Yesterday I took us on a little road trip back to my past. [Click here to catch up]
We’re going to pick up right where we left off.
So, we’re back in 6th grade again. My second year of 6th grade. I am still recovering from being the “home-schooled-stupid-child”. This year, a new girl had arrived in my class. As I mentioned yesterday, our school was small, so anything outside the ordinary drew massive amounts of attention. This new girl in my class was tall, skinny [of course], she was athletic, with long shiny brown hair. Oh, and she was rich. At least rich compared to my family. She owned her own horse! Her Mother seemed to buy her pretty much anything she wanted. So yeah, I was jealous. Somehow, I managed to become her friend. Perhaps it was my charming personality. 😉
I’m going to call this new girl “Jessie”. That sounds like the name of a tall, athletic, and rich bombshell. The year goes on, and Jessie and I get really close. We pretty much become inseparable. And yes, we definitely exchange BFF necklaces. That was the thing to do back in 1992. Speaking of, who designed these things?? Looking at it now, I see the shape of a broken heart. What a fantastic symbol of friendship.
If you were to see the two of us together back then, she was the pretty one. I was the okay-I-could-take-her-or-leave-her one. When we would go to the mall, guys as they passed would cat-call to Jessie or whistle or sometimes even stop us to talk to her. To her. Not to me.
On this particular day at the mall, Jessie was stopped by two guys. I knew they wanted to talk to her and not me, and frankly I had grown tired of this happening, so I kept walking. She called to me, “Alana. Alana! Come back! Where are you going?” I stopped. Debated. Then decided to walk back to Jessie and the two guys. I still remember the look of disgust on the boys’ faces when I walked back to their recently formed posse. Perhaps they were disgusted that I just kept walking. But at the time, I read this in their expressions: “Why are you here? I want to talk to your friend”. As I write this, I’m wondering if one of them actually said this to me, because the feeling of rejection that I felt then is still so vivid and clear.
I was the ugly friend.
I’m sharing these stories of rejection because it is important to lay the groundwork for why I grew up believing certain things about myself. Although these stories are not outrageously horrific, they were real and impactful to my personal identity. I believed I was stupid. Ugly. Unwanted. Undesirable. Not worth speaking to.
My friendship with Jessie did not last. And I’ll tell you why next Tuesday.