With all the twenty year reunion talk it’s made me think about the past more. Specifically gradeschool and growing up. I went to catholic school, K through 8, I can barely remember Kindergarden and first grade but the rest of the years are still pretty vivid in my mind. I’m putting together a scrapbook of my school years and I’ve posted the class pictures in Facebook for all my old friends to see. I can remember pretty much everyone’s name and various events. So I was browsing the pages of people that I would have graduated with had we not moved and came across many of my grade school friends. I sent a few friend requests but I think maybe I’m regretting it now. I can’t remember if I’ve talked about it on here or not, so I apologize if I am repeating myself.
I went to grade school with the same kids from second grade through eighth grade. As a class, as a school, we were all pretty close. After eighth grade we had to make the choice as to which high school we were all going to attend in the fall but the majority of us decided on Hendersonville High, which was just a block away. Maybe I was naive but I just assumed that we would remain friends in high school. Two weeks before school was to start, my sister and I had our usual joint birthday pool party. All our friends came and we all had a great time. Just two weeks later my friends and I started high school. My friend Carolyn and I hated that we only had one class together, French, but I was trying to have a positive attitude and took it as my chance to make new friends, after all I still had my current friends…or so I thought.
High school is scary enough as a Freshman. I was trying to avoid the dreaded and embarrassing Freshman initiation and try to remember my locker combination. I knew no one in my first few classes that morning. I had seen some of the other kids around town but didn’t know anyone personally. As the day progressed I saw my ‘friends’ and I walked up to say ‘Hi’ and ask how their day was going, they turned away, as if they didn’t see me. I thought, ok maybe they were in a rush, I’ll catch up with them later. I walked into computer science class and one boy, whom I will call G, was already sitting in a desk. There was not a seat near him, but I walked over to see how things were going for him. I stood in front of him, looked at him and said ‘Hi G! How is your day going? Its great to have at least one class where I know someone.” He looked right through me as if I was a ghost that he couldn’t see or hear. Class started and I walked back to my seat. When class was over he ran out of the room before I could approach him again. I moved on to my next class but I was completely thrown for a loop over his reaction. After lunch I saw my friend, who just last week I spent riding bikes all over town with, and he walked right by me without saying a word. Dude you shouldn’t ignore the one person who didn’t make fun of you for eating paste in the second grade, I’m just saying. Other than my friend Carolyn, the people I thought who were my friends wouldn’t talk to me. Maybe they were stressed out or something. Apparently they were stressed out for the entire school year because I never spoke to them again. Oh it’s not like I didn’t try either. Even at Sunday mass they wouldn’t say hi. No phone calls were returned either.
I spent my entire Freshman year at HHS pretty much alone. I ate lunch in my science class room staring out at the football field. I participated in Powder Puff Football only to sit on the sideline. I wasn’t fast enough for the swim team. And I was still too awkward to have a boyfriend. I was totally miserable. I cried every night in my room but yet I managed to put on a brave face and get up for school. To this very day I have no idea why I was shunned. A part of me wants to know why but I think deep down I already know the answer.
When my father told us that we were going to be moving to Phoenix my world came tumbling down. I was ready to chain myself to my tire swing tree, I was not going to move from the only place I had ever known. I remember the day that Carolyn and I had to say goodbye, we both cried our eyes out and promised to write. Which we did and we still send emails from time to time. She has a great heart. As for the others, I never heard a peep from them.
Now that we are all on Facebook its funny to see the friend requests that I get from that part of my life. Some of which I made the first move and others requested me. It makes me wonder if they even remember how crappy they were to me. I realize that they don’t remember and I usually accept their friend requests because I am trying to be the bigger person.
I think had I not gone through that experience I wouldn’t have understood the value of the friendships I have now. The friends I have now are my friends for life and I blessed to have them in my life.