When you think of the word humiliation a plethora of disturbing and unwanted flashbacks most likely race through your mind. Like….
That time you were sleeping over a friend’s at the tender age of ten and used their toilet to poop, only to have clogged it, not know where the plunger is or, perhaps, how to use it, and decide to go back to sleep and blame it on your friend’s older brother in the morning.
That time you tipped over a kayak at summer camp and got caught beneath it and couldn’t figure out how to escape and had to scream that you were drowning for help, then got awarded “Most Likely to Drown” at the closing ceremonies (UGH, did that really only happen to me?!!!)
That time you fell down an entire flight of stairs…in front of everyone, and it hurt really bad and you wanted to cry and you could feel the blood rushing to the deep scratches lining your ass and back, but you got up and laughed instead to draw less attention.
Every time you drink tequila.
But all of these examples are totally self-inflicted, and therefore, make what I’m about to tell you a What the fuck?! kind of story.
At the beginning of my seventh grade year, a dress code was implemented that would destroy and humiliate every female student. Prior to the new code, there really wasn’t any old code. Middle school students were primarily allowed to dress themselves however they pleased… most likely because they weren’t trying to whore-it-out. I’m not sure any of us even really thought about what was appropriate or not, we just dressed as a fresh teeny bopper would. But the new dress code made us think about every inch of fabric covering our natural bodies.
1. If wearing a sleeveless shirt, students must have straps that measure to the width of a dollar bill.
2. If wearing a skirt, or shorts, the length of said item must fall to at least the middle finger of the students hand when hands are placed at sides of body.
3. Students may not wear see-through clothing, deep plunging necklines, or t-shirts with inappropriate text or image display.
4. Students must NOT, any under circumstances, show any mid drift
I get it… sort of. For high school, this makes more sense. For middle school? I don’t know, it just seems extreme. Were 12,13,14 year old girls really trying to wear items so short their vaginas would fall out? Did “spaghetti straps” on our tanks show too much shoulder? I don’t know… it’s a FUCKING SHOULDER.
So the dress code happened and was strictly enforced by our principal, Mr Asbel, and the guidance counselor (thought those bitches were supposed to be on our side), Ms. Cole.
So I’m sitting in Spanish class when in walks er… interrupts Ms. Cole. She tells “Señora” to carry on teaching, and that she is simply going to peruse the room
in hopes of catching some slut. I’m leaning forward in my seat, resting my forearms on the table, when she comes up behind me and puts her hand on the small of my back, then whispers something like “This is exposed skin. This is inappropriate. This is against the rules. Go to the office.”
So I have to get up in the middle of the class and go to the office because of this dumb bitch who doesn’t understand that my shirt rose to show a small portion of my back because I was leaning forward, and that, I am not a whore!!! So I had to sit in Mr Asbel’s office and answer to him about how I need to be more respectful of the dress code.
Meanwhile, in the same week, it’s picture day, and my friend is told she cannot take her picture after waiting forever in line because Ms. Cole believes she is showing too much cleavage.
But here’s the banger. Here’s the true, What the fuck?! of it all:
I’m sitting in English class, when My teacher (who we called the Stogy-Master because she was most definitely a walking cigar), tells me I’ve been called to Principal Asbel’s office.
As concerned as I am, I’m also like, maybe I did something right.. because I am 100% certain I am wearing all dress code appropriate attire, I have done nothing but get good grades, and I hadn’t done anything inappropriate on a school bus in like, months!
So I get into his office and he has a look of total fury on his face. His mostly bald head is steaming, and he’s staring at me like he might try to burn me to the ground with his eyes. Then, after a really long and awkward silence, he says, “You know exactly why you’re here don’t you, Alexa?”
And I’m like, “Um, no. I actually have no idea.”
“Yes you do!!!”
“No. No I really don’t.”
Then he’s like, “I’m not playing this game with you anymore. I was told, by a faculty member (it was totally Ms. Cole) that you were wearing a very inappropriate shirt, but now that I see it myself, I can truly call it skanky.”
And I’m thinking Can he really say skanky?
And then I say, “I really, really don’t understand what is wrong with my shirt Mr. Asbel.”
He goes on to tell me that my tank top (which is more than dollar width thick and far surpasses my mid drift, is “unfathomably see-through.”
It was my sisters. She never let me wear anything of hers, and she did that day. It was a tight pink tank top that, I thought that passed all dress code requirements. You could see the lining of my bra… that was it. But he is furious and decides that the only thing to do is call my mother in.
So we wait in his office for about a half an hour until in walks my mother… looking like this:
And Mr. Asbel is like:
And I’m like:
So then my mother goes all Tyra-Banks-Freak-Out on his ass and says something like, “Are you out of your fucking mind? My daughter is thirteen years old. She is wearing a completely appropriate shirt and you are spending all your time and energy worrying about students’ clothing choices and publicly humiliating them for it, when there are much bigger things you should be focusing on. You are NOT a respectable principal and you SUCK at your job.” It was pretty much the most epic mother-daughter moment of my life.
From then on, my mother only referred to Mr. Asbel as Mr. Ass-Balls. Oh, and no one ever measured the width of my clothing, stopped me in the hallway and asked me to put my hands by my side to see if my skirt or shorts were long enough, or sent me to the principal’s office.
And, of course, by the time I was in high school and away from Ass-Balls, he’d gotten a new job at a new school and taken Ms. Cole with him because SURPRISE SURPRISE, they were secretly banging the whole time.