Your cringe-worthy tales of adolescence

We moved in the middle of 8th grade, which, as I’m sure you can imagine, was already traumatic enough. I was generally well-liked at my old school so I wasn’t enthusiastic about leaving. The new school had an impenetrable social hierarchy and I mostly stayed under the radar-- didn’t make too many friends, but also wasn’t targeted for any specific harassment.

Summer was right around the corner and yearbook season had arrived. And I’m sure it’s pretty much the same everywhere, people writing “2 GOOD 2 BE 4GOTTEN!” and “SEE YOU NEXT YEAR!” You might be surprised to learn that I got a decent number of people to sign my yearbook, with most of the entries something along the lines of “Wish we’d gotten to know each other better!”

So anyway I’m sitting in Social Studies when someone walks up to my desk and asks me to sign their yearbook. I look up and who do I see standing next to me but one of the hottest, most popular girls. I kept my cool and with perfect composure asked to borrow her pen. She hands it over and, what the #*&#, I can't get the #*( cap off. I twist, I pull, it’s not budging. I try to use the side of the desk as leverage, nothing.

I’m starting to stress out a little because this isn’t going as well as I wanted, so I give it one more pull with all my strength. AH SWEET RELEASE! But the severe jerking motion left me with the cap in my hand and the point of the pen firmly embedded in hers. She had to go to the nurse and I never did sign her yearbook, possibly because I died of embarrassment that day.

9th grade - 1975-6

We had 2 art teachers. Mr. L taught the jewelry making classes and Mr. K taught the pottery classes. Both were middle-aged men. I think Mr. K was married and Mr. L was a single guy - kind of aging hippie. Just regular guys. One day during Mr. L’s jewelry class we were all sitting around the tables waiting for class to begin. Mr. L hadn’t come into the classroom yet. I was sitting with my back to the door. One of the kids asked, “where’s Mr. L?” I said, “he’s probably in the closet making love to Mr. K.” The kids sitting across from me started laughing. I turned around and sure enough, there was Mr. K standing in the doorway. :eek::smack: Back then we really didn’t know about gay people at all. We thought we knew what we were talking about, but not really. I felt like I was going to throw up. Especially since I had a pottery class with Mr. K later in the day! To make it even weirder, I wasn’t THAT kid at all. I was always a good student, shy, quiet…I must have suddenly felt brave that day. I must have lost sleep over that for weeks.

I still cringe when I think about it.

At age 14, unlike all of my buddies, I’d never had a girlfriend, the main reason being that I was pathetically shy.

Now, there was this girl I’d been obsessed with all year, a fact that she perfectly aware of. That was not surprising as she was really pretty and as a result, very popular with all of us.

Towards the end of the school year, I saw my two best friends talking to her early one morning. The intriguing thing was that they were looking at me and smiling while doing so. Later that morning, during recess, they came up to me and said something like :

LEDS, you really need to talk to Sabrina, you won’t regret it.”
“But what should I say ?”
“Ask her out ! Ask her whether she wants to be your girlfriend. We’ve talked to her about you. It’s worth it, believe us.”

I spent the next couple of hours agonizing about the whole thing. Then, during our lunchbreak, egged on by my friends, I summoned the courage to talk to her.

“So… would you like… to be… my… er… girlfried ?”
“No !”, she smiled.

It may be hard to believe but it wasn’t a prank. It was my friends’ nice but misguided attempt to make me less clueless around girls. And it did help me in a way, as I met my first sort-of girlfriend a couple of months later, but that day I was utterly crushed.

3 years later, when had a costume party at the school during our senior year, Sabrina chose me as her partner. I guess I was much less dorky to her then. I had a girlfriend for one thing, so I had become kind of cool I guess.

Working the Wendy’s drive through one day and this hawt 20-something girl orders a Frosty. She pulls up to the window…

“Are you working hard.”
“Yes. Are you?”

Fortunately, that is the ONLY tale of teenage cringe-worthiness that ever occurred. The rest, I’m sure, have been successfully repressed. :smiley:

This is a bit of a cheat because it is someone else’s cringe-worthy tale, but TRC4941’s story made me think of it. Middle school, possibly 6th grade. Math class–the teacher was creative about desk arrangement and for some reason instead of having all the student desks aligned facing the teacher’s desk, the student desks were arranged in two groups that faced each other (creating an aisle between them) with the teacher’s desk off to the side. So a girl in the opposite group (that I was facing) was joking around with her nearby friends playing with a Rubick’s Snake. The snake was in the standard ball shape–except that she had straightened half of it so that the whole thing had a suggestive shape, and was fellating it for her audience before some 6th sense caused her to turn around and observe her mother (who was a teacher at the school) standing in the doorway 3 feet from her giving her The Look Of Death, at which point the girl attempted to fold herself out of existence in her seat.

Is sevent grade adolescense? Say about thirteen years old?

Well, I was in Phys Ed, and we had a week long sex education class. I was remarkably ignorant about sex. I knew about sperm, and the egg, and that babies grew inside the mother and came out from the vagina.

But I actually didn’t know about how the sperm got delivered to the egg. Reading in the book I was given I found an extremely physiological description of intercourse. After puzzling it out I was stunned, not sure if I understood what I was reading correctly. So I raised my hand in class and asked about it.

All the rest of the girls burst out laughing at me. Even the teacher blushed, and she was a married woman, and pregnant at the time! I wanted to die.

But when I understood what I read my first thought was "That means that… my mom and my dad…they DID that!!! Ewwwwww!!!

I started college a bit early, just past 17. Several professors over the next year expressed interest in me, to me, with varying degrees of explicitness. Stupid as it may sound, I thought they were just kidding. A few years ago, I realized they weren’t kidding :o.

Junior year of high school. I had not yet grown out of being a complete dork, but I was at least starting to blend into non-embarrassing anonymity.

I was wearing a brand new pair of shoes and the soles hadn’t yet gotten scuffed. I was walking down a flight of stairs after French class when my feet flew out from under me. I didn’t just fall down the stairs, I bounced down them feet first. Every one of my fellow students managed to get out of the way until I collided with a girl I’d had a crush on since I was a freshman. She, too, bounced down the stairs feet first until we both came to a stop on the landing, our books strewn about us.

Her friends all gathered around to help her. My friends all gathered around and laughed. And did I mention that both she and I shared many other classes throughout the day with each other and many of those other French students?

I don’t want to go back into therapy, so I’ll just limit my posts to one incident for every page in the thread. Check back in another 100 or so posts.

This is about a classmate, but I was there.

7th or 8th grade swim class. All us students were seated facing the pool, wearing our swimsuits, on the floor, backs against the wall in a line, waiting for class to begin.

Another student arrives, perhaps 5 minutes late. He has to walk - wearing his swimsuit - in front of the entire line of 30 or so fellow students to get to the end where he can sit down.

Thing is, he has a very prominent erection. “Jimmy has a boner!”, someone shouts. He has to complete his walk while the entire class is snickering, his penis pointing the way.

The Onion used to publish Pathetic Geek Stories, illustrated versions of the sorts of tales being told here.

In grade school we had a field trip to the Buhl Planetarium. There was a cool display of a see through human body. In the darkened auditorium, the organs lit up one at a time, each a different color, while a tape played. “I am the liver. My job is to . . .” type of thing.

Well, the breasts lit up and they were white, and I just couldn’t help blurting out, “high beams”.

I guess you had to be there. Everyone lost it. Kids, teachers, bus driver, planetarium dude. I thought for sure I was going to be in big trouble, but not a word was said.

Okay, charging through so I don’t chicken out.

As a function of being badly bullied when I changed from private, religious school to public at 7th grade, I became very, very shy. I had previously wanted to act in local theatre, but had gone right off the idea of putting myself on exhibit. It would be asking for trouble.

My mother brought me to an all-teenage, touring summer production of West Side Story. I was enthusiastic, as I still liked watching other people do it. She started insisting that I needed to speak to them after the show so I could find out how to act like that myself. Nope. She frog-marched me up to the older teen girl playing a gang member. The second she took her hand off me, I bolted.

The girl found me outside, behind the community centre, and kindly explained that she wasn’t really in a gang and I didn’t need to be afraid. It was all acting, this wonderful thing where you pretended to be someone or something else. I pretended I was sinking straight through the floor, dissolving in my own tears.

There we are. That was kind of a middling incident. There were worse ones. That one tells pretty good, though.

Sneak brag, kayaker!

Same with me, only I went into public school in the sixth grade.

One day I was sitting alone at lunch (of course), when a girl came up to me and said “Hi, what’s your name?” My heart pounded with excitement. A friend, a friend! I said, “Hi, I’m Julie!” and she chanted, “Julie, Julie, if you’re able, get your elbows off the table.” Then she walked away, as my little heart broke in pieces.

I wonder if she knew I would remember that dumb incident for 37 years.

I don’t remember much about grades 7-12. I do know I was not one of the cool kids, because I was a band lifer. And I remember a few kids in particular who were innocuous enough but … special. Either autistic, or abused (a realization in retrospect), or dealing with some level of mental illness that would remain taboo for another 20 years, but alone. These kids were always alone, they spoke to no one. I wish I’d had the confidence and strength of character to take an interest in them. But I didn’t, and so I didn’t, even though it bothered me that I couldn’t get past myself.

That failure haunted me well into adulthood, and I made the point to my kids. My oldest was able to hang with the cool kids but wasn’t afraid of the different ones; my son WAS one of the different ones, figured it out, and was suspended multiple times in high school for punching out bullies who preyed on them; my youngest became disillusioned with the system that suspended her brother while the bullies went unpunished–she abandoned the academic aspect of school and spent her time hunting down and roughing up bullies and befriending the freaks.

I had a crush on Craig from 5th grade. When we were on an 8th grade field trip, I was sitting behind him on the bus. As we were riding down the road, I held my tupperware cup of ice water (packed in my lunch to keep things cold) over his head, threatening to pour it out. The bus hit a bump and I poured some on him. I was mortified! Way to impress a guy, huh?

Guess it wasn’t too horrible, tho - he did invite me to our 8th grade graduation dance. Then we went to different high schools and I didn’t see him again for about 40 years. He’d never married and by that time, he was taking care of his elderly mother who had dementia. I never confessed my crush - I wonder if he’d been pining for me all those years… :rolleyes:

And another…

In 10th grade (15 yo), I went on my first “real date” - meaning it was with just me and the boy in his car. Like I said in my earlier post, I was quiet and shy. This boy was quiet also. He picked me up and off we went to a movie. NEITHER of us said a word all night other than greeting each other and saying goodbye which included a kiss. Thank goodness it was a movie where you can’t really talk, so at least 1-1/2 hours of the non-talking evening was normal. I often wonder if he ever thinks of that night and cringes like I do.

I grew up in a small town. There was an elementary school (K-4), a middle school (5-8) and a high school (9-12). The elementary school and the middle school had the same principal, but different buildings and different school secretaries. When I was in 7th grade I drew a quite explicit picture of oral sex and shared it with my classmates. The teacher’s aide (who was the mother of one of my classmates) got it and turned it into the principal. Now, in one of the many not very bright moments of my life, I had signed the picture, so I could not deny being the artist. The principal gave me a stern talking to about appropriate behavior and, because this was the only time I had ever been in his office, let me off with a warning and, most importantly to me, a promise that this would stay between us. The reason this was important to me was that my mother was his secretary at the elementary school. Needless to say, it did not stay just between us.

Not quite adolescence ( I was 10), but it was quite embarrassing.

My 4th grade teacher used to make the entire class stand up and say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. The thing she did, though, was to make us stand for a quick moment of silence after the Pledge was recited, about 10 to 20 seconds. So one day we all stood up to say the Pledge. As we were reciting it, I could feel a fart starting to build up in my bowels. As we neared the end of the Pledge I started clinching every muscle known to man to keep this fart from coming out, but then came the short moment of silence. Wouldn’t you know, as if right on cue, about 5 seconds into the moment of silence, I let rip the loudest fart one could make at age 10.

The entire class laughed their asses off.

I was mortified.

My friends and I shot the engineer’s window out of a moving freight train with pellet guns from beneath a trestle bridge when we were fourteen.

They stopped the train and some dudes leaped off the caboose and started yelling and chasing us.