The Catholic Girls Start Much Too Late

Denim leads to the road of prostitution

Kathy Copeland Padden
5 min readOct 11, 2021


In 10 years, she’ll be climbing out her bedroom window

Well, they showed you a statue, told you to pray
They built you a temple and locked you away
Aw, but they never told you the price that you pay
For things that you might have done
Only the good die young

Two images spring to mind when most people think “Catholic School Girl.” One is sweet Mary Margaret Murray, plaid uniform skirt covering her knees, clutching her rosary, eyes turned heavenward. Then there’s Kathleen Most-Certainly-Not Copeland, skirt rolled to midthigh, wearing far too much makeup, chain-smoking cigarettes.

Both species certainly exist, but you hear more about the bad girls than the good girls for one simple reason — good girls are fucking boring.

The bad girl is always up for putting toothpaste on the toilet seats or sneaking a quick butt in the senior locker room. She’s down with tripping at school to counteract the tedium. You never had to ask a bad girl twice to cut gym class or hook school completely and get drunk at 9 a.m. In fact, it was almost certainly her idea in the first place.

These plans can backfire on you, of course. One day, my equally evil friend and I were crossing the street at a light in Roslindale Square when we should’ve been in school. Unfortunately, the first car waiting for the green light was my mother. Equally unfortunately, my mother repeated this story to everyone she knew like it was the apex of villainy until the day she died.

There were rare bright spots amid the Catholic high school prison sentence. For instance, we had one math lay teacher who was really young and totally cool. She thought the nuns were as fucked up as we did, and told us a sweet little tale about one of the head honcho…



Kathy Copeland Padden

is a music fanatic, classic film aficionado, and history buff surfing the End Times wave like a boss. Come along!