Thursday, January 7, 2010

This must be what closure feels like, I guess.

Disclaimer: Sorry this post is longer than usual. This is free therapy for me. Now, on with session.

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Me (#28) on the day that I tried out for my school dance team and mere moments before I found out that I didn't make it and then felt so rejected that I wanted to drop out of school but that's not what this post is about. That's a whole other therapy session just waiting to surface. Also, I might have played with the photo just a bit in Photobucket to protect the identity of a certain someone.

I'm not going to name names in this post but one of the girls in the above picture made my Eighth grade school year a living hell. Middle school is hard enough but this young lady (I'm not going to tell you which one it was, jeez stop asking, would ya?) and I had a an epic fight that eventually landed me excommunicated from the popular table in the cafeteria. In retrospect, I totally deserved it.

So, to protect the innocent, let's call this girl Sarah. Sarah and I had been friends since third grade and lived one neighborhood away from each other. We would get together and have sleepovers during the summer. Well, somehow, in Eighth grade we found ourselves hanging with the popular crowd. Really this just meant that we sat at a table and ate lunch near a bunch of pretty girls that said the word "Like" alot. Well, we became friends with another girl. We'll call her Sally.

Me, Sarah, and Sally were BFF's until I opened my big mouth. I was a bit of a gossip and I would say bad things about Sarah to Sally. Then Sally would talk bad about Sarah and then I would go and report back to Sarah what Sally had said. It was a fantastic way to stir up some drama. Well, Sarah and Sally compared notes and totally cornered me on a three way call. That's right...I got caught talking smack on the phone and they got pissed.

The fallout was unbearable. I was ostracized from the popular table. They told everyone that mattered at school about what a two faced brat I had been. People whispered and pointed at me when I walked by. I was sad, alone, and received nasty notes in my locker. I was like Ronny Miller in the movie Can't Buy Me Love when everyone found out that he had bought his popularity from Cindi Mancini and he was forced to sit all alone during lunch. Man, that's a great movie.

Anyway, it got so bad that I would come home crying after school and eventually had to fess up to my mom about what had happened. She did what any other red blooded mom would do and organized a meeting with all of the parents of the two preteen culprits, her, my dad, the janitor, the school nurse, and the school guidance counselor. Okay, the janitor and the school nurse weren't invited but the point is, it was mortifying.

Sarah and Sally begrudgingly shook my hand and made fake apologies with their eyes shooting darts into my soul. The nasty notes stopped, they quit talking bad about me, and eventually it settled down. I found a new group of friends who did not sit at the popular table but were really awesome and loyal friends. The rest of my Eighth grade year kicked ass and during my sophomore year in high school, me and Sarah could be in the same room and actually smile at each other. Hence, the photo up there.

I learned so much from that nasty fight. It made a huge impression on me and is a landmark from my adolescence.

Why am I even telling you about this? I recently found Sarah on Facebook. I quickly sent her an invitation be my friend and sent her this little message...

"Wow...you look great! Remember our huge fight in 8th grade? I deserved it. I had a big mouth."

A few days went by and then I got this reply from her

"Hey to you woman!!! Honestly, I don't remember the fight but so glad to hear from you. Where are you now? What's going on in your world?"

What? She can't remember the fight? Not just any fight but the epic fight of 1988 that sent me spiraling into a world of self doubt. A fight so huge that I cried myself to sleep night after night.

Wow!

I mean, this just goes to show that what may seem huge to me now will be a mere memory at some point in the future. Talk about a life lesson that just keeps on giving. I have learned so much from Sarah and she may never even realize it. I learned to be a more loyal friend. I learned to be careful about what I say to people or about people. Even now, at the ripe age of 35, I just learned that it's best to let the past go and live in the moment and that that moment may seem huge now but really it's all just fleeting.

It's astounding to me that 22 years later,
I'm still growing from that one mistake that I made.

21 comments:

That One Mom said...

As cheesy and cliche as it sounds, everything happens for a reason. Those are all amazing lessons.

vanilla said...

Good for you. Those who learn from their mistakes and correct their behavior are (what's the word?) mature; or they are at the least maturing.

Great story nicely told. That took some kind of courage.

singedwingangel said...

How awesome ya reconnected with her. But ya know what was a big deal to yo may not have affected her as bad, since she was not on the receiving end of it.. technically.. so glad it was left in the past and you could find a friend.. Lessons learned may be painful but they are always educational

Traci said...

Awesome - so glad you got so much out of such a painful experience.

Wym said...

Sorry, but what a poop for not remembering how your friendship dissipated. Your better off all the way around.

Daffy said...

Whatever. She's totally playing with you so that you feel insignificant even today. 22 years later.

Just kidding :O) Great post. Isn't introspection great! The most important part is that you continue to use those lessons to make you a better person. Even though you are super fantasmically terrific!

Yankee Girl said...

It's interesting how the same argument can affect two people so differently. Middle school is hard and I think a lot of people learn a lot of important lessons during those years.

It's especially hard to have three girls as best friends. Almost impossible at that age.

Great story.

Danielle said...

That is a valuable lesson for all of us at any age. I wonder if Sarah knows that she has now taught a whole bunch of us a lesson. :)

Tami G said...

good story, GREAT lesson & definitely something for us all to think about in life...
let the past be the past!

I don't even KNOW you IRL and I think you are the coolest :)
I would sit at your lunch table!

Existential Waitress said...

This post really took me back. Lunch tables, the popular crowd, Can't Buy Me Love, three way calls used as a means of entrapment - ah, junior high is HELL. I recall eighth grade being particularly aweful. I think it's awesome that you're still learning from this incident. I had something sort of similar happen on a bus in 6th grade and while it's still painful to remember I've NEVER forgotten it.

Richard @ The Bewildered Brit said...

Or, if she does remember, she's pretending she doesn't because she wants to let bygones be bygones too.

That was a really thought-provoking post.

Masala Chica said...

Found you on SITS and glad I did. I sense I have just stumbled on a fellow Sistah.

So - the traumas of middle school and high school and all the embarrassments, crushes, highs and lows are SO MAGNIFIED to each of us. It's a highly self-absorbed time. Hence why your friend didn't remember you. When I bring up things that ROCKED my world back then, my old friends look at me with a blank expression and say "that happened?" Yes! I say. "Oh."

Hmmm.

Great story and one i can relate to very well.
Kiran

Masala Chica said...

sorry didn't mean - not remember you. meant, didn't remember that incident.

blueviolet said...

It's so interesting to me how based on the person an event can have totally different consequences on someone's life.

Bullies, for instance, have no idea how long lasting those effects are likely to be.

Beth said...

When I'm not attempting to be Super-Mom to my two little boys, I'm a middle school counselor. I work so hard to try to teach my students that they might not think twice about bullying someone else, but the words and actions they take can have a lifelong impact on their victims. Your story is a great example of that! I wish everyone walked away from bullying with such great lessons learned, feeling stronger than before. Unfortunately, that's not the case for a lot of victims. Ah well...Thanks so much for sharing this. Cheers!

DG at Diary of a Mad Bathroom said...

This post hit home with me in a big way. I learned a similar lesson, but the result was getting lured into a school yard for a beat down. Lucky thing I nailed my assailant in the head with a massive right hook and ran faster than I ever had in my life. These were friends from a neighboring school, so I was spared the daily humiliation, but what a lesson I learned about gossip and trust!

The girl with the flour in her hair said...

OK, now I have to think. I hate it when that happens.

This post hit home. But I can't help but wonder if Sarah is playing another little game...but I'm suspicious like that. But really, that sounds traumatic on both sides of the coin. How can you forget something like that?

But it is interesting how one experience can leave such different impressions on different people.

Tracie said...

I remember those middle/high school years so clearly....I had my own "Can't Buy Me Love" eating lunch alone moment. Those things just stick with you. When you are in those huge moments, it is good to be able to look outside yourself and realize that in a few years this "crisis" won't be such a big deal anymore.

That is a great movie, by the way, I totally tried to sneak into that "airplane graveyard" when I was about fourteen, but my parents just wouldn't facilitate that little detour to the jail during our family vacation. Darn!

MamaOtwins+1 said...

WOW- the lessons of the eighth grade that follow you forever.

suzicate said...

Time really does heal wounds...however, when you're the recipient it seems almost as raw (many many years later) as it did then. And we always think people remember the same things that haunted us for years. Don't know about you, but I wouldn't want to relive those days again, not unless I get to relive them with the wisdom I've learned through experience.

Crafty Girl said...

I love this life lesson. Thank you for sharing this! I am teaching my kids all these lessons in an effort to help them get ready for life's harsh realities- and hope they know, that like you, they too will come through it all and be awesome!

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