Thursday, September 13, 2007

Still Not One Of the Cool Kids

There have been several conversations in our house lately about friendships. How to maintain them, how to create them, when it is time to let one go.

Last night I had an interesting conversation with a friend where I retold a childhood story I had not thought of in years.

The girl across the street from me was friends with me when it was convenient for her. When there was no one else to play with. It was always that way, and it took a long time for me to realize that was not how a friendship was supposed to be maintained.

Sadly, looking back, I can see where I was the "peacemaker" even back then. Doing or saying things to cull her favor.

She was the first person I knew whose parents went through a divorce. She would go to see her dad on certain weekends in another city, and she promised me on more than one occasion that I could go with her one weekend. That we would have so much fun.

She never actually asked me to come with her, though. And one day I learned that one of the girls from our dance class had gone with her to see her dad over one of her weekend visits.

I actually gathered up the nerve to ask her why she kept promising to invite me along, but took this girl instead. She looked at me and said, "You just aren't cool enough."

Part of me felt sad. The other part of me knew it was true.

Such is the drama of girls in junior high.

In the retelling of this story, it gave me the opportunity to analyze how I handle my friendships in my adult life.

Sometimes, when I am not watchful, I am still that kid. Somehow, I still manage to find myself in similar situations.

Over the summer, I suggested to one of my mom friends that we take a trip together with our kids.. I have the money and the means to go, and I thought it would be fun if the two of us took the kids for a week or two this autumn.

She said that sounded like a lot of fun, but the topic hasn't really come up lately.

Until last week.

In a phone conversation, she said that she and another mom were taking the kids on a trip together. The same trip I suggested.

I don't even have the energy to be sad about it. I am really not surprised. This other mom is very cool. I really like her a lot. I do not know the circumstances under which this trip was planned, so I do no fault her. She and her family have lots of money, lots of contacts. And my mom-friend seems to gravitate towards that more that just regular people like myself and my family. It was how she was raised. So in a way, I can't fault her, either. She is doing what she always does. I have learned to expect it.

It just makes me realize that I am still that same nerdy, gawky kid. I think differently. What I consider important is not what the rest of the sheeple consider important. It is my own fault for thinking I could blend in.

Somehow, I thought having kids the same age would mean that we had things in common. That I would finally find a few meaningful friendships with women.

No one told me that when I left high school, that the cliques of Motherhood were right around the corner.

I didn't fit in then. And I certainly don't now.

This was a good wakeup call for me. I hope I do not forget about it soon. Not so that I hold any hard feelings, but so that I do not put myself into that situation again.

I am cool in my own way. I am odd. I am offbeat. I have my own unique thing to offer. It is just a matter of finding people who appreciate it.

As long as I can keep that perspective, I think I will be okay. I didn't sell my soul as a kid or teenager, and I am not about to start now.


Heather said...

Honey! I am so sorry this happened to you! This sounds like something I would write. Six years ago, after getting brutally screwed over (separately) by Robert Lee Dawson and Denise Hoffman Hall (yes, I will publish their full, legal names here), I finally learned my lesson regarding fair weathered friends and the warning signs. It took me a long time to weed through the people I called friends who couldn't give a shit about me.

Just know you're not the only one who gets run over. I'm thinking about you and hoping this kind of thing doesn't happen to you again or make you doubt yourself.

Heather (aka Coal Miner's Granddaughter)

Blue Momma said...

Ok, I am SO going on the trip with you! Or I would if I lived there. And if you invited me.

So how cool am I for inviting myself on a trip I can't go on to begin with?

Sounds like we'd make a cool pair!!

Not Afraid to Use It said...

Dude, you are SO invited! Hell, I'd just be happy with a playdate! LOL If I get out your way, we will TOTALLY set it up!

Not Afraid to Use It said...


Thank you so much for your kind words! I love that you put their full names out there! I am dying to hear the story behind that one! I will be checking your blog for updates!!

Nearly Headless Nic said...

SO, let's get our asses on a trip!


Andrea said...

Sorry about the trip. I too was naive to the cliques of motherhood! I somehow thought that being grown-ups, we outgrew the silliness of high school. Oh was I ever wrong!!

Patois said...

I'm just discovering your blog today. You happened by my place for WW a bit ago. This is the second post of yours I've read in the span of my 6, 7 minutes being here. I love you. I love your writing. I love your thought patterns. Okay, I don't really love you as I don't even know your name. It's not Denise Hoffman Hall is it? Please, I hope not as Heather doesn't like that woman. Anyway, dang, this is so what happens. Pisses me off so much. Not fair to you. You should fault that society-grubbing woman "friend" of yours. She's a bitch. Forget her!

Jessica said...

Oh, how I wish that the cliquiness (yes its a word) of high school went away. I feel like I am over it, so why aren't other moms??? I have resigned myself to the fact that deep inside, I am just a big dork. At least I'm having fun!!! I'm sorry you went through such a nasty experience...what a pile of crap from grown adults.