Friday, August 16, 2013

The Valentine Files: 14 Fast Facts about the Vals' First Day of School

Here at The YA Valentines, we're all about the number 14. Because, yanno, all of our books come out in 2014! (Our debuts, anyway.:D)

So as 2014 gets closer, occasionally we're going to share facts from The Valentine Files. Sekrit facts. Crazy facts. Freaky facts. 14 of them,  about our books, about our characters, or, well, about us!

So here were go. Episode One of The Valentine Files. Subject: the first day of school.

For me, the first day of school always felt a little like this:

*cue awkward hand wave*

and always held the possibility of this:

"That did NOT just happen..." *dies*

And looking back, my choice to wear crop purple-pinstriped jeans (I know--so wrong, on EVERY level! WHY did they make them?! WHY did I buy them?!) with my purple jelly shoes and a white sailor-collar shirt to start sixth grade was not a great look.* (Although, if you read on, Kristen and I would've rocked the shipwrecked look together...)

Since summer is almost over *sniff*, this week I asked my fellow Valentines to tell me their most hilarious/cringe-worthy/favorite/embarrassing moment they can remember from the first day of school.

So here you go! 14 Valentines, 14 facts. The Valentine files are OPEN.:)

FILE: The Dreaded Fall


"I fell down the stairs with my backpack open. Books and paper everywhere. Ugh."

FILE: The About Face


"I went to an elementary school with 200 students in K-5, the smallest school in our district. My middle school had nearly 1,000 students. The first day I walked in, I was so overwhelmed that I turned around and walked right back out. I called my mother on the payphone and told her to come pick me up because I wanted to be homeschooled."

FILE: Cutest First Day Convo EVER


"At the end of the first day of sixth grade, one of the boys I'd grown up with pointed at me and glared. 'Why do you have dents in your face?'

Before I could answer, another boy angrily retorted, 'They're called dimples, you idiot!'

This was the first time I'd been sort of complimented by a boy. Yes, to a sixth grader, the interchange sounded complimentary. :)"

FILE: August Birthday Blunders

Sara R.

"The first week of school coincides with my birthday, so I always, always, ALWAYS got missed in the classroom birthday celebrations. Every year teachers would say "Don't worry, Sara, we'll celebrate yours when school picks up next year!" Then the next year, teachers would be too busy to remember. The June-July kids would get a special celebration before school let out, but the August kids? Nope. It's a good thing Virgos are generally good-natured."

FILE: Fashion Gone Wrong


"On the first day of sixth grade, my mother was so smitten with the sight of me in my (horrible) back-to-school outfit (that she had picked out) that she had me pose on the front porch like I was a catalog model. In the photo I'm looking off into the distance, one hand on the porch railing, the other hand pointing at something far away. I look like an ill-dressed sea captain with sausage curls indicating there might be an iceberg off the starboard bow."

*I'm right there with you Kristen!
#NoItDidNotLookGood :)

Bethany H.:

"In 1999, I was determined to reinvent myself with a more mature sense of style. So I did the thing where I twisted all my hair into tiny twists and secured them all with tiny butterfly clips and wore glitter eyeshadow and glitter lip gloss...and then since I went to a Catholic school, got in trouble for wearing makeup. Sigh... "

Sara L.:

"5th grade... I had just moved and was new to school. I thought it was an awesome chance to "reinvent" myself, so my sweet Far-Mor (Swedish for Father's Mother) made me an outfit (she was an excellent seamstress)--it was a scoop-necked shirt and matching skirt. I wore my hair up in this super high ponytail and went off to school thinking I was hot stuff. Well, apparently, when you're really tall and don't want to emphasize it, you shouldn't wear scoop-neck shirts with high ponytails. My neck looked about a mile long, and I was a head taller than everyone else. I got named the 'Jolly Green Giant.' Epic backfire."

FILE: Wait--this ISN'T my class?!

"The first day of high school--it was a half-day so each period was about 15 minutes long. My fifth period was lunch, so I hung out in the cafeteria with a bunch of seniors on the crew team, feeling too cool for words since I was a lowly freshman and novice rower.After about ten minutes, though, I realized it wasn't fifth period but fourth...which meant I had to dash through the halls and arrive in photography class just as it was ending. *shudder* "

"Here's a picture of me at one of my first crew races in high school--we'd just won a silver medal in the Empire State Games. What, you thought I was going to show you an embarrassing photo instead? Those are safely hidden in my parents' attic. I hope."

FILE: You Can't Handle The Truth

Bethany C.:

"I'm a preacher’s kid, and until 6th grade attended a private Christian school. Every teacher wanted to land one of the “coveted” preachers’ kids in their class because they were, apparently, better behaved. Well, Mrs. Colesman must have won the 3rd grade lottery that year, because all three preachers’ kids (me, Aaron and Cherka) were in her class! She was so happy, she practically floated while taking roll the first day of school. That is until I very rudely pointed out that there was a tremendous amount of dirt on the ceiling near the air vent. Then poor Mrs. Colesman came crashing back to reality. All preachers’ kids are not created the same."

FILE: Bad Hair Day


"'This body wave will make your hair look really cute,' says my mom's friend, who also happens to be a hairstylist. Worst. Perm. Ever. I'm sorry I don't have a visual for you guys. #SorryNotSorry"


"I'd used Sun-In on my hair all summer so my hair was about 5 different shades of orange and yellow. Then I decided that for back to school, my hair would look "extra special" with more curls. My mom gave me a "body wave" but my hair is wavy anyway, so I ended up with crazy frizzed curls. I looked like Sheila E. had stuck her hand in an electric socket. The whole look was awesome (not even close to awesome) with my Catholic school uniform. :)"


I'm like a mix of everyone else's: Like Sara R, my birthday also coincides with the start of school. My first day of high school fell ON my birthday, which I attended with bleached-out hair, courtesy of Sun-In. My hair color blended into my skin. File this under "what was I thinking?"

Farrah & her glorious 'do
 Jaye Robin Brown:

"I blame Farrah Fawcett. I wanted her hair.

So, tra la la, off to the hair stylist I went and faced a repeat of the Dorothy Hamill pert bob response. 'Your hair won't do that.' But this time, I was older, wiser. I was going to be a junior! By god, I would have that hair cut despite my stylist's repeated warnings.

JRo's "Farrah wings"
You already know the story doesn't end well. But I thought I'd show you my school photo from that year to illustrate the point (and fyi, I wore uniforms, I wouldn't have chosen that shirt). And here's the lesson: Curly hair won't layer. Cases of Aqua Net help, but only make you look like a weapon of your own mass destruction. Hair-sprayed-till-it-picks-up-in-one-piece-off-the side-of-your-head hair doesn't shimmer. It might self combust, but It. Does. Not. Shimmer.

But there's always next fall, right? 'Did you hear lemon juice can turn your hair blonde?'"

LOVE JRo's bold wings...I had some myself.:) But those pictures are still sealed in the Valentines' vault. And now, until the next episode . . . the Valentine Files are officially CLOSED.:)

How about you, sweet reader? What is your favorite/most awkward/cringe-worthy first day of school moment? We can't wait to hear!


  1. LOL! I love this! Jaye, your hair was... lovely :D Very Farrah-esque, as you pointed out. And LOL Paula - getting out of showing us your perm :P Kristi, there is nothing wrong with frizzy - I mean BOUNCY curls :D

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    P.S. That Spongebob gif is so cute ^_^

    1. Alyssa--there's a reason I didn't put up a pic! ;)

      Jaye--I'll say it again...I love your hair! :)

    2. It really did pick up in one solid piece. And it got bigger and bigger as the day wore on!

    3. Thanks for stopping by Alyssa!:) *sends you Valentine love*

      Jro--your hair ROCKS. Farrah would be proud.:) xo

    4. LOL! You all rock ;) *accepts Valentine love*

  2. ROFLMAO!! That cute, awkward hand wave is the story of my life!!

  3. Jaye, the hair is just freaking awesome. That is all.

    You guys all rock. My story is lame. Haha. ;-)

    1. Sara,

      You're the cutest. I didn't have much to offer either--just bad fashion.:) xo

  4. Layered curls and bad perms, you guys are bringing back some painful memories. (The worst is a disastrous experiment with hair relaxer.) :) Wish I could blame my hair mis=steps on high school, but I made most of them in my twenties.

    However, I'm sure you'll all look lovely in your author photos!