Saturday, November 22, 2008

High school memories

Since I've joined Facebook, I've gotten a bunch of friend requests from people I haven't seen since high school. Some are people I'm genuinely excited to hear from, people I have occasionally thought about over the years and wondered what happened to them. Some are people I wasn't all that close to and/or didn't know well (i.e., I haven't thought of them since graduating) but I don't really mind 'friending' them because I have generally friendly feelings about them. But a small handful have been people I didn't like then and can't really imagine why they would even ask to be my 'friend' now, other than they just want to have as many 'friends' on Facebook as possible. I generally just ignore these requests but for some reason, they nag at me. Some part of me feels bad, partly because I suspect they don't have the slightest clue why I'm ignoring them.

I'm a big cliche
The problem is, I hated high school. I know I'm not alone in feeling this way, but my guess is that anyone who knew me in high school would be slightly surprised to hear me say that. Back then, I was the poster girl for well-rounded over-achiever: straight-A's, choir, student government, mock trial, you name it. And of course, I was a cheerleader dating a football player (though not the quarterback, thank god). What did I possibly have to hate about high school?

Well, as anyone who has seen Can't Buy Me Love knows (yes, I loved Patrick Dempsey long before he was McDreamy), the only high school cliche more persistent than the cheerleader dating the football player is that the kids who are all friends in grade school go their separate ways in junior high and high school, forming stereotyped cliques that all have their own table in the cafeteria. And for reasons that I still don't understand after years of therapy, I was not accepted into the "cool" clique when we hit junior high. I spent most of 7th grade being a tagalong, trying to figure out how to fit in with girls I had been BFFs with just the year before. By the start of 8th grade, I mustered up the self-respect to find some real friends and tried to get comfortable with my new group but a part of me never really let go of what happened. Then junior year, I made it onto the varsity cheerleading squad and suddenly people who hadn't talked to me in four years were asking if I wanted to get together. But I was always so aware of the shallowness and two-faced-ness of most of the "in crowd" that I just never trusted them. At the same time, me being a cheerleader seemed to make my smart friends (with whom I still had a bunch of AP classes) less comfortable around me. So other than my football player boyfriend (who I still think of as probably the most decent guy I've ever dated), my last two years of high school were pretty lonely.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying I don't have some great memories of high school, and I like to think that my experiences then made me a much more compassionate person today. And I know that it was all twenty years ago and I'm sure most people have changed (though would it be terribly snarky of me to say these are not people who ever struck me as the type to be very introspective so I sort of think there's also a good chance they have not changed all that much?). But even if they are now the most amazing people in the world, if the only thing we have in common is shared memories of a time I don't even care about remembering, am I obligated to let them back in my life?

1 comment:

jojo said...

BIG NO! on that last comment.


need to come back more and read. this blog is me too.