Earlier this year I got the opportunity to submit pieces for an anthology called Comedic Monologues For Teen Girls That Are Actually Funny. Lo and behold two of my monologues will appear in it! Look, it really exists:
I knew my stunted growth and ability to tap into my inner teenager would come in handy one day! The book doesn’t come out until mid-December but I am free to do with these pieces as I wish and I wish to post them on my website.
Below is the monologue entitled “Middle School Preparedness Tips.” It’s kind of long. The young lady who picks this one will need confidence and the ability to keep her audience/auditioners rapt. With this spellbinding tale of teenage pluckiness and fortitude I can only imagine she’ll get whatever part she’s going for and then some! Perhaps she’ll recite this monologue during her college interviews, too.
And now, without further adieu, please enjoy MIDDLE SCHOOL PREPAREDNESS TIPS…
character name: Lindsay Butler
location: Butler Family Living Room / Lindsay sits in a reclining chair across from the three girls who sit side by side on the family couch
age range: 15-18
The reason I’ve gathered you here today is in an effort to offer you some tools you’ll need to best navigate the inevitable pitfalls of 7th grade. Being well ensconced in the 9th grade, I have the advantage of having lived the journey you’ll soon be embarking on recently enough so that the memories are still incredibly potent. And as your sister, your best friend’s sister, and the sister of the girl you’ve volunteered to tutor I feel it is my duty to impart this information while the wisdom I’ve gained these last illuminating years will be of the utmost value to you. I only wish I’d had someone do this for me.
It started out like any other day: your basic Southern California fall morning. I was a typical thirteen year old girl, mid way through the first semester of 7th grade. I rode the fine line between feeling pretty confident I knew everything and being entirely insecure with no idea where I fit in.
It seemed there had to be an answer, a golden ticket, a holy grail that if I could just get my hands on would make me feel complete, never question my status in school, worry about whether guys thought I was pretty, and for a bonus, let me magically know what Frenching was because I was too embarrassed to ask.
So, it was like any other day. The school bell rang at eight a.m., I hadn’t studied hard enough for my History quiz, Jordan Klein still didn’t seem to notice me — status quo.
The only thing that set this day apart, the one detour on the road of my pretty par for the course life was the utter excitement I was filled with… about the fact that for my first time ever…I was wearing my new, high-heeled Korkies to school.
In case you are unfamiliar, Korkies are a high-heeled sandal, made of light beige leather, with a wedged base made of cork.
There are two types.
One is a milder version, with a gradual raise in height from ground level at the toe to two inches at the heel.
The second version is the more grown up pair. Platforms. Cork wedge starting at about two inches in front and gradually getting higher through the heel. You’re basically walking on a soft brick.
I’d had the milder pair since 6th grade — I should add that this milder pair had rainbow stripes on the cork, making what they lacked in danger at least a little more festive — and was graduating to the more evolved, high-heeled pair. I aspired to them. I wanted to be what they represented: foxy, mature, sure of myself. Everything that I wasn’t was guaranteed in the crannies of those corked heels. I wanted in. I wanted to crawl into those crannies and emerge awesome.
My Korkies and I made it through first period (Homeroom) and second period (Spanish) with relative aplomb. Missy Kaufman’s eyes went wide and she gave me a thumbs up from across the room after watching me walk up to the front of the class to write the present tense of “to look” in Spanish on the chalkboard. (It’s “busco” if you’re interested.) But other than that most people didn’t seem to notice. This was slightly disappointing but I tried to chalk it up to a heretofore unknown to me general consensus that I was cool enough to wear the shoes and that it wasn’t anything to make a big deal about.
When Nutrition break came after second period I went about my morning as per usual, heading over to the grassy area in the middle of campus to share a snack with my two best friends, Stephanie and Christy. It was Christy’s day to bring the snack and I was looking forward to it because I didn’t have time to eat breakfast after going back and forth deciding which jeans to wear my with new shoes. Flares were daring, overalls said it was no big deal. I went all in with the flares.
As I rounded the corner of the last building before stepping on to the grass, I heard someone call my name. I didn’t recognize the voice but turned and as I did stepped on to a liquid mass on the walkway just behind me. Things started to feel like they were going in slow motion. I felt the squooshiness, the slickness. I felt my right foot wobbling from side to side as the cork brick below it started to buckle. I felt myself drop the lipgloss I was about to apply, on the off chance Jordan decided to talk to me on the lawn, and then slowly sink as my left foot took allegiance with my right and wobbled itself over and onto the ground.
Everything went quiet. No one was immediately by my side. I had instinctively covered my eyes with my right arm as I laid splayed out on the walkway, my head miraculously pillowed by my backpack that I fell on like a perfect cushion.
Finally after what seemed like hours but was most likely only seconds I heard chatter and people gathering.
I felt hands on my one dangling arm and various other hands on my legs.
I heard someone ask, “Is she dead?”
I heard someone else say, “Oh my god, did she just trip in her Korkies?”
Though my body was incapacitated momentarily, my mind was not. My brain, in an effort of complete and utter self-preservation, took a trip around the possibilities track and came up with thee answer.
I laid there for another long minute or so, and when I heard someone say they would go get the nurse I slowly let my limbs twitch and raised my right arm away from my eyes and asked, in a spot on tone of a confused person, “Where am I?”
I was told I was at school. At Portola Junior High in Tarzana, California.
I was told I fell.
“Oh my god,” I said. “I must have fainted.”
“Fainted?” a chorus of on-lookers chimed back at me.
“Yes,” I said more emphatically as I slowly rose to a seated position, removing the straps of my backpack as I did so as not to be dragged back down. “Because of my period. I’m having my period today and I must have fainted.”
I wasn’t having my period. I hadn’t even gotten my period yet. But I knew some older girls who had and they always made a big deal about it and I thought I’d try my hand at it.
From then on I was the exotic girl with the high heeled Korkies who got her period earlier than most and therefore must be much more mature and interesting than anyone had previously given me credit for.
And so in summation, if it wasn’t incredibly clear, 7th grade means being prepared to think on your feet even when you aren’t actually standing on them, and aspiring to great heights even if there’s a chance you might slip along the way. I hope one day you’ll have the opportunity to pass this on to a little sister, a friend of a little sister, or as extra credit to a girl you meet who might need a little life tutoring.
Okay, let’s bring it in. (Puts her fist out for a group fist pump.) “Girl power!”