Picture this. My secondary school was single sex. Single sex and a Grammar school. Single sex and a Grammar school and Catholic.
We wore purple. For years after I never wore purple again.
We were called ‘purple-virgins’ and ‘Ribena bottles’ and girls would meet with the brother-school after the final bell rang to show off how short their skirts were rolled up (tight, so tight we all had tire belts around our stomachs). We compromised faux-muffin-tops for showing off our knees and thighs.
The only thing that wasn’t purple were these hideous black mafia coats that were compulsory to wear. I was tiny, probably the shortest in the year so my awkwardness stuck out when the black coat swathed by body. We had grey tracksuits for Physical Education and almost every piece of uniform had our school crest patched on.
Purple, dressed in shades of purple.
I hated secondary school. I hated trying to fit in, trying to change myself on a bi-weekly basis for other cooler, more popular girls, girls who could pull off the colour purple. It was a nightmare, an insecure mess of a dream turned inky violet I just wanted to escape.
Now and then I see old teachers, old now, they’re old, and the bitter bitch inside of me urges me to walk up to them and tell them that they ruined my life, it’s true, they did (because I’m bitter).