No one was more surprised than I to find out I made the 8th grade varsity basketball team. To this day, I imagine the coaches had a meeting to pick the 12 team members and were like, “Well, Daisy has that mother she can't stand, and we should probably do whatever we can to keep her at school for more hours, and if we put her on the JV team, she’ll likely not participate, and she’s not THAT bad at basketball, and it’ll be good for her self-esteem, and we’ll only put her in for a few minutes during games, and what’s the worst she can do, so yeah, let’s make her the 12th team member."
In reality, that’s probably not what happened, except, actually, it totally probably is. That’s what happens when you go to a small private school and there are only 30 girls in your class. Everyone knows everything, including, once I made the team, the reason I had to leave practice at 4:15 every Tuesday. What? Your parents didn’t make you see a psychiatrist? From the age of eight? Weird.
I liked being part of the basketball team, even if I wasn’t a starter. I liked running the drills and being at school late. I liked going to away games, even that one where I somehow tripped and fell down and skinned my knee only to have the the ball bounce ON MY HEAD and go out of bounds. I was the last person to “touch” it, so … yeah. You get it.
Having a basketball bouce on my head was the least of my problems though. Long story short: I was a pretty unhappy 13-year-old.
My mother and I had a relationship similar to that of Christina and Joan Crawford’s in “Mommie Dearest.” Because of that, eighth grade was to be my last year living at home; come September, I was being shipped across the country to boarding school. Unfortunately, I was also permanently grounded for all of 8th grade, so I spent a lot of time in my room, mostly without a phone or stereo, as those were the first things to get taken away when I was punished.
Needless to say: Basketball was important to me. It meant more sanctioned time away from the house. Time with my friends. Time with adults who saw the good in me and believed me in me. I couldn't do anything right at home, so I put a lot of pressure on myself to do everything right at school.
So anyway, there I was, at another basketball practice. Our head coach (and science teacher and resident crush-worthy teacher even though he totally had a mullet and rollerbladed) Mr. Cohen came up with a drill where we had to dribble and try to pass the ball to someone down court while the Assistant Coach tried to block.
The star of the team (next to me in the pic) went first and, of course, killed it. (Fine, I don’t actually remember who went first or what exactly happened, but basically that’s what ALWAYS happened, so I’ll just assume.) Then it was my turn. I dribbled the ball a few feet and looked down court. I pulled the ball behind my head, went to make the long pass and then, just as the ball left my fingertips:
The Assistant Coach jumped in front of me, hands raised in the air, and completely blocked my pass. The baskeball came hurdling back at me through the air.
And then I did what any member of an 8th grade basketball team would do. (Not really.)
I burst into tears.
Like. A LOT OF TEARS.
I got stuffed by a grown man during basketball practice and it made me weep. I can't be sure, but I also have a vague memory of being so mortified by the tears that I grabbed my stuff, yelled "I quit," and walked out of practice.
Even though I can't remember what happened before or after, I've never been able to forget that exact moment. I remember the dull light of the gym. The sound of the Assistant Coach's hand hitting the ball. The look on his face when I started crying. And the feeling in my gut that I’d just caused a scene at school when that was the last thing on earth I wanted to do. I was humiliated.
But lucky for you, that’s not the only time I’ve cried in a totally inappropriate forum! And because I’m a giver, I’m going to share a bunch of those extra special moments with you. Because that's what we do on xoJane. Overshare! But, in return, I expect you to overshare right back with me in the comments. Deal? Okay then. Here goes nothin'...
10 Times I Cried When I Really Wish I Hadn’t
1. After my sixth EVER yoga class when I went to thank my teacher and tell her how much I was enjoying it. I mean, all I wanted to do was say thanks and next thing I knew, I was totally choked up and liquid was pouring over my eyelids. Just one more reason I no longer practice that crap.
2. After a fancy dinner with a guy I was dating when he told me he wanted to go home. Alone. Because nothing gets a guy hard like a girl sobbing into her wine glass.
3. Christmas when I was four years old. I went to unwrap a really big present. Suddenly voices shouted out, “Daisy! That’s for Grandmother B.” And I burst into tears. I wasn’t crying because I was sad the gift wasn’t for me; I was crying because I was embarrassed. Because that's normal for a four year old.
4. During “Gorillas in the Mist.” It’s not that I cried; it’s that I cried so loudly and with such intensity that the usher told my mom if I didn’t stop, he’d have to ask me to leave the theater.
5. In 5th grade. At the lunch table at my brand new school in London. I asked the French teacher for more salami and she yelled at me that I hadn’t even finished the salami that was on my plate. What can I say? I guess I find being denied salami super humiliating (see #2).
6. In the wine aisle at Trader Joe’s two weeks ago when I realized someone had accidentally walked away with my full -- almost finished except the wine -- grocery cart. There's nothing quite like having a nervous breakdown next to the soup sample guy to make you realize all that childhood therapy? It didn't do a goddamn thing.
7. When my psycho drug addict felon ex-boyfriend screamed that I was a whore on the bus. Just because, ew. Crying on the bus? Gross.
8. That time at summer camp when I was 11 and I vomited off of the top bunk and it splashed all over the floor. And my bunkmate.
9. When that stranger at the comedy club called me a c-u-n-t. Fine. I may have actually been behaving like a c-u-n-t, but whatever: At least I waited until I got to the bathroom to start snotiating everywhere. It's fine to cry; just don't let them see you do it.
10. During every single episode of “Grey’s Anatomy” ever. I mean, for f*ck's sake, Daisy. Have some dignity.
Okay. I showed you mine. Now you show me yours!
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