Ah, middle school. I was very fortunate to fly under the radar during these years. Didn't get kicked off of any lunch tables. Didn't get challenged to a rumble at the Busy Bee laundromat by a girl who'd sharpened her fingernails to points. (Both of these were realities for others.) I did have someone put tape in my hair, but I think it was 'cause he liked me. Dumb ass.
But I did tempt fate. I won the spelling bee. Brace yourself for the suspenseful play by play:
That's right. Champion speller. Big reader. Winner of gargantuan dictionary (which I still have, thank you very much). Why no one kicked my ass is a mystery. I did get gentle ribbing from my friends who christened me the Spelling Bee Queer (back when it just meant odd), a name that name actually stuck for a while. I didn't advance any further in the competition. "Savvy" did me in at the regionals. The next year I entered, but threw the match (threw the bee?). At least that's what I tell myself.
The funny thing about this is that until very recently I had remembered that Izzy had won and I was the runner up. I was actually surprised when I found this article. Suppressing my inner dork, I guess.
Oh, yeah, and my parents divorced sometime around my twelfth year. Not a happy incident, but also not terribly devastating. Theirs was not a match made in heaven. I may have even been relieved.