Fandango’s Flashback Friday: January 28th

Fandango’s Flashback Friday: January 28th

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of your earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year. How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year?


This post was published January 28th, 2019. Interesting follow-up fun fact – but perhaps more of a personal lightbulb moment…kids everywhere who passed those notes have all grown up and now use email. Anger is highlighted in red. Rumors and character assassinations run wild. Weekends and holidays are no exception. Boundaries disappear. They can still be a gut punch.

So goes a very short rant-of-the-day from my current life as a condo board member. It’s time-consuming, emotionally draining work and eerily reminiscent of times past. Bullies at 70 are just as awful as bullies at 12. On paper and in person. Which is why I have neglected my favorite place here on WP. Who knew that middle school (learning!) experiences like this would be called upon now…


Pass That Note

This post inspired by Ragtag Daily Prompt: Note

I saw a note that Gail wrote
& it says she hates me…

I don’t know if you’re mad at Gail but I am…

When did I first run headlong into notes?
At that awkward will-I-fit-in-say-the-right-thing-avoid-exclusion-at-all-cost stage that characterized my middle school years in the 1960’s.

When successfully passing notes was a prized achievement. A right of passage. If you didn’t get caught.

Notes directed the intense undercurrent of a girl’s ever shifting social hierarchy. They could make or break your day at school.

Scrawled on lined notebook paper. Ripped out of 3-ring binders. Torn into halves. Or quarters. Hastily folded as small as possible. Then..slipped to a friend. Or potential friend. Or some kid sitting at a desk on the way to the note’s intended recipient.

With one eye on the teacher, who with chalk in hand might not turn towards the blackboard as quickly as you think. Who might snatch the wrinkled piece of paper. Which held the potential key to your social future. And then, horror of horrors, read it out loud. So everyone would hear…

Are you mad at me?
Write down yes or no.
Check next to these names…
Do you like them or not?

Or worse, if the note was for you…
From the girlfriends you just had a sleepover with…

We have decided that you are not our type.
Please don’t hang around with us that much. 
You can if you want….Every time
we look at you you are reading. I know you
like to but not every second. Don’t hang around
that much anymore.

Elaborate codes were devised

I’ve always wondered…why? Why did girls jostle for position in such cut throat ways? Which is probably why I saved a few notes for 50 years. Thinking I’d figure it out. I have not. I still have no clue.

Except I am grateful there was no Facebook when I was struggling to fit in. No Instagram. No social media.
Notes would have followed me everywhere.
Day and night.
I can’t imagine.

Notes on wrinkled paper were thrown away. Or stuffed in a drawer.
Only public for an agonizing minute if the teacher recited them in front of snickering classmates.

Then the bell would ring.
And out the door I’d go.


15 thoughts on “Fandango’s Flashback Friday: January 28th

  1. That’s very sad to hear that mature elders still engage in the bullying behaviour. I’ve often wondered about the phrase “respect your elders” as if age alone should be the only condition for respect. Actions at any age speak louder than words and the questions about innate human traits goes on. Sadly, some humans never learn.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is very sad. At first I was shocked – and then realized that some people may have always been that way. Perhaps because they have successfully intimidated everyone in their path to this point. Everyone has a story.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have to agree. Not that I recall anything horribly mean I am so glad we didn’t have social media. I see what young people go through now and I am thankful I didn’t have to deal with it. The worst was someone telling you that someone else didn’t like you. My best friend and I had a notebook we wrote back and forth to each other. I don’t ever recall writing anything bad. I do remember the “do you like me? check yes or no” kinds of notes. I don’t know if I ever got one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t it something how those memories stay with us. I can’t imagine how it would have been as a child dealing with this via social media. I am so glad my kids grew up before the internet exploded as well. My best friend back then was how I got through it all.
      Whoever said “sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me” was very wrong.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. My husband won’t live in a condo for that reason – in his job he had to sit on too many boards. Mean girls still exist and you’re right, it’s worse not that there is social media. Some of those words passed around stung for a lifetime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I totally understand where your husband is coming from. I never knew it would be like this. Sometimes it’s like being in middle or high school and you can’t leave! Bringing back those stings…

      Liked by 1 person

  4. you revived so much with this flashback – thanks for the memories! I’d forgotten all about that surreptitious note passing and the elaborate codes – the age of innocence mixed with spite but before the days of being abused online by social media

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It does all come back, doesn’t it! Apparently this type of experience was shared by many…everywhere. There’s no comparison to the magnitude of the social media experience happening to kids today, but still hurtful. Thank you for your comment!


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