Glory Days Part 2

There were two things during my high school years that surprised me: one in a good way, and the other in a bad:

When I was a freshman & had a class where I got to tutor a couple of classmates, there was a guy named Paul in my class. Paul was one of the tutors as well and was one of the “popular” kids. For whatever reason, he would make snide remarks about me to 2-3 other guys in the classroom and they would all laugh at me. I don’t even remember what exactly was said. I just remember being very uncomfortable every time I went to class and basically held my breath hoping the “mean” chatter would be held to a minimum. I have no clue why I was the target, but I survived it. Thank God I only had to deal with it for one semester.

I never had another class with Paul until our senior year when we had Speech class together. Paul became our Senior Student Council President and seemed to have “grown up” since freshman year. We didn’t have much chance to communicate during Speech class but I didn’t feel uneasy around him and he never said a bad word about me that year. At the end of the year, when everyone was passing around their Memory Books for others to sign, I remember he came over to me and asked if he could sign my book. Needless to say, I was shocked and a little wary. I gave it to him and when I got it back he had written that he was glad he got to know me better, told me I was a great person, and wished me the best. While I had never let the way Paul treated me freshman year affect me, nor did I think about him again until senior year when we were thrown together again, it was nice to see how he had not only changed, but in a way felt compelled to sort-of make amends, I guess. It meant a lot to me that he took that great of an effort. I saw him at our 10 year reunion and he remembered me and we had a nice chat. I hope he’s still doing well.

The “bad” surprise came in my senior year as well. There were 3 girls I waited at the bus stop with and we had become “friends” over the years. One of the girls, Barbara,  told me  a guy in her biology class “liked” me. How this guy knew who I was I had no clue. One day, she handed me a letter that he wrote to me. I’m no expert in handwriting, but it looked like ‘female’ handwriting, so I had a feeling something was off. All 3 girls kept talking about how ‘cool’ it was that this mystery guy liked me and that I should write him back. Having that feeling that something was off about this, I wrote “him” a letter.  I told “him” I appreciated his letter and maybe we could meet sometime. In the letter, I asked what class he had with Barbara (I knew what she had told me, but I TOLD “him” I couldn’t remember). When “he” wrote back, he stated he was in her Intro Geometry class. This is where Barbara screwed up her little game: she didn’t remember her own lies.  I went along with this game a little while longer, even though it hurt that people I thought were my friends would do that to me just so they could laugh at me behind my back. But, as I like to say even ’til the day: whether you’re laughing WITH me or AT me, at least you’re laughing. Once I told them I was on to their game, I stayed away from them as much as I could. They got mad at ME for foiling their game, which was hilarious and they didn’t see anything wrong with what they did. It was “just a joke” to them. Trying to make a fool out of a friend is no joke.

Glory Days Part 1

When I was growing up, I never cared what people thought of me. I was the nerdy girl in glasses who was basically a loner most of her life. I had friends I played with when I was younger and my Dad always said I never met a stranger, but nothing really ‘stuck’ much when it came to friends for me. I just always wanted to be nice to everyone whether we were friends or not.

As I got older, I was never a part of any cliques in school.  I was still the nerdy girl with glasses and the teacher’s pet. I liked being the teacher’s pet, although I wasn’t the teacher’s pet that kissed ass. I just liked grading papers and helping. I was always the helper. My 4th grade teacher was pregnant at the end of my 4th grade year and invited me to spend a week at her house that summer.  I remember spending it helping out with her new baby boy. She also bought me a yellow dress and shoes and took me to a children’s ballet. The next year, a teacher of mine heard me sing in the talent show and decided to start a school choir…because of me. When you’re that young, it feels really good to feel like adults respect you that much.

In high school, I was still a nerdy girl with glasses and became the girl the popular kids picked on. It was a little mean, but not in the way that some kids got picked on. I was the ugly, nerdy girl so most of it was as much of the popular guys embarrassing each other as it was about embarrassing me. One guy would say “Hey, Todd wants to go out with you”. Todd would blush and get upset and say “No, I don’t!”. Other ugly, awkward girls like me who were teased would go cower in a corner and cry.  I was NEVER going to be that girl. Honestly, the teasing didn’t make me want to cry anyway. I found it amusing for some reason.  I’m not going to lie and say it didn’t hurt my feelings, but I never felt like crying…not even when people I thought were actually friends of mine decided to get in on the joke.

To be continued….