Isn’t it strange how some things from the past we can recall with total clarity while what we had for breakfast this morning totally eludes us? I remember starting at a new high school after the school year had already started. It was 1972 and at this particular high school, 8th graders were included as opposed to being in middle school. It was hard enough being the new girl, much less being a “subbie” (that is what the upper classmen called us). It was also more difficult because I was overweight. I was not extremely obese at that point in my life, but I was bigger in many ways than most of the other girls…hell, even some of the guys! I have always been tall as well as big, so that also put me in the spotlight. I remember one of my nicknames (given to me by a boy) was “moose”. I did not particularly enjoy that nickname, but it was infinitely better than “fatty fatty two by four, couldn’t get through the bathroom door” or fat ass, lard ass, thunder thighs….and the list goes on.
I had made friends with several people (quite easily) because I decided I would NOT be a silent wallflower. I have always been friendly and easy to get along with and I never knew a stranger. Like most high school kids, they divided into groups or “factions”. In our school, it was the geeks or nerds…the jocks…the far-outs or stoners…and then the kids who pretty much fit in wherever they wanted. I was one of those kids, with the exception of the jock group. Although I had friends in that group, I never fit in with them because I was not athletic. I did, however, hang out with the far-outs and the nerds. I had good friends in both of those groups. Rather than being athletic, I was given the gift of song…so I joined the chorus. When I watch the show Glee, it kind of reminds me of my high school days because chorus geeks were not exactly in the “in-crowd”.
So, my life in high school was not all bad. I had some great friends, did my chorus thing and got decent grades. Then there were the times when I would come home from school crying. Someone had said something or done something to hurt me. I was never able to shake off things like that. I guess it’s because I always wore my heart on my sleeve…still do. I remember one incident so distinctly. It’s like it happened only yesterday, when in fact it was 38 years ago.
Two girls (names will be left out) came up to me in the hall one day and told me that one of the football players (again, no names) had a crush on me. They gave me a note that was supposedly from him. I opened the note and read it and it said that he thought I was hot and then proceeded to ask if I wanted to go steady. I should have listened to that little voice in my head that told me they were playing a mean joke on me. But I didn’t. I guess I just wanted it to be true because the football player was so cute. I should have known better. The note said that if I wanted to go steady, that he was going to put his ring in his desk and that I should get it after class. Silly me, as soon as the bell rang and the kids cleared out, got up and went over to the desk and started rummaging around inside looking for the ring. All of a sudden, I heard a lot of laughing and giggling coming from the doorway to the classroom. There stood the two girls and a few other people they had clued in on the joke. My heart fell as I realized a cruel joke had been played on me. I can’t remember for sure if they had told the football player about the joke or not. All I knew is that I felt like someone had knocked the breath out of me. Hot tears flooded my eyes and streamed down my face as I ran down the hall. I went home sick that day and was out for the next two days afterward.
I never got an apology from those girls. I don’t even know if they really knew how badly they had hurt me or if they even
cared. I often wonder if karma came back around and bit them on the ass.