Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Locker Story

In seventh grade I was granted a top locker, by any usual circumstances this would have been an honor. My family was in the middle of a move placing me in a brand new school, I didn’t know a soul, but I knew one thing, no one wanted a bottom locker. 

I arrived at my locker as I spun the knob I could not determine which number to stop at, because the line at the top is literally invisible if you stand at 4’11”.  Embarrassed and ashamed my load of books served as my constant companion throughout the day.

I came home and reported my wretched day to my mother. She suggested I request a bottom locker. “Mom, no one wants a bottom locker, no one!” My mother’s mind is one of creativity. Her next suggestion was to figure out what the code would be if the line was at the bottom and not the top. “Ya, mom and just how am I going to figure that out when I can’t even see the top?” So there we were me and my mommy figuring out the locker code. She turned the dial to the correct number at the top, she drew a line with a sharpie marker at the bottom and low and behold I had a new code. My mom snuck out of the building and I could now open my locker almost as if I was a normal kid, well, a normal kid with no friends whose mommy had to help her with her locker. 

I told myself no one knew I had to make this special adjustment. The sharpie marker wasn’t that obvious. One day I was talking to this girl, who used me and made me feel horrible about myself, when you’re a seventh grade girl, you just call those kinds of girls, friends. My friend had just shut her locker, “Oops, can I put my math book in your locker, I don’t need it till 6th period tomorrow.”  “Okay,” I agreed. She tossed her book in and I shut the locker. “Oh what’s your code? In case you’re not here when I need it?” My face flushed with humiliation. My secret was about to be let out. My code suddenly became a long explanation and the source to this story which I have told over and over again.

Post inspired by Write on Edge. The challenge was to write about finding beauty in awkward moments in 400 words or less.


  1. What a great choice for a "moment of awkwardness!" My problem with this prompt was that there were so many awkward moments to choose from.

    A little concrit:
    I'd separate the beginning into two sentences instead of joining the clauses with a comma.
    For the next paragraph, I'd eliminate "I arrived at my locker" and begin with "As I spun the knob"
    At the end, it feels like you were fighting the word limit. I really wanted a little more meat at this moment of conflict.

    As I read that moment of conflict, when the "friend" was asking for your combination, I was shouting in my head "Don't do it! It's all just a ruse! She pretended to forget to put her book in her own locker JUST so she could have a lame excuse to get your combination!"

  2. Great story! You tiny thing! My close friend and I were given the top and bottom lockers. She was your height for the top on and I was 5'8" for the bottom. We happily switched.

    Good Mommy=Fabulous and Creative Problem Solver

    My kids always come to me when they need something figured out in a different sort a way. Dad's too practical.

  3. First of all, I love your mom. What a great and creative way to solve your problem.

    A couple of little things...your mom's appearance at your locker was a bit fuzzy. There wasn't really a transition from home to school.

    And I'm curious about the conclusion. Did she laugh at you? Make fun?

  4. What a sweet thing for your mom to do! And great choice for an awkward moment!

    I'm wondering how the girl reacted-what'd she say? Did she figure out your secret?

  5. I'm confused about your mom, too. If my mom would've shown up at school, that would've been awkward! how did she get in without anyone seeing her or wondering what you were doing?

    but still, definitely an awkward feeling and I can imagine the scene with that girl...yikes!

  6. It was the bit about who we call our friends that really stands out for me here. I wonder what would happen if you framed the story with that in mind... Ie: This is a story about ____, shown by my having to disclose the truth about my locker combination to a girl who wasn't truly a friend.