Thursday, April 19, 2012

"The Wright Stuff" ... things you learn outside the classroom

As published in The Pickens County Progress on Thursday, April 19, 2012

I was a good girl until a bad girl moved in next door. She was my polar opposite: I was shy and she wasn’t. The only thing we had in common was being teenagers, displaced from the city to the country. It was the worst thing ever. I said I’d never do that to my kids, and ended up doing it anyway when we move to Pickens County. But I came to believe it was the best thing ever, and hope they will too.

Backing up to 1978, right away, the new girl had me skipping class and floating on a tire-tube in Lake Lanier. We did other things too, involving shaving cream, toilet paper, warm beer, Tide, and municipal fountains. So for litigious reasons, it would be wiser to refer to her as simply “K. Wright.

In my 1978 Yearbook, K. wrote:
“Bettina, we’ve had some great times doing stuff all those places we can’t mention (but you know what I’m talking about). I hope you get Kurt over the summer, or it might be that he gets you! Even though he is a little wild. And I say he is ugly but I really think he is a doll. And if I’m lucky I might be able to get Kevin. He is A-1 FOXY!”

 Now, I don’t remember Kevin, but he must’ve been tall, because K. and I were both amazons. It was our mission in life to find cute, flat shoes so we wouldn’t be taller than our dates. (I am still on that mission.) We were so tall, the cheerleaders and drill team didn’t want us. That summer we wasted practicing for tryouts can never be recovered. We were READY!! O.K.!! for them, but they weren’t ready for us.
K. taught me how to wear makeup, and how to pump gas. And she had good sense. Before she got involved with a boy, we spied on him for a week. Just to see if he was single, employed, and nice to his parents. Because Facebook wasn’t around yet, we conducted field research. In fields. Once, a bull chased us up a tree. The boy we were spying on jabbed at our legs with his deer rifle. He asked what we were doing. K. told him, exactly. And they dated for 6 months, in a row!
K. taught me a lot. For instance, the Wright way to wear make-up is to look like you aren’t. And pumping gas is easy. Smile at the stone fox pumping gas next to you. Smile until your teeth hurt. If he’s got a brain in his head, he’ll introduce himself. You can slip him your phone number. It’s o.k., he’s a nice guy. You know this, because you’ve been spying on him for a week.


  1. Great article again, Bettina! Always happy to read!!

  2. A-1 FOXY. Hahaha, always love your atciles, momma :)