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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

At last!

The summer after 8th grade my family moved to a small town north of Houston. It was only a move of about 20 miles, but those 20 miles were significant. Those 20 miles meant changing schools. I had already gone to three different schools so it wasn't a big deal to me. I started high school that fall and loved the small town feel of it. The best part was that the high school had been growing significantly so the 9th grade was given a campus all it's own. I loved that! I didn't have to wonder who the upperclassmen were. Everyone in my school was in 9th grade just like me.

Because I was new in the district I didn't know anyone. I watched the kids to see who I wanted to be friends with. I always seemed to plan these sorts of things. I guess that was a side effect of moving a lot. The planning. Friendships happened naturally for me, but for some reason some people stood out more than others. There were people I noticed. In 9th grade that person was a cute, blond girl in my dance class. She seemed fun and was well liked by the other girls. She had a best friend who she seemed to spend a lot of time with. I tried to be her friend. I tried to sit by her in class. I did whatever my 9th grade self thought to do to be noticed by this girl. Once she was fixing her hair after class, and I told her how cute it looked. She asked her best friend what she thought and then proceeded to take her friend's advice and change it. It was obvious. She wasn't interested. She had friends already and didn't need another one. I eventually stopped trying to be her friend and made other friends. I never did stop idolizing this girl though.

The funny thing is that I'm sure she had her own insecurities back then. What 9th grade girl doesn't? I'm sure she had no idea I was trying so hard to be her friend. I was fairly shy so I didn't do anything over the top to get her attention. I bet she didn't even think about it. She was never mean or ugly to me at all. She just didn't notice me.

Recently I noticed this girl, the one I had so desperately wanted to be friends with, on facebook. I didn't go searching for her. We had some mutual friends, and a notice popped up on the sidebar that told me I might know her. I thought about how much I had wanted to be her friend back in 9th grade. I wondered how she had changed since that time. I decided to send her a friend request just to see what would happen. She accepted it. After all these years I can finally say I'm her friend. I don't think she remembers me, and I didn't send a note with my request. Still, she said yes so I am counting it!

Amended...I certainly hope nobody is taking this post the wrong way. It was meant as a look back at a little of the angst of a 14 year old, and as 14 year olds go I had a perfect home life so really there was very little angst there. Having a 9th grader who is new to a school has had me thinking a lot about 9th grade and making friends lately. It was interesting to me that I saw this girl on facebook after I had already thought of "our" story. I am even tempted to let her know I've blogged it. She seems like a lovely person and might like to know that someone thought she was so great all those years ago! If she hadn't accepted my friendship request I wouldn't have been offended at all. I honestly can't see how she would remember me. I moved again after 10th grade so we only went to school together for 2 years. And in the grand scheme of life and things it really wasn't much of a story!

16 comments:

Tami W. said...

I just planned and attended my 30th high school reunion. I was tickled pink when I got responses from some of the "cool" kids. I thought that since 30 years had passed we would all be on the same level playing field. I even thought that we might become real friends... But wouldn't you know it...the day of the reunion the cool kids were still cliqish and bitchy, the band geeks, (me!), still laughed the loudest and the skinny, dorky guys that no one paid any attention to back in the day could buy and sell all of us, and, of course, were gorgeous.

Hahn at Home said...

The few people I liked in high school are still the few people I like from high school.

Brian said...

It's weird how FB can make you remember people you haven't seen in decades.

citizen of the world said...

I've reconnected with so,e old freinds from high school that I never thought I'd have contact with again. Kind of cool.

Mamadallama said...

Probably most of us have stories like yours. I can say I know and understand the feeling even though I grew up in a small town and never had to go through the new girl routine.

Sra said...

I never actively tried to make friends in high school or junior high. I think that's because I was enough of an outsider in elementary school that I just assumed people weren't interested. I'm still the same way now, but I wish I were a little more easy going and open to meeting other people. I don't want to meet others because I don't want to be rejected by them, and I think that sucks.

Jason, as himself said...

That age is the worst for insecurities. I think about how much time and energy I wasted on those insecurities and obsessions. I wish I could have just enjoyed life a bit more!

C.J. Koster said...

I have sometimes wondered about some of the people that I went to elementary school with. I still remember many of their names but they definitely would never remember mine. It's strange when your memory is so vivid and you can't help but drift into these moments of nostalgia sometimes and think about what these people look like now and what they are doing.

Mike S said...

I feel like a 'lurker', but I'm actually having to spend quite awhile catching up. Very enjoyable pass-time though, love da house & its 'inards'. Back tomorrow to start to read some more;)

Rhonda said...

How true. You have touched on such a great memory...or not so great. I guess that is how we learn and teach our children of today how to behave.

9th grade angst is part of it. Although, I seem to have girls who LOVE everything about high school, and they are not the ones in the lime light per se.

I'm with TamiW up there... some things NEVER change and I too just passed my 30th and had no desire to go again and see a repeat of what fools some of the people made of themselves in the past.

Natalie said...

tami w. - that doesn't surprise me. i haven't attended any of my high school reunions. i'm not sure there was a 10 year one and then the 20 year reunion was held while i was in turkey. there was no way i could go. also since i moved every 2-3 years i don't have many friends left from high school. i don't think many people would remember me since i never stayed anywhere for long! we've held our own college reunions and those have been a blast. and thanks to facebook i have reconnected with some of my high school friends. amazing really.

hahn at home - sometimes i wish i had gone to just one high school. two years at one and two years at another makes for very disjointed memories.

brian - i know! i love it though!

citizen of the world - it is cool. i've enjoyed getting reacquainted with people!

mamadallama - i'm sure. and like i said i'm sure this girl had no mean thoughts or ideas about me. she had lived in the area for years so she had lots of friends.

sra - that is sad. i've always been a fairly confident person. shy, yes, but still confident. i didn't really feel rejection i guess. i never had enemies or people who just didn't like me. i was just always a new kid.

jason - there are all kinds of people i wonder about. i am excellent with names and usually have a pretty good memory. when i went to college i saw people there who i had gone to junior high, and both high schools with. there were people from all over my past there. few of them remembered me, but i could always call them by name and had some little anecdote about them that i could share. my college friends teased me about knowing "everyone", because it truly seemed like i knew someone everywhere i went!

mike s - glad to see you around here! hope your eyes are doing better. thanks!

rhonda - it was a good memory. i did think she was great, but i never felt slighted by her when she didn't pay attention to me. it has been fun to share stories about moving and starting new schools with my kids! the funny thing is i don't remember ever really struggling in high school myself. i know there were little things, but i was a fairly adaptable kid. i didn't even mind moving while i was growing up except the last time. when we moved from that small town to a town in the texas panhandle i was devastated. i had just made the drill team and was settling in. we moved to a school that didn't even have a drill team which killed me!

Momo Fali said...

I think this is great! I would tell her. I bet she would laugh about it! Oh, the drama of being a teen!

emily s said...

hmmm...I wonder if I will have these moments someday..interesting thought.

Mamadallama said...

I'll just bet more people remember you than you think, Natalie. One of my sons and my husband is like you...make friends wherever they go. And everyone always remembers them.

Domestic Goddess said...

I'm loving FB right now. It has been so much fun finding my old friends, my old boyfriends, finding out who's married, who's a priest, who's, erm, alternative. Etc.

Natalie said...

momo fali - i ended up sending her a message on facebook, but i haven't heard from her. i might have freaked her out! hee hee!

emily - you will i'm sure!

mamadallama - i did have a girl from elementary school email me on classmates.com. she said she had a picture of me at her 9th birthday party. she scanned it and showed it to me. i didn't remember or recognize her or anyone else in the picture! i barely recognized myself! she said she had often wondered about me over the years. funny!

domestic goddess - i love facebook too! even if i don't talk to the people i'm "friends" with i like keeping up with what they're doing!