the involuntary embarrassments (and some we can definitely own XD)

    Posted by Jay | October 9, 2019, 12:51 pm

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