May 23, 2003, a date that will live in infamy.
You see, 9 years 2 months and 8 days ago (give or take an hour) I graduated from high school.
This would have been a great thing for a lot of people, but for me, who thrives on routine and who’s only ambition was to be in school, I was devastated. We were poor financially. I knew college wasn’t an option for me and it broke my heart. Without the textbooks I clung too so dearly, what would my life become? Without knowing the right answer or knowing where to find it, who was I? I didn’t have a lot of close friends and as such, I defined myself by my academic achievements. I was smart. I wasn’t pretty like the other girls. I was popular like the other girls. I didn’t play sports, or music, or try out for performances with drama club. I lived for my textbooks and chess club.
Of course, this made it difficult for me to maintain lasting friendships. There were so many people from my graduating class that I either don’t remember at all, or remember being quite horrible to me and others. These were the people who would go out of their way to kick my chair at lunch, make fun of me behind my back (and to my face). These were people who I would alter my route across campus to avoid. So why are they acting like we were best friends? Do they really not know how horrible they were to each other? To me? I guess, I should inform you, dear readers, that as our 10th reunion is approaching, a Facebook has been started in our honor. In all our glory, we are expected to be friends with people who treated us like dirt for SEVEN years! That’s right, a lot of these same people followed me through middle school AND high school. Things that started in the sixth grade carried on for the next seven years.
I was a sl*t before I’d ever lost my virginity. A wh*re once that occurred. Despite having slept with three men, my whole life. That’s right, at 27 years old, I can still count, with less than a hand, how many men I’ve slept with… Let’s see, one during high school. We dated from the end of freshmen year until he broke up with me near the end of our junior year. Then there was the guy after high school, who I had been friends with since freshmen year. We were together for another two years. And last but certainly not least, there is my husband. We’ve been married since 2005! So for those who can’t count, at the time I was being vilified as a sl*t, wh*re and sk*nk, I had slept with one or fewer men. And you act like you were my best friend? Who, by the way, slept with boyfriend number one while we were still together! So even my friends, weren’t friends.
Having Asperger’s made things difficult. I didn’t, and still don’t, always know when someone is being my friend because they wanted to be my friend or because it is easier to make fun of me that way. I did get along with several people from different cliques, but for the most part I was still an outsider looking in. I wasn’t invited to the parties, I wasn’t invited to go to the mall, I was asked to pierce a girl’s ears once (I told her I’d enjoy hurting her too much and walked away) and I was asked for test answers often. I just don’t understand why these people, who made me feel worthless and hated for so long that I started hating myself, why are they suddenly my “best friends”? I bet half of them can’t even name a single class we took together in the seven years they relentlessly bullied me. And not just me. These were girls known as b*tches and they lived up to that reputation. These were boys called *ssholes and they did not disappoint. Like the guy who fondled me during gym class and after school in the eighth grade. When I finally told my mom and she brought it up to the (male) assistant principle, it was a he said/she said and it was dismissed… Too bad the kid apologized in my year book
“Sorry I grabbed your ass, it was too hard to resist. Your bud —“. Seriously? So my sexual harassment is immortalized forever in the margin of my eighth grade yearbook. Good news, I don’t think I’ll ever forget his name! Bad news, I don’t think I’ll ever forget the way it felt to have a grown man call me a liar. (And I didn’t, which I’m sure played a part in my NOT reporting the rapes, molestation, and other things that happened to me as a teen.) These are the people falling over themselves to relive high school memories through photos and yearbook quotes and I’m supposed to understand this strange ritualistic behaviors? I find myself wondering, would I want to go at all if not for the contagious excitement of the others? Even though I don’t like them and then at least on the surface have always hated me?
Maybe I’m just seeing this for what it is: A Pride Fest! Everyone will get together and talk about how great their lives have been over the last ten years. We will mourn the lose of classmates none of us has even thought about since we walked across that stage. (And may I say, I don’t feel you deserve to be mourned in this manner if you died by your own hand. So many of my classmates died as a result of drugs, jail, or a combination of the two. I don’t feel bad for them. Maybe that’s Aspergers again. I didn’t feel much when my grandfather died last April, either.) It just seems like a flock of birds. Every year birds of all feathers get together in flocks to fluffy their feathers and try to attract the best mate. Ever seen a peacock strut? That’s what I imagine when I think about this high school reunion. A large group of peacocks, some are just as attractive as they have always been, some more attractive, some a little extra portly, but a large groups of peacocks strutting about looking to be the best of a group they have no other ties to. And peacocks are mean as hell!
I’m not saying all of high school was bad. I took years of foreign languages and “Analysis and Functions” was the most fun class I ever took (yes, that was an elective I took my Senior year. MATH!), but for the most part, I just don’t understand people. I don’t understand this urge… desire… need to pluck your feathers and strut around like you really cared about all of us. There were 503 people in my graduating class,
What’s my last name?