Facebook has been really... weird for me. For the first time in my life, it's a place where my high school friends, college/sorority sisters, Masonic youth group gals, blogging buddies, fellow paranormal investigators, and even family are all in one place. It's a place where my blogging peeps can see what I write on my cousin's-in-law wall, a spot where my sorority sisters can see me interact with my high school friends, and where everyone can scratch their heads and wonder Why is Heather talking about EMF meters with this Stefanie chick? And it's just the most surreal place on the Web for me.
One of my high school friends pointed out that she enjoyed reading my blog and that at times my vague recollections of high school people who annoyed me worried her. That she felt she might be one of those people.
And that upset me. Not because she was one of those high school people. But because I've never set the record straight. So, for those twoshnezfthpzzzz.... how ever many SCHS class of 1990 people who read this blog (and for those of you who are morbidly interested in my life from September, 1987 through June, 1990), well... knock yourself out.
We've all established that I was a major band geek, a serious academic geek, and a sci-fi nerd. What you don't know much about is my membership in the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, a Masonic/Scottish Rite/Shriner youth group for girls (my father was a Mason). Think ritual/memory work, initiations, formal gowns, and many of the weird and funky fraternal-type secret stuff that makes people wonder what goes on at those Masonic lodge initiations (Even though we joke about the greased pigs? That doesn't really happen.). But for a 12-year-old girl? To dress up in a long gown twice a month? And talk about such lofty, abstract ideals as love, religion, nature, immortality, fidelity, patriotism, service, and faith? And to have a chance to wear a crown upon reaching the highest office in one's assembly? Well, it was just the cat's meow. And by the time I was 15, it was pretty much my life and I was well on my way to becoming the head of my district and holding a state office. And right about that time? My best friend in junior high, on the eve of becoming the head of our assembly, just ditched the whole thing.
And it hurt like the devil. Because in my mind when she threw away her responsibility, not only was she acting immature, I felt she was throwing away our friendship as well. You see, I had convinced her to join and up until that moment I thought she enjoyed it and was having fun. I told her that I wasn't happy with her and that she had disappointed me. It was the first time in my life I had ever been honest with someone who had hurt me.
In return she spent the remainder of that summer before high school ignoring me and when that first day of 10th grade started, she didn't speak to me. Neither did two of my other closest friends. And there I was, completely lost and alone and wondering what the hell had happened. I had been honest, truthful, told her that even though her decision hurt me, she was still my friend, and in turn that honesty got me kicked in the gut. It was pretty much the last time I would ever be truthful to anyone, least of all myself, about my feelings. I figured out right then to keep my emotions, what I thought, to myself because if I was honest, it would backfire. As we all know, teenagers are a fickle bunch of fuckers and not only did those three friends seemingly turn their backs to me, many of my junior high friends dissolved into the background of high school, too. They had chosen their side, and I was bewildered.
I spent my final three years of public school tip-toeing around, wondering who was going to ditch me next. Even though I became best friends with Denise and found another group of minions to hang with, I was constantly looking over my shoulder, remembering those wonderful people who had made my life so very bright for three years of junior high and who quickly crushed my self-esteem with a snap decision. After graduation, I left the class of 1990 and never looked back. For me, high school was a blip between junior high and college that I simply had to grit my teeth and tolerate so that I could leave West Virginia for Georgia and start a clean slate and a new life.
Except for Denise, I didn't keep in touch with any of my high school friends or acquaintances. I didn't attend the 10th reunion of 1990 and even with my Facebook reconnections, I doubt I'll attend the 20th reunion next year. My mom keeps telling me that when I reach her age I'll feel differently, but I doubt it. Those three years were honestly very painful for me and seeing many of those faces again? Would probably cause me to run for the nearest exit.
I guess I could name names so that there would no longer be any confusion as to who those fair-weathered friends were. But, they know who they are. In fact, one apologized to me at my father's funeral. It's amazing how death can bring out the I'm sorry's and the I can't believe I did that's. All I can say is that if I've friended you on Facebook (all 13 of you Black Eagles), we're cool.
After 22 years I'm slowly getting better about saying how I feel out loud, what I think about the actions of others when they affect me. I'm slowly letting my close friends know if I'm upset because of something they've said or done. It's hard to do when I keep looking back and seeing the face of my best junior high friend turn away from me.