Watching the Teen navigate through the jungle known as Middle School, I’m constantly reminded of my own days as a youth. Even in our faux suburban existence, she has to deal with the things city life offers: drugs, peer pressure, maintaining good grades less I have to introduce my foot to her ass. Hovering in the wings is that specter of whether or not she is truly happy (at 13, she never is), will she be accepted (she’s assimilated quite seamlessly), and the “P” word, popular.
I wasn’t one of the popular kids. I hovered on the fringe, but never made the leap. I knew the popular kids, and could speak to them without feeling like they would tell me to go to hell. I would even be seen at the most social of events, lunch, breaking bread with them. As a twin, I was known, but that was my claim to fame. It wasn’t like my yearbook is full of pictures of me looking effortlessly cool, or at the dances, and such. An aside: I went to an all girls high school, so I guess I really wouldn’t always want to be at dances, LOL).
Fast Forward to 2009:
I play the music that I like. I wear what I feel comfortable in. I shoot my mouth off way to much. I sometimes go with the status quo, but more often I’m voicing the feelings that those around me grumble about. In other words, I rock the boat. And I’m still not popular.
Accepting that I’m your average chick, I found a new way to relive the time of social awkwardness. Facebook, Ravelry and even Toontown.
With these three and many more like it, a few clicks will tell me whether I can be accepted as a friend or politely turned down.
What a confidence booster.
I like social networking. On Facebook, I reconnect with the people I grew up with, meet people who have the same interests, and I’ve heard it’s pretty good for finding a job. The same with Ravelry. Perhaps through one of the many groups I can FINALLY find someone who will help me design a pattern for finger puppets, and find some crafters in my area who won’t blather on about their kids and cats. Wait, that’s me. Okay, some crafters who will make it seem less pathetic that I admire the hand knitted items in movies rather than focus on the plot.
On Facebook, I see “people I may know.” Cautiously I click on their name to make friends. Most say yes, and offer up the obligatory “Hey, how are you?”, then that’s it. Occasionally I’ll get a ghetto snack request, or be asked to join an Eagles wave (AS IF – COWBOYS RULE! ) Sometimes, I’ll even be tagged in a note or photo.
Like the little girl in the Sandra Cisneros story Eleven (quick synopsis from Cliffnotes.com: “Eleven” takes place on the speaker’s eleventh birthday. Rachel opens by saying other ages before eleven are still present inside the 11-year-old. She is in school; the teacher brings a sweater out of the coatroom and tries to determine its owner. A girl says it is Rachel’s, and although Rachel denies it, the teacher puts the sweater on her desk and eventually makes her put it on, which brings her to tears. Later another girl remembers the sweater is hers, but Rachel is still upset and wishes she were invisible) I still feel like that awkward high schooler, the overconfident 21 year old and the satisfied thirty year old battling for my place to fit in.
I have friends who range from “Ride or Die” to the quick, I need an egg to finish dinner. Of course Sleeping Beauty is my Ace.
I have had bosses and co workers tell me that I am a leader and beloved among my peers. My staff has always respected me and some followed me blindly.
I am no Evita Peron. I am not looking for the masses to worship and adore. I’m just looking for a few good women and men who will help a chick work though the tough times and laugh through the good.
Isn’t that what we all want?