Thursday, July 17, 2008

Unblocking, Part 1

OK, I am taking your suggestions and trying to unblock myself. Allison asked about high school, so I’ll start there.

There are people who loved high school and people who hated it. I fall somewhere in between. I did mostly enjoy those years, but not in the way that it was my peak in life (and you know we all know those folks). And there were things about it that I hated, though I am not the type of person who doesn’t go to reunions because I was miserable and still hate those people (although there are a few).

Friends:
It seems like everything about me in school was pretty average and that’s OK with me. I wasn’t popular, but I wasn’t an outcast. When I was in grade school, and junior high, I was friends with the girls who became the popular crowd, but there were a few that joined up with that group that drove kind of a wedge. They were the mean girls. I can remember being pushed out of the group by them in their not-so-subtle way – they would sit at the lunch table and make plans that didn’t include me. I understand now that my friends were probably afraid to buck the routine and never made a point of speaking up and including me, but it still hurt. I stuck around for a long time because of the ones that were truly friends, but eventually, I started hanging out with a group of girls a year older. And one day, the Mean Girls gave me an ultimatum – us or them. Considering that “us” was a bunch of bitches who didn’t include me anyway and “them” was a group of girls who always made me feel welcome, it’s not hard to guess who I chose. Of course, “them” graduated the next year and I was alone again.

My friends remained my friend, but our social circles grew a little apart. Not that I really had a social circle. I was friends with a lot of different people, but I never really had a group of friend. I had several very close friends, but they weren’t all friends with each other. So I would hang out with a good friend and her (or his) friends.

I also had a lot of situational friends. During swim season, I hung out with the team. During football season, it was the majorettes. I was a gymnast for part of those years, so I had my gym friends. There was French club and our trip to Europe. I had the school newspaper friends. I was a geek, too – a member of the chemistry, biology and physics club. It was nice to have such a diverse group of friends but sometimes I wished I had a group of friends - that I actually fit in somewhere. Of course, who didn’t feel that way at some point? I still have some of the same great friends, like Tee and Hedge, who have been my best friends since early childhood and Rapunzel who I knew all though school, but only as an acquaintance and who has since become a dear friend.

Boys:
In a small town and small school, there was no “dating”. There were boyfriends and girlfriends (And the occasional one-night stand) (Not that Hedge or I have any idea about that) (HAHAHAHAHAHA). I can remember watching The Brady Bunch and seeing how they went on dates and asked each other out, and I was amazed and intrigued by hat. Because in my school, you went to a dance or a party or the game and you kissed him behind the bleachers and then he was your boyfriend. It didn’t have to last a long time - 3 days, a week, a month – but during that time, you were a couple.

Even back then I liked older men, though I couldn’t really get away with dating them often. My first kiss was when I was in 8th grade (I was a bit of a late bloomer, but once I bloomed? Hoo-boy) and he was in 10th – my first older man. I was so nervous, since I was the last of my friends. I remember walking with him to his wrestling practice at the gym after school, knowing that I was going to get a kiss, knowing that I had to get back I time for my bus, and being scared shitless. I can clearly remember the feeling of walking back to the buses when it was over, feeling like my feet weren’t even touching the ground. But after the novelty wore off, it became apparent that he slobbered. I didn’t like that.

My next boyfriend was my age and was the one I think of as my first love, albeit puppy love. He moved away and I was devastated. After that, I mostly stuck to the older “men”. My first sexual experience was with a guy several years older (with “relax – don’t do it” on the radio at the exact moment). We were in the musical together and I fell hard. It was a really happy time until it fizzled out (on his end). It took me a long, long time to get over that one. I had one long term boyfriend who was a friend that I loved a lot. But there was something always not right and I think it was that I felt for him more as a friend than a boyfriend. But at that age, it was hard to distinguish between the two and we were on and off all through school – with it not being quite right when we were together and yet not quite right when we were apart.

The boyfriend from my senior year was my age. He was hot and fun and OMG the sex. Weirdly, people often told us we looked alike. Once, a new girl came to the school and asked him out. She told her he was flattered, but brought up me as the reason why he couldn’t. She said, “Why would your sister care?” It was a good, healthy (and HOT) relationship. Alas, I went off to college and he stayed home and our lives diverged. If we had met at a later time in life, it could have been something.

Oh – and also – at one point, I dated Hedge’s husband (her husband now – she wasn’t married in jr high – we’re not that rednecked, you freaks). Anyway, you might think it would be weird for one BFF to have previously dated the other’s husband, but it’s not because a) it was a long, long time ago, b) it was before I discovered sex, so there’s no ick factor, and c) neither one of us like him anymore.

Bullies:
I never really had to deal with girl bullies. I mean – we had the mean girls, but I just thought they were bitches and didn’t give a fuck. Bt there were a group of boys who were horrible to me. I don’t know what they had against me, but they made my life hell for a few years. They threw things at me. They called me terrible names. They egged my house. I never did anything to warrant it. I never dated any of them, I never had an argument with any of them, I never looked sideways at any of them. So I never understood. Plus the most evil one was a shrimpy little fuckweasel that couldn’t pick on boys, lest he get his ass kicked, so he went to who he thought would be easier to bully (I was outspoken, but I hadn’t yet learned the fine arts of not giving a shit and ass-kicking). There were days and days and days that I went home and cried my eyes out over the way they treated me.

If it happened to my daughter, I would tell her that they were jealous because she didn’t date any of them, but I don’t’ want to sound vain. OK – I’m going to go ahead and sound vain – they hated that I wasn’t interested in them. Seriously – that’s the only thing I can think of. Because in between bouts of evil, every single one of them came on to me at one time or another (and one tried to take it a little further more than once – I’ll tell you that story another day). Assholes. And I am not embarrassed to say that I revel in the fact that they are all losers now. I mean, not just asshole losers, but big, life failure losers. Loser alcoholics that spend all their time in bars and have no families and no life beyond the bar stool. The kind with red noses and slurred words and sad, depressing existences. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

Yeah – it may be cold, but fuck that noise. To this day, I won’t repeat the “pet name” they called me, because it still hurts to remember. And the evil little fuckweasel? He used to spit on me!! And the one with the story for later? To this day I wonder how many women he’s at least attempted to rape. I once heard that he was an actual in-the-gutter wino and I didn’t feel even a tiny bit if sympathy. In fact, I cheered for the gutter.

Me in general:
I was the class clown. Always goofing off. But I was generally a good kid. I worked hard and got good grades (duh – Physics Club). A few teachers (the tightwads with control issues) didn’t like me much, but the ones who got past the clown and saw the real me inside were awesome. Some of them had an incredible impact on my life and to this day I am grateful.

I was never a cheerleader/football team type. Instead, I was a majorette and had a great time hanging out with the band. We had parties and went on trips and brought bourbon in thermoses and took joints to Sea World. We used to alter our uniforms to be sexier. And we almost set ourselves ablaze twirling fire batons.

I was a diver on the swim team. I loved it and I was pretty good. Once in a while they needed me as a fill-in swimmer for the 100 backstroke (which I kind of liked and didn’t come in last on every time) and the freestyle relay (during which I had a heart attack and died every single time).

I never thought I was particularly pretty, but I knew I had a great body. I can say that now because I haven’t seen that body for many, many years. I had an hourglass figure with a tiny waist and big boobs. I wore teeny tiny French string bikinis and got my revenge on those bullies. But one time someone – a grown man - called my house and tried to proposition me. He said he was the man that owned the local pool and made up some story about a beauty contest at the pool. When he called he asked for my mom who was home but had me say she wasn’t (she thought it was friend she was avoiding) and once he discovered that, he went into his spiel about how today was the deadline to register and that I had to audition and that he could come pick me up. I got really scared and dropped the phone and screamed for my mom. She went to the pool and spoke with the owners and raised all kind of hell. That was a big “loss of innocence” moment for me. I knew that looking like I did had an effect on boys, but I didn’t realize that t could bring me the wrong kind of attention, too.

I was mostly a nice person. I didn’t bully people, I wasn’t a Mean Girl, and I had friends in every color, shape and size. But I wasn’t perfect. Once, when I was getting ready for the big freshman dance, my boyfriend (Hedge’s husband) showed up with a big wrist corsage. He came from a different school that year and at that school, they had wrist corsages. But at out school we didn’t. We had regular ones. And this was at the height of needing to fit in. And to add to my horror, it was HUGE. I mean, it took up my entire forearm. I cried and said I wasn’t wearing it and stomped upstairs. My mom almost killed me and she fixed it up and I apologized and everything was fine. But to this day, I still feel bad about that, because that was not the way I normally behaved. I don’t know what came over me, but I remember it clearly. The good thing is that it stuck with me and made me a better person in the long run. I never acted like that again. Once, I told Hedge that story and said I feel bad every time I see her husband because of it. But then she reminded me that we don’t like him and that he is “The Asshole Ruiner of her Youth”, so I let it go.

And for a while, I was “the other woman”. I had a friends-with-benefits relationship with a guy who had a girlfriend. I knew it was wrong and I didn’t care. I never had a boyfriend when it went on, and I wouldn’t have. But somehow I didn’t seem to care about his side. I guess I figured she was his responsibility and not mine. I think part of it was that he was my boyfriend and few years before and we broke up, due to interference on the girlfriend’s (and her Mean Girl friend’s part). Neither of us knew it at the time, so we broke up (both thinking that it was the other’s idea – teenagers are not so great at communication) and we were both sad and moved on. And a couple years later we sat in class (physics, of course) where we always flirted, and he made a joking reference to me breaking it off. And then I said, oh no - that was you. And then we finally talked and figured out what really happened. And I think at that moment, we both made a decision. Because it wasn’t long after that that we started having a not so secret affair. It was on and off for quite a while and I never felt guilty about it. I still don’t, really. And believe me – I am hard on cheaters. But you know what? We were kids. And we had been screwed over by the “victim.” And we ended up having a really great friendship. I saw him at the last reunion and it was like it hadn’t been 20 years (you know – except for the sex part). So, whatever.

I was always involved in chorus and singing. I sang solos in every concert from 7trh grade to 12th. I was a big fish in a little pond. When I went off to college, I discovered that. Thank God American idol wasn’t around then, because I would have tried out thinking I was awesome and had a rude awakening on national TV.

And that’s pretty much high school. There were things that I hated and things that I loved. Would I do it again? NO WAY. Now college? I’d do that again.

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3 comments:

Jennifer said...

I think it's fascinating to hear how we all were back in high school. I also think it's funny that we all look back and talk about how awkward and 'not-fitting-in' we were... but after meeting you, I would NEVER see you like that! You seem so confident and cool and fun. I guess that's what growing up does :)

I may have to steal this post idea, btw.

Allison Says said...

Great post. Glad I could help unblock you :)

Your "boys" section is a lot like mine, actually. I was a kind of "late bloomer" too in my non-circle, but then, like you, WOO BOY! My first real kiss was in 8th grade. Then, in ninth, my first serious boyfriend was three years older than me. He was my "first" and we were very serious for about a year. Then I lost interest. My next serious boyfriend? People thought we looked like siblings too. It was a little awkward at times, but whatevs. My "other woman" phase? That was with Zach. That's how we started.

Okay...now college story please! :)

meno said...

You're al late bloomer? ha ha ha ha ha.

I had my first kiss at 19. Yes, it's true.

This was fun to read. Now about college....