Stop me if you’ve heard this one already, but I don’t think I’ve told this story before…
Back in high school I was one of those girls who had one clique of people I felt most comfortable with, the computer people, but I hopped between cliques with complete ease. In the computer people clique, once I was the oldest member because NAT and Knitting Mama (my new name for Break Boy’s Lovely Wife, I have just decided) and all the other old people had graduated already, I was the queen of the clique. I was The Most Popular Girl in that circle. I was looked up to, I was coveted, I was protected, I was awed. I’m not kidding, it was my reality. I was also the head SysOp for the raddest BBS in the state, which definitely helped with my Geek Street Cred.
My senior year of high school I was in a few more cliques than usual: The music clique, the National Honors Society clique (*shrug*), and the yearbook clique. I was one of two layout people for our senior yearbook, and because I was a geek but also had an eye for what looks good I was very awesome at layout. I would spend hours and hours getting layouts to line up just right, I’d consult with the photogs and the writers to discuss how they wanted their masterpieces actualized, and I would Make It Happen.
One day I was on a break from doing layouts, drinking a soda from the teacher’s lounge (thanks to our teacher for letting us break in all the time). Becky, the Most Popular Girl in School, was in the yearbook room with me. One thing to know: You don’t get into the yearbook room unless you’re part of the yearbook staff or one of the staff members lets you in to hang out with them. That year I personally thought Becky’s social status was declining. She had chosen to date a younger guy who was technically in our grade but… uh, he wanted to join the circus. That’s cool! in adult life, but in high school that doesn’t help you fit in with everyone else. So, I’m sitting around with Becky and she just bursts out with the following statement and follow-up question:
“It must be SO NICE to not be popular so that you don’t have to deal with the stress of it. Is it nice to not be popular??“
I pulled my head up off the desk it was on and looked around behind me with an “are you talking to me, about me?” look on my face. Surely she could not have meant me!! I AM popular! I am the queen of my castle! I am who everyone wants to hang out with! I am the one everyone comes to for advice about their problems and to listen to their deepest, darkest secrets. I am the one everyone asks to the prom and wants to date! … in that one room in school where no one else goes but Little Computer People, unless it’s for a class assignment, but STILL!
There was no one else in the room with us; she was talking to me.
I didn’t know how to convey this to her, to explain to her that it’s all about perspective, that it’s her choice to keep the social status she has, that she had just insulted me to my core by presuming that I am not popular in any venue of life, and that saying such a thing should have merited a smack to her little perfect-to-everyone-else-but-never-was-to-me face. And, if I was so unpopular, why had I been over to her house before? The true Social Rejects did not get invited to Becky’s House. But I digress. Back to me, people. I’m insulted here. Truly insulted. And what did I do to respond to her comment? I shrugged and mumbled, “I dunno” and left it at that. But then I left the room and started gossiping to my friend about how Becky couldn’t hack being a Popular Person.
Pretty soon we all graduated and she got the shocking news that she wasn’t popular anymore. Real Life was a lot tougher for her. She tried to be a singer, tried to get into commercials, but she had no success. I saw her at the doctor’s office a few years after graduation. She looked tired and worn out and humbled. And she was dressed in dirty, raggy clothes that made her look like a drunk homeless person. And I’m sorry to say this made me happy that my favorite motto really does come true: What goes around comes around.
Sing it, Justin!
I love ending my posts on a dorky note. :grins: