Monday, November 24, 2008

I need a hug

I wish I could lie and say I was popular in grammar school. The truth of the matter is I wasn't. Not by a long shot. I was the chubby dishwater blonde girl with the pimples and the bad perms. I wasn't Irish enough. We didn't live in the right neighborhood. I coached basketball instead of played it. I got good grades, and stopped trying to impress the popular crowd by mid-7th grade. Could it be all of these reasons that I didn't get invited to my 20th reunion party? No, oh no dear readers. I'm not kidding. I wasn't invited. After I left the evils of QAS behind in the fall of 1988, I knew that I was destined for better and cooler things. I threw myself into activities. I lost a little weight. I discovered Medusa's. I also discovered that it's much more awesome to just be myself, than try to fit in. Strangely, when I did my own thing I made friends. Lots of them. All different types and shapes and sizes. My high school years were fantastic. My couple of college years were awesome too. Every year after that (and there have been a few) has been better and better. For the most part, I really like myself. I love that I do a lot of different things, and that I know a ton of people. VonMom likes to say that I am like my dad in that no matter where I go, I always run into someone I know. This is true. I know a lot of people. Friends, acquaintances, people I have volunteered with/gotten drunk with/made music with/learned with/lost with....these people are everywhere. I love people. - Ok. I really do. As long as they aren't lame annoying people. All of this is a direct result of who I was, the person I was beaten down to, when I left eighth grade. I left those people and they way they behaved way way behind me. True story: While at a party my freshman year at NEIU, I ran into one of the guys that tormented me the most in grammar school. I wasn't exactly sober. G looked at me, I gave him the finger. Drunk as I was, I knew exactly who he was. He finally figured out who I was. I ignored him as best I could, but the party wasn't that big. He kept being around. I was my usual self, trying to make people laugh, having a good time. A few days after the party I ran into G at school. He stopped me and said "I wanted to apologize to you." I stood there, waiting for some asshole comment or other. Then he said "I'm sorry I was such a jerk to you in school. You're pretty cool, and I'm sorry I didn't see that before." I saw him a few times after that (he was friends with my to-this-day very good friend John) and I hated him a little less. Still, what he said made me glow a little. The reason I am writing this blog is that I'm pissed. Frustrated, mostly, with myself that those people that I went to grammar school still affect me so much. I found out about the reunion party when I talked to JL, the one person I reconnected with from QAS. JL is good people. I found him on myspace early in 2007. We got together had some beers and we made each other laugh. I think we are friends again, which is great. Anyway, we were talking on the phone, and he mentioned that he had run into another one of the QAS people somewhere, B. B told JL about the party. JL hadn't gotten actually invited either. JL told me. He asked if I wanted to go. That ended up being the weekend that I went to Boston, so I had an easy out. I don't think I would have gone anyway. JL went. I haven't had the chance to hear how it was, I'll need to call him to find out. A thought: Really? Did they even try to locate everyone? I mean, my parents live in the same house we lived in when I went to school there, so it's not like they couldn't find a mailing address. Assholes. I really feel that they invited the same people that they hung out with 20 years ago. I'm assuming that reflects on how little they have changed or matured as people. I looked at some of their facebook pages, and I found a couple of pictures of myself on their pages. Do they look at these pictures and not even realize that there are other people in those pictures beside them and their friends? Why am I even in those pictures? I have no memory of this. I am really mad at myself for being so affected. Fact: I would not have gone had I been in town. Fact: I don't really want to ever see those people again. These truths being said, I don't know why I am so upset about this whole thing. Maybe I wish it had been my option to not go. For all of the strides I've made, I feel like this whole situation has knocked me for a loop. I know that I do make fun of myself quite a bit, and it is because I do it before someone else can - this is one piece of baggage I carry from grammar school. I just need to remind myself that all the good that I am, all the fun, and the cool, are also a result of them. I worked really hard to never be that girl again. I do still like myself a lot. This is a speed bump, a minor set back. I haven't thought about them in years, and I want to get back to that, I don't want to be thinking of them now. I just needed to get that off my chest. QAS people suck.


Anonymous said...

Fact: Those bastard didn't even know themselves when they tormented you.

(thesis: I propose that they don't know themselves now, but that's a post for a different time)

Fact (corny but true): The shit they put you through made you even stronger than you realize.

Fact: I'm cooler for knowing you

Fact: They're even dumber than they realize if they didn't take the FIVE minutes it would take to find you.

Fact: Ditch work. Let's go egg their houses and shit on their lawns.

Lauren said...

Everything that Marty said (except maybe the last one. You could get arrested and stuff, and if you were in jail and couldn't come to Boston, that would suck.)

I know exactly where you're coming from on this. I lived it. Getting a better quality of education was only part of the reason I left public school after the eighth grade and went to a Catholic high school. The bigger reason, the truer one, was that I was miserable because of the people.

I was the weird nerdy girl without a lick of fashion sense in one of those towns where everyone wears designer clothes and judges you by your lack thereof.

Partway through eighth grade, the group of girls I called my friends decided I wasn't part of the clique anymore. I probably never was, but when they "accidentally" let a note fall into my hands - one intended for someone else, but folded so I couldn't help but see what was in it - stating that I wasn't invited to something - a birthday party, I think - that was it. (Remember when passing notes was SO REBELLIOUS AND COOL OMG?) It was a pretty rude awakening, but the upside was, for the rest of the year I hung out with someone who genuinely liked me, and the next fall, I started my freshman year at a new school.

High school, for the most part, was awesome. I wouldn't ever say I was popular, but my whole graduating class had a really weird dynamic - there were cliques, but they were fluid, and people just... got along. You could talk to anyone and you weren't going to get snubbed. I've never seen that before or since and don't dare try to explain it.

But as cool as high school was, I'm like you. The people who were assholes to me in junior high are the reason I'm so worried about what people think of me today. I have amazing friends from high school, college and beyond, who make me feel good about myself (you're one of them, Vonnie. Don't ever forget that.)

But if I bump into one of the people who cut me down in junior high, I'm thirteen years old again, shy and awkward and just wanting to crawl into a hole and hope they don't notice me.

You are much, much better off without them. I happen to think that the Von I know is wicked pissah. And knowing that we had you that weekend? I'm damned glad.

While they were likely trying to reassure themselves that they were still as cool as they were twenty years ago - making sure they wore the right clothes, said the right things, talked to the right people, drank the right drinks - we had cider and pie and thai food, and a party, and a ramble through Boston, and we didn't have to put on airs for anyone, or pretend we were anyone other than who we really are, right now, today.

I call that victory.

<3 mah Vonnie

Mendacious D said...

Obviously, they don't deserve the pleasure of your company.

The rest of what I'd like to say about them is basically unprintable.

Von said...

TheMarty - Thank you.
MenD - Thank you.
Lauren - You totally get what I am saying here, in my very rambling kind of way. They made me regress. I hate that. I need to, and will, get over it. It's just going to take time.
Thanks for saying I am wicked pissah!!
Boston was so much the better time than the horrible reunion thing could have ever been. I'm so so glad I was in Boston visiting some of my favorite people!!

Shannon Erin said...

I will give you a big hug next time I see you. Mean people suck.

Poptart said...

Yeah, I'll give you a hug, too - is this Queen of all Saints, in Sauganash?? I went to Regina and many, many of the girls in h.s. came from this grade school. We'll have to talk.

(Let's just start by saying that I didn't go to my 20th high school reunion this year.)

Von said...

Yes, Queen of All Saints in Sauganash. The very one. I ALMOST went to Regina, after my first H.S. Alvernia closed. Lucky for me I broke my leg very badly and had to pick a school that was more convienient to get to my ortho doc appointments, so I ended up at Good Counsel. THANK GOD.

Poptart said...

Holy Crap!

Adorable Girlfriend said...

Forget them. They don't deserve you or your kewlness. You'll always be tops with us and that's what matters most.

I <3 the Vonnie.

Chuckles said...

The thing is Von, they're cobags who eat chundermuffins on a daily basis. You're way too good for them anyway.