Monday, May 09, 2005

Mean Girls

my umbrella tree
I always had more guy friends once I hit high school. The reason I had to wait until high school was because there were few boys in my elementary school. In 8th grade, we had no boys at all, but only because the single boy that was left in 7th grade fled to the junior high after an entire year of being stuck with a bunch of hormone induced boob developers.

I wasn’t cool back in elementary school, I’m not now either, but back then I was a mouth full of teeth, thick glasses, and dorky hair that my dad styled for me because my mom worked early in the morning. Guess who I was friends with? The other girls who were like me. If you were overweight, poor, had thick glasses, red hair, had big teeth, or shy, most likely you were my friend.

I got made fun of a little, when I was alone on the bus or in the playground. Boys weren’t nice then either, even though my best friend Maggie played kickball with them everyday. I would join in every once in a while, but not often, because the boys were rough and liked to make fun of girls. I didn’t mind them as much as the girls though. The girls made friends in cycles. The popular girls would let you in for a week or so by inviting you to a sleepover or birthday party, then drop you. Occasionally a popular girl would be on the outs with the other girls, so I was befriended a couple times by a few of them, but that would never last either. I was happy when the remainder of the popular girls went off to junior high after 6th grade and left us nerdy Catholic school girls behind. I never talked to a single one of them again after I went to high school, except for my 2 best friends, Maggie and Carrie.

It didn’t take long for Maggie to drop out of my life. In the later part of 9th grade I had an boyfriend who I spent a lot of time with. I hung out with Maggie and Carrie on a regular basis though. Carrie lived further away from us so she went to a different high school, but we’d always spend the weekends sleeping over at each other’s houses. Maggie pushed us both away and got cozy with another group of friends. Soon she quit talking to both of us, especially after Carrie and I tried pot for the first time.

I always felt like it was a shame that Maggie pushed me away. We were best friends since 1st grade. I had lots of other “best friends” along the way, but Maggie was always there. I never understood what I did that made her not want to be my friend. I assumed that she was jealous that I had a serious boyfriend and she didn’t.

Carrie and I lost touch eventually too, mainly because she started dating a crack dealer and I knew she was on the road to being knocked up at 16 with a string of abusive boyfriends. At that point in high school I had made friends with the same girls that I’m friends with now, including my best friend Kari.

It’s strange how friendships evolve and change. Kari and I aren’t nearly as close as we once were, but we can pick up right where we left off whenever we’re together. She was the maid of honor in my wedding, and I’ll be the matron of honor (probably the biggest one ever) in her wedding in October. But we don’t talk like we used to, and we certainly don’t hang out like we used to. Sometimes I wonder if people hold on to friendships even after what brought you together in the first place is long gone, just for the sake of keeping friends.

I guess I’ve been thinking about this because I’m going through a type of evolution myself. I’m witnessing my life changing everyday. The things that I used to like to do I’d never even consider doing now. I’m becoming closer to family members that have kids. Plus I have my 10 year high school reunion coming up in July. I wonder if Maggie will be there and if she would speak to me if she was. I wonder if I would speak to her. I know that Carrie had a baby a few months ago, back when I was still working at Target. I don’t know if it was her first or fifth. I find myself wondering about the people from my past, old boyfriends, old roommates, and wondering why I never kept in touch. I’m bad at that. I’ve known so many people but I’ve only kept a handful of them close.

Hmm. I guess that’s all I need.

And yeah... girls have always been mean!

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