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ET Phone Home

Posted @ 20:58:34 on 31 August 2012

One of my earliest memories from primary school is coming home from school in floods of tears because some boys had decided to call me 'ET'. Now I am not knocking ET - being taken to the Premiere in Leicester Square is one of my most randomly fond memories of the cinema in my childhood - although at the time I didn't quite understand the significance of being at the premiere in Leicester Square - what 9 year old would? But being called ET at school was one of those hidden shameful secrets that it took me many years to be ok with. In fairness to the boy, I was small, brown-skinned and a bit scaly-looking on account of childhood eczema, but all the same... The other significance for me in remembering this episode as it was one of my fondest memories of my Mum being an all-round wonderful woman. Her response to my wail of "but they called me ET - *waaaaaaaaail*" was, "But Becky, everybody loves ET!" What a perfect re-frame. So what should make me remember this episode on a random friday evening, some thirty years later? (Although I still feel like a 9 year old, but with less scales and little less tolerance for bullying) I recently came across one of those "Friends Re-united-esque" Facebook groups, called "I went to P Primary School" complete with photographs of all my lovely teachers and the swimming pool at the highest point on Dartmoor that was only warm when it rained. On doing a bit of shameless Facebook-stalking, who should I come across but the ET label-wielding boy himself, obviously a lot older (and hopefully a bit less mean!). Amongst all the usual polite remembrances of past times, of girl guides and Princetown Disco at the Prison Officer's Club (it had to be experienced!) I so desperately wanted to pop up and say, "Remember me? I was ET!" I wonder what he would have said?!

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