Since I’ve unfortunately been unable to peel myself away from the Pocket Of Idiocy that is my hometown (okay, its not as bad as the next town over, which boasts its own KKK…) occasionally I receive blasts from the past. They never cease to amaze me, and often leave me feeling somewhat unsettled.
Mainly I wonder…am I the only one from high school that changed or grew up?
There’s been a couple of people, like Library Eater, the guy who would eat with me in the library because we were both tormented so much we couldn’t eat in the cafeteria- he seems to have changed, and for the better. He’s not only lost a lot of weight, but he seemed very happy and had a wonderfully cute girlfriend with him the last time I saw him. He makes me so happy when I see that his life has turned out pretty well.
But a lot of the people I knew, some of whom I counted as friends, have not changed. At all. Its been a few years, and you would think that with college, marriage, and all those other things, these people might have grown up.
I’m not referring to financial stability here, or even the fact that a few of them are getting married- quite a lot have done those things, but its as if their emotional intelligence never got past the age of 17.
Yesterday, I had a blast from the past from an old…well neither friend nor acquaintance is quite the way to describe her. For purposes of not getting murdered, lets call her Twitchy.
Twitchy and I have known each other since at least middle school if not a grade before that. We were both pretty well outcasted by the school (and I do include the administration) and we had one of those “friendship by default” things going on. Nobody else wanted to be our friend, so we became each other’s friends.
To make things even more fun, Twitchy and I both have disabilities (mine being ADHD and Dyscalculia) and hers being a mental disorder affecting the moods. That would probably explain why the usual cookie-cutter administration couldn’t handle either of us, because we’re both very smart people.
I rather broke things off from Twitchy due to a lot of reasons. First, I was headed to college and wanted a clean, fresh, new start. Twitchy was kind of a messy little friendship. She would cry randomly for no reason, and go from happy and relaxed to raging and practically frothing at the mouth in a heartbeat. She did this so often that (and this is kind of embarassing to admit) I would deliberately send her into one of these rages if she was bothering me. (The object was to get her to stop ranting at me…yeah, a wee bit passive aggressive on my part.)
I hadn’t seen her in years, and had erased her from my FB a while ago, because when I cut friends off I really cut them off. After the emotional stuff is dealt with, I can go from very sentimental to not so much in no time at all. Its not that I want to be cruel, but just that I see no point in keeping someone on my FB unless I actually have contact with them in real life.
So it was a bit of a surprise when I came upon Twitchy in the library.
Oh yes, it was awkward too.
We got to know each other again, and I pretended as if she were one of my tutoring students. I used my most laid-back, welcoming sort of body language, and if a “controversial topic” came up I lightly touched on it and flew away.
As we were talking, I realized something odd was going on. She boasted of her trip to Paris (which sounds awesome) and really made a point about all the guys that had fallen over her.In fact, when I was like, “Wow! That’s cool! I went to Japan as well!” And tried to see what neat things she learned being in Europe, she was even more boastful.
When she asked me what I was up to these days, and I explained that I was graduating soon, and engaged to be married (too poor= no ring) the fun was over. Her twitchy little half smile disappeared as soon as she heard that.
It wasn’t until I saw her sour face that I realized that Twitchy had been trying to puff herself up for me…to impress me. Not only that, but she was jealous.I’m not kidding, I think she was even jealous that I was pretty well easy going.
It just blows my mind. I always rejected that whole, “They’re all just jealous of me” mentality I should have had in high school (instead it was: I’m not worth anything, so why be jealous at all?) because of my own low self esteem and because I’ve always figured that at best, I’m just a rather plain, uninteresting person. Not anything bad, just not particularly enviable either. I’ve always had that incredulous, “You are jealous of me?” thought floating around- especially since my life never has been cuddly flowers and butterflies.
Its not just her- lately blasts from the past have been blowing in from everywhere, and its Deja Vu every single time. Its finally hitting me that some of the people I knew in high school, including the “friends” I had, were honestly jealous of me.
Could it be that they knew something about me that I didn’t? Could it be that they somehow knew they weren’t going to change, and I was- therefore I really would finally escape the Pocket of Idiocy? Perhaps that is the reason that so many people that I had considered as friends (and really weren’t) put so much effort into putting me down- they didn’t want to be left behind, or be reminded that they weren’t going to make it. They could have made it, but that would have involved them doing it for themselves, and not just having it handed to them.
I’ve grown up quite a bit since high school (for the most part, my passive aggressiveness has at least gone into remission…) and one thing that I’ve noticed is that I am one of the few that escaped the PoI- even though I’m still living in the same location. However, I’ve escaped from the mentality that the PoI offers, although my future hypothetical children will certainly not be raised in this community. Its too anti-Catholic, besides all the other problems it has (and views as positives). Its not so much as escaping the location as it is escaping the mentality.
Somehow, I really did escape. Somehow, these people knew it.