Why so shy…? or Woe, is me… Woe woe woe…

For the umpteenth time yesterday, I realized that another party I planned myself was tanking.  So, I scrapped the plans for a get together and moved on, just a little disappointed and refusing to feel heartache.

Then I posted something silly on Facebook, one of those “describe me in one word” games, and only a handful played along.

And I pour my heart into many of these blog entries only to find that, according to Word Press stats, only 4 people read them.  On average.  Sometimes it’s just one. (In my crazy defense, I mostly check those to see which kinds of posts people read most, so I know where my strengths are.  Or so I know which day or time of day people read.)

Guess I’m feeling a little sorry for myself and so I started to try to figure out why this always happens to me.

When I was 11, I invited almost all the girls in my 6th grade class to a birthday party.  Day of the party, party time comes, goes, 30 minutes later, no one is there.  I start calling my friends.  No one ever intended to come.  It was humiliating and terrible.  Girls are so mean.

Then the next year, we move from Baltimore City to Bel Air in the suburbs and I go to public school for the first time.  I clearly stick out like a sore thumb.  A group of girls befriend me suddenly.  I am elated.  It is a dream come true.  The next week, I find a note stuffed in my locker.  Written by the “ring leader”  and signed by the rest, it tells me that I’ve been a fool to think that they really would deign to be my friend.  That I am four-eyed, flat chested and fat, have dumb curly hair (bad perm- it was 1986, ok?), and wear ugly clothes and shoes.  They even drew a picture of me with a large circle for a body, and wild squiggles atop my head. I was deflated, defeated, down and out.  It was awful.  Girls are so mean.

My mother grew up in a family of six girls and one boy, and her experience with kids outside the family was fairly limited.  I think her advice to me was “they are just jealous” or “you don’t need them.”  I doubt they were jealous, but I definitely took the idea that I don’t need them to heart.

I think my belief that I don’t “need” people has led to my lack of a vibrant social life.

I have always had one or two friends, but no one really close. (With a few brilliant exceptions of course.  You know who you are.)  I find it incredibly hard to put myself out there, in real life, and let people get to know me.  And I always believe that a friend could turn on me in a moment’s notice.

Example: Once when I was home on a break during college, before I had a license, a group of friends lied to me and said they weren’t going out, even though they did, because no one wanted to come pick me up.  Gah.  Even women can be kinda mean.

I found myself last night thinking of those terrible girls in middle school and wondering if they are still friends with each other.  I wonder if they’ve ever felt lonely.  I wonder if their plans ever fell through and left them alone with no one to talk to.

And I sit here, a grown woman with a family of my own, reliving that adolescent drama every time someone cancels or ignores me or is too busy to come to my party.  And so I retreat within and remind myself I don’t need anyone and then I’m lonelier than ever.

Girls are mean.

 

 

 

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One thought on “Why so shy…? or Woe, is me… Woe woe woe…

  1. Ugh. Girls ARE mean.

    I used to wonder myself, what it must be like to be “popular”. The perfect girl, with perfect hair, perfect clothes, friends, boyfriends, and so on. Life wasn’t necessarily horrible in high school- but definitely lonely. I too had friends turn on me in flat seconds, talk behind my back, and cruel to my face when they didn’t want to be my friend anymore. I quickly learned that with friends, quality counts so much more than quantity.

    Right after high school, I got a job washing dishes at a nursing home. We frequently had large groups of new-hires. A girl in one of those groups, Edith, happened to be someone I had gone to school with since the 6th grade.

    In 6th grade, Edith road the bus with me, and shortly after meeting her, I joined in with a bunch of other assholes in teasing her. We called her “Eatie” and made fun of her “Kmart clothes”. After quite a bit of teasing, she broke down into tears. She said that in fact her clothes were NOT from Kmart, her grandmother had made them because they were too poor to buy nice clothes. I swore to myself I would never bully or allow someone to be bullied in front of me again.

    I will never forget how horrible I felt for picking on her. I carried that guilt with me for years, and swore I’d never be mean to her or anyone else who didn’t deserve it. I assumed she had switched schools, because I don’t remember her being at the high school when I went. I was happy to see we’d be working together, and took the opportunity to apologize for what I had done way back in the 6th grade. Her response just about knocked me to the floor. She said that I was always so nice to her in school, and that I made her life livable. I was the only person she said, that had EVER been nice to her in school. She said that she in fact did go to the same high school as me, and wanted so badly to be friends, but I was too “popular” to notice her, and she was too scared to come up to me for fear of being shot down.

    Really? Me? Popular? I would’ve laughed if it weren’t so effing sad to hear. I was nowhere near popular status in high school. Sure, I wasn’t at the bottom of the totem pole, but I was (at most) below average in the social world. It really took me by surprise to hear that someone else had thought of me, the way I had thought of the popular girls. Someone had longed to be MY friend. And it was ME who didn’t know she existed. I made her feel, the way the other girls had made me feel. She also admitted that shortly after high school, she had lost her virginity to a popular guy, got knocked up and kicked to the curb, and decided to give the baby up for adoption. I won’t get into the details of what she said happened after that, but she showed me the scars she had on her wrists.

    It still amazes me to think that, for how horrible I thought life was back then, there was someone else living through worse. And while I may from time to time wonder what ever happened to the mean girls, I will never again long to be like them, because even at its worst, my life is still not as bad as others. In fact my life is exactly how I had always wanted it. And I didn’t even need those mean girls in it to be happy.

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