sunday night, j(wh) and i had one of those long late night conversations in which you end up talking about all kinds of things. and one of the things that came up was the end of my friendship with my childhood best friend. k and i were best friends from the time we were very small. we went to church together. we spent friday nights with each other at least once a month if not more. almost every saturday i went to her house to play and, starting when we were about eight, we'd walk to the mall together to go to the bookstore to get a new book for the week. but we didn't go to elementary school together.
i spent a lot of energy wishing we could go to school together. elementary school was okay the first few years. i think i was too much in my own world to pay much attention to who the popular kids were, what clothes kids were wearing, who was going to whose birthday party, etc. that changed once i hit 3rd or 4th grade and the kids more openly made fun of me. 5th and 6th grades were just nasty. i'd come home from school crying sometimes. and my poor mother had no idea what to do to make it better other than to hug me and tell me she loved me.
k was my lifeline then. because even if the kids at school were vicious and mean, i had this best friend who loved me outside of school. i was so excited that she was going to come to junior high with me. so when she told me at the end of my 7th grade year that we couldn't be friends anymore--well, that was devastating. i knew it was because i wasn't cool enough. not pretty enough. i didn't have the clothes or the stuff or the interest in music or the interest in boys. i was clearly a liability when it came to the market of popularity. and i knew it. but it still hurt.
it's a common story. nothing really special about it. but thinking about it again actually made me tear up, which surprised me a bit--how much the memory of childhood pain could hurt still. but it also made me realize that i sometimes psychically flip off all those kids i went to school with. sometimes i catch a glimpse of how interesting my life is; or i see myself with new eyes that show me my own beauty and style; or i understand how much i've accomplished. and every once in a while when i do, i remember the kids at school and how they thought of me and i mentally laugh in their faces.