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March 14, 2002
New Poll: In honor of the group therapy session Brigita and I are having, please indicate your position in your junior high social caste system. (For you non-Americans, we’re talking about ages 13-15.)
PostedMarch 14, 2002 — 11:28 pm
March 15, 2002 — 2:02 am
Wow… I always thought that my high school was the worst experience in the world, but now that I think about it, I don’t know. Middle school was hell.
Hmm… What was my position in the middle school social caste system? How about one step above the “speds.”* I think that about sums it up. I was quiet and bookish and pimply and overweight and smart and utterly, utterly poor. My family couldn’t afford to clothe me in the latest fashion, and I was so awkward and frumpy that I wouldn’t have had a clue of how to act even had I worn Esprit and Umbro and doubled-up socks, or tucked my polo shirt half-in, half-out of my pegged jeans. I think I had to wear the same pair of black cotton parachute pants at least three times a week, and my pseudo-Keds shoes came straight out of the K-Mart bargain bin. Blue Light Special! Only a $1.00!!!
I’m so embarrassed to even think of it, now. The funny thing is, there was this kid I was friends with back in middle school, a smart kid, a dork. When we were in high school we didn’t have any classes together, so I never really saw him. Then one day in my junior year of high school, we saw each other in the hall after school let out, when we were on our way to the busses. We exchanged pleasantries, and somehow our conversation gravitated towards me, and how unattractive I thought I was, and how So-And-So couldn’t REALLY like me.
My friend gave me an incredulous look. “You’re crazy!” he said. “When we were back in middle school, I had the hugest crush on you.”
My jaw dropped. “B-but! I was so… DORKY in middle school!”
He shrugged. “So was I.”
“But I was FAT!” I insisted.
“No way, dude,” he said. “I thought you were way hot.”
Then he looked embarrassed at his admission, gave me a little wave, and disappeared into the throng of kids running to their school busses. I wanted to ask him why he didn’t say anything to me before, but it didn’t really matter. I think I was in a daze for at least a week after he said that to me. I was so surprised and pleased to find out that I had a secret admirer throughout the darkest days of my young life.
But… I don’t know who made me more miserable in middle school… The boys tortured me just as much as the girls did. I was the butt of many cruel jokes, and the boys especially loved to tell me how ugly and fat and stupid I was. Most of the girls chose to ignore me, except when they were trying to impress other people with how wonderful and pretty they were in comparison to myself… But, that didn’t stop any of them from begging me to let them copy my worksheets.
*For those of you wondering what “speds” are, I’ll tell you. I know it’s utterly cruel and heartless (but what kids aren’t), but it’s what we used to call the special education kids. You know, the kids with severe physical and mental disabilities, the ones who remained in the same classroom all day. Yep. Kids suck.
March 15, 2002 — 2:39 am
wow is right! damn. i chose tormentor, simply because i wasn’t necessarily tormented, but i wasn’t faceless, either. and i wasn’t always nice. (you need one more choice, kris.) i was a middle-ground weirdo – maybe it’s because i’m the middle child? i kept enough “popular” acquaintances to stay safe from ridicule, but had enough of a cushion to still pull rank on a few nerds here and there. looking back on it now…we were all dorks! it was the EIGHTIES, for chrissake. every single popular kid has to be a little embarrassed of pegging their pants and being an asshole.
March 15, 2002 — 3:03 am
You’d hope, anyway.
March 15, 2002 — 4:42 am
I was part of those kids that don’t quite make it into a defined group. Nonetheless, that didn’t help. I developed early and had a cute face. As a result, I received the attention of boys the “popular girls” wanted. Of course, that is enough in junior high to insuinate someone is a slut.
An interesting point about the girl culture in my junior high: Girls called each other “out”. As in planned a fight. Some were a true “settling of differences”, and others were just because some girl thought you were a slut. There was a whole ceremony around it too: The time and the place were chosen, the reason for the “calling out” was given, etc. Always drew a good crowd on some unsuspecting adult’s front lawn. (I guess they’ll think twice before buying a house so near a school.) This happened alot. While I never called anyone out, I did get called out. Of course I showed up. To not show up was way worse than the “reason” you were called out. In retrospect, this is quite amusing to me.
For 9th grade, there was the standard “polls” for the yearbook. (Best looking, smartest, etc.) A “popular” girl actually had the influence to have another category added. (Best future couple – were she paired herself with my current boyfriend.) That didn’t ostracize me totally though, because even though I was fairly anonymous, I did win “prettiest eyes”.
March 15, 2002 — 4:52 am
it makes me so sad to think back on how i tried so desperately to cling to the bottom rung of the popular group.
it makes me so sad to think of how much crap i let myself put up with, rather than telling Little080920 0:19:48 [ERROR] Got error 127 when reading table ‘./blackin_frog/users’
time articulating any more feelings and memories of all of that, so let’s just say that those years were a very dark period for me.
March 15, 2002 — 8:10 am
I was miserable all through school, until I was about 17. I try to never, ever think about those days, as both the kids and the teachers were rotton too me. Now of course, all the bitca’s have become domesticated and want to “reconnet” with me via the evil evil world of friendsreunited.co.uk. What do I say to that?
“Uhhhm, hi? I’m doing well. Great actually, considering the abuse you piled on me for so many years. Hope you got fat, and married an asshole.”
We’re talking tying my hair to the swings, throwing rocks, and beating the tar outta me girls. Screw them. God, I hated school.
Can you tell I’ve got issues?
March 15, 2002 — 11:12 pm
School was pants. I only stayed for the endgame: university.
Strange I was reading in friendsreunited (sic) the other week about one of my tormentors. He doesn’t seem to have done much at all, still lives in Caerphilly (where school was) and even said he missed his school days. Thing is he left at 16 because he caused so much trouble they asked him to go at the first opportunity.
When reading this my first reaction was “loser”. Sorry but he really did make my life horrible in parts and it’s his own fault. You reap what you sow etc.
Not that I’m bitter or anything.
March 16, 2002 — 5:08 am
oh, lord…You know, after I left school- the experience being so traumatizing that I quit my sophomore year- I vowed I would never speak of it again. But when I looked at all the comments, somehow I feel like part of a group.
I went through middle school and high school being a picked on little kid. If it wasn’t the color of my hair, it was my weight. If it wasn’t my KMart clothes, it was the fact that my mom came to school one day to have lunch with me, and by the end of the day the popular girls decided that my mother must have been a prosititute, and I was the unwanted product of one of her “sessions.” I hung out with a group of girls who, in one way or another, were picked on. When the self-appointed leader decided that she didn’t like me, I was “kicked out. Every so often, she would do this to me and welcome me back into the fold.
In middle school, after one of these “episodes,” I would sit alone in the library, at the table way in the back, reading a book. I wasn’t really reading–I was crying. But since I didn’t have any other friends, and I was desperate, I would sit by idly until she decided she had been cruel enough. She did this in the middle of 6th grade (about age 12 for your UK-ers) and the last half of 8th grade. High school was much worse because I started it with absolutely NO friends WHATSOEVER. I hated sitting by myself in every class, not having anyone to talk to. So by sophomore year, i said “OK, I’m SO done.” And I left school.
I’m a little bit scarred- ok, a LOT scarred from this. I will never tell anyone about this…….ackward period in my life, but I will tell my children, so they can see my mistakes, and hopefully if they are ever popular, they can see how NOT to treat people, and if they aren’t, then at least they know that it happened to me, too.
One REALLY good thing came of all of this–being picked on and not being liked gives you a feeling of numbness, at least for me–I don’t care what people think or say about me, and I tell people what I think of them allthe time. This has made me a better person. Now, I’m a regional director of a major clothing store chain, and make 6 figures a year (I’m 22, byt he way). You might ask, “What happened to all of the instigators?” I have found out that 4 of the girls that picked on me have become strippers, and lost their family fortunes, therefore making them destitute. Two of the guys are homeless, and another is in a drug rehab. And the ringleader? She gained 150 pounds and is now currently a dancer at a strip called-no, I’m not making this up- Fatties. All of these people are now on welfare, food stamps, governemtn assistance, you name it. i know that one is not supposed to gloat (I think that’s one of the 10 commandments or something), but I think in this situation, I deserve to. :).
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