Monday, February 20, 2012

All You Are is MEAN

After reading Mike Spohr's Valentine post last week, I started thinking about high school. (Go ahead, read it, I'll wait.)


I haven't gotten it out of my head for a few reasons, mainly because I have been listening to a certain song on repeat (thanks to Sam) and finding out that a friend of a friend is getting kicked out of his conserative Christian college for liking Lady Gaga...and that he didn't have many friends there because people sterotyped him.

I have pretty much blocked most of middle school out, but high school, unfortunately, is still there. In my brain. Why are kids such assholes?

You see, I switched from a "normal sized" public middle school to a very small Catholic high school. I think my graduating class was 46. I could totally see someone pulling this stunt on me my freshman year. It is actually entirely possible that someone DID and I had the good sense to block that out.

I will never forget walking into orientation freshman year. I knew one girl going to that school, ONE.  I was so excited to make new friends. I was convinced that I was going to be part of the cool gang. (My older sister had been at that high school eight years before me and THANK YOU SIS for setting the standards so high. She was the cheerleader at the very top of the now-illegal collapsing pyramid, she dated the cute basketball players, and as far as I was concerned, she ruled the school. She was INFAMOUS.) So in I walk to freshman orientation, dressed in my coolest tight-rolled jeans and an awesome red shirt with matching red slouchy socks. It was 1992. Let's not talk about my hair.

I tried sizing up the girls, figuring out who the cool ones were, aka my new best friends. I saw the ONE PERSON that I knew and said hi to her. I don't know for sure that I was doomed at that point. I only say this because I do faintly remember the cool girls trying to get me to be a cheerleader, but I was way too self-conscious for that. There was no way I was going to put on that short skirt next to all of those skinny girls. Maybe I signed my sentence right then. Or maybe it was the hair. 

There were 9 of them, this group that I wanted to join. It is really hard to start a new school with a bunch of kids who had been together since kindergarten and try to break into their cliques. Especially when there really were only 2 cliques. I had many classes with them, and would try to talk to them in class or between classes. I would stalk hang around them at the lockers. I said little, because no one really spoke to me. I just WISHED that they could see that I was friend material, that if they just gave me a chance, I could fit in. Like I said, let's not talk about the hair.

Here is the thing. I got to be such an annoyance to these girls, such a...weird little stalker, that they turned mean. Not that they were entirely very nice to begin with, but I really gave them no choice. (Other than the obvious choice of giving me a chance.)  They were just mean. They made fun of me, out loud, when I was in earshot. Hell, they made fun of me to my face. Yet I really didn't get that we would never be friends. 

It is at this point that I wish Taylor Swift had been around. She wrote this song called Mean. It should be an anthem for anyone who was ever picked on. Because let's face it. At 14, I didn't give a shit why these girls were mean to me. They just were. And this is how I felt...

I can see you years from now in a bar, talking over a football game.
With that same big loud opinion, but...nobody's listening.
Washed up and ranting about the same old bitter things.
Drunk and grumbling on about how I can't sing.
All you are is mean.

All you are is mean. And a liar. And pathetic, and alone in life
and mean. And mean. And mean. And mean.

The best thing that happened to me in that small high school was when I realized at the beginning of sophomore year that 7 of those girls were not returning to our school. The two remaining actually gave me a chance and we wound up being friends through high school and into college.

Sure...I was quirky. Maybe even a little weird. And let's not talk about the hair. Taylor sums it up perfectly though...why you gotta be so mean?

This also happens to be Sam's favorite song. It is the only mainstream song that she knows the words to, (she has Wheels on the Bus, Itsy-Bitsy-Spider, and Old MacDonald down pat). It is so cute to see her bopping in her car seat asking me to "play Someday again." I hope she learns something from it. 


Mary said...

Stupid girls - they don't know what they missed out on. :)

Rebecca said...

I think we would have been best buds in school! I was also weird. Actually I'm still weird!