girls school · Gulf Park · Mississippi

You Can’t Tell I Went to a Girl’s School?

At the age of 17, I hadn’t learned the art of saying no to my mother.

She was a force that didn’t tolerate resistance, especially if it was obvious you weren’t going to win. So when she announced I was going to a southern girls’ school for my senior year in high school the decision was not arguable, try as I did.

I had good reasons for wanting to stay in my small hometown. I was going to be drum major of our high school band that fall. I was vice president of my senior class. I had high expectations for a year of social activities with little attention to classwork. Of course, that had been how I had spent every year of my 11 previous years in the formal education arena. This was, no doubt, the reason my mother thought it best for me to get at least one year of focused study under my belt before entering an institute of higher learning.

I also had multiple reasons not to go 947 miles away for this long-awaited year of fun and games. I had never been to a girls’ school. I’d never been to Mississippi, I didn’t know anyone in this school, and I probably couldn’t wear jeans to class. This latter reason carried the most weight for me. As a teenager, I loved my Levi’s.

Reading through the do’s and don’ts for attending Gulf Park College-High School for Girls, I became painfully aware that my fear of ‘no pants’ was based in reality. Not only did the dress code insist on dresses and/or skirts be worn everyday, a Gulf Park Girl had to wear ‘stockings’ to every meal! ‘Stockings’ did not mean bobby socks, but rather those dreadful nylons that were kept up with a garter belt usually attached to a girdle.

Don’t remember those? Then obviously you are too young, or you are lost in adult dementia. Either way, lucky you. It’s not a fashion statement you want to relive. Nor do I want to find that little black ‘hat’ in my closet that was required attire for Sunday church services.

My mother was in heaven over the prospect that one of her tomboy daughters would be exposed to culture and sophistication…southern style. She had such high hopes that this unpolished child would return draped with poise, grace, and properness!

I will let you determine whether her expectations were met, or were dashed on the misfortune of having a child born in Oklahoma.

There are many lessons I did learn during that year spent in Long Beach, Mississippi, and I will share many of those experiences in future posts.

Meanwhile, I leave you with a shortened list of ‘Don’ts’ in the Gulf Park Girls Handbook:

  • Gulf Park Girls do not use toothpicks in public
  • Gulf Park Girls do not chew gum in public
  • Gulf Park Girls do not smoke in public
  • Gulf Park Girls do not date men/boys who have not been pre-approved by the school head mistress
  • Gulf Park Girls do not use profanity on or off campus
  • Gulf Park Girls must be properly dressed when going off campus

And the positive addition I recommended be made to this list was:

  • Gulf Park Girls shall endure a very boring year if all the ‘Don’ts’ are followed

Suffice to say, I did not have a boring year! Which ‘don’ts’ did I turn into ‘do’s’? Stay tuned.

16 thoughts on “You Can’t Tell I Went to a Girl’s School?

  1. Oh I am hooked and agog! I can tell I am going to be entirely enthralled with this series (I already am). By the way, I was born in 1960 but despite my fictional older sisters burning their bras and dancing naked and fecklessly at Woodstock content that their free love was protected from unwanted motherhood by popping a teeny pill each morning, by 17 I still never crossed my mother and as a result at 18 rather than going from Secondary School to University, I was sent to finishing school. I believe we will have many experiences in common …. bring on the party, please do!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I went to a Catholic all girl’s high school. I feel your pain. Can’t wait to read what you did. We wore a an itchy wool uniform that had to be below our knees (in 1965). As soon as school let out I would hitch it up, get a pack of smokes, tease my hair and hang out at the shopping center trying to be cool.

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      1. Archaic or not, many of the problems in today’s society could be blamed upon allowing some of our high standards to slip away. As for chewing gum… Well, that’s just downright unsightly!

        I enjoyed the post Margo and look forward to the next.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. So were you an accidental or involuntary rebel? I look forward to the next exciting instalment. At Christchurch Girls High School, I was in awe of the true rebels, but to get away with it one apparently had to be captain of at least one A sports team.

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    1. Rachel, I never thought of myself as a rebel, as stated before. I guess I didn’t see what I was doing as rebellious, it just seemed to be the right thing for me to do. And I wasn’t captain of any sports team…but I did laugh loudly!

      Liked by 1 person

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