Catherine: Middle school. I wouldn’t say I was particularly “cool” or “attractive” or “had friends” in this period of my life. I liked to work on the Bigelow News, the daily morning TV show that chronicled such happenings as who won last night’s basketball game, or what Ms. Sutphin’s class was up to now. Big deal stuff. SHOCKINGLY, this didn’t afford me any popularity points. But. Anyways. Once upon a seventh grade day, as I sat in class likely wearing those extremely oversized pants that were popular for a time, combat boots, and a crushed velvet t-shirt, the principal of the school came and pulled me out of science class.
Apparently, there was concern over the contents of my locker. Had I forgotten to put my tamagotchi in sleep mode? Was it beeping?? How embarassing! But no, no, no. It was at least six times worse. I removed my backpack, and well I guess in that moment I first became aware of the issue. My bag smelled awful. My cat, bless his soul, had peed in my backpack. And apparently it was smelling up the whole hallway. And I hadn’t even NOTICED. So. The principal very gingerly escorted me out by the gym, where she placed my bag outside after making sure I was “ok” with that. Jesus Christ. If kids didn’t have enough reasons to think I sort of sucked already, this was a nice one that I heard about for a good long time. I may or may not have cried several times post incident. Kids are the worst.
Jana: Thinks that this is a really good reason never to have a cat. And is reminded of the time that my backpack broke open in the middle of a crowded hallway during the first week at PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL (scary, where people do drugs, I assumed). Backpacks as minefields – something to consider when raising a child?