I was an awkward kid

im
age

This drawing is an attempt to capture a moment of perfect awkward social ineptness in my life.  I was nine or ten—it was the fifth grade—and I was in gym class.  That thing I’m wearing up there is a ‘pinny’.  If you’re not familiar, it’s basically a sort of miniature cotton apron/jersey that goes over your shoulders and ties around your waist.  In gym, when we’d have some sort of frenetic competitive sport that split the class into two teams, we’d put on pennies (ours were either red or yellow) to keep track of which screaming child was on which team.

Nobody liked wearing the pinnies.  The were stupid looking.  I barely knew stupid looking from Adam, and even I knew they were stupid looking.  But we had to wear them, and so we did, draping them over our torsos and tying the strings off in front.  And then we’d tear ass around the gym, throwing beanbags at each other or playing some elaborate variant of freeze tag or whatever, and in general we’d end up having so much vigorous fun (or vigorous angry competition) that we’d forget about the goddam pinnies for the duration.

But there are those slow, quiet moments, between rounds or before things get started or after they finish, when conversation can happen.  Conversation was never my thing.  One liners, okay.  Record-breaking belches; dirty jokes: these I could handle.  Conversation was right out.

And yet I found myself standing near (cute, red-haired) Jessica Stenson, in one of those pauses, and found myself moved to some jokey conversation.  And I looked at her pinny, and at mine, and noticed the differences in how we had tied them and the resulting discrepency in length between her leftover ties and mine.  And I grabbed one of my ties—the ties hanging from a knot above my crotch—and sort of waggled it at her and in an inexplicable taunting singsong said:

“Miiiines shorter than yooooours.”

Post-script: after struggling to remember the name of these things (pinnies, not pennies, kudos due Roger Lampe for recalling correctly), I did a google image search to see what’s what in pinnies these days.  You can see for yourself—pinnies are (sensibly enough) still around, but they’ve moved to simple pull-over tanktop things without any string ties, apparently.  If only we’d had these seventeen years ago…)

7 Responses

  1. Ouch!

    ThePinkSuperhero - January 23rd, 2007 at 8:45 am
  2. A ha’pinny would do.

    It's Raining Florence Henderson - January 23rd, 2007 at 8:49 am
  3. I’ll ha’pinny you!

    Josh Millard - January 23rd, 2007 at 8:57 am
  4. Cloth? Damn rich kids.

    Ours were plastic! And they tore frequently! The gym coach would keep a supply of duct tape around to patch em up.

    Joel - January 23rd, 2007 at 4:52 pm
  5. I’m pretty sure our pinnies were cloth by virtue of having been manufactured before the field of plastics existed.

    Josh Millard - January 24th, 2007 at 9:42 am
  6. Very pervy. Nice job. More icky than awkward, but I get your drift.

    Lucky you’re not a kid now, you’d be arrested and tagged a sexual offender for life. I think you should just register anyway, save a bit of trouble down the line.

    p dub - February 18th, 2007 at 12:27 pm
  7. If you think that’s bad, I once scored a goal during penny football because NO ONE EXPECTED THE BALL TO BE THROWN TO ME. ;( That maneuver can only work once, though. ;)

    Savanna - March 28th, 2007 at 9:31 am

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