Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blast from the present

I still live near the town where I went to school as a kid, so inevitably I run into people now who I used to know back in my school days. I am usually impressed with how time mellows people. I also have a bit more confidence nowadays than I had back when I was a shy teenager in high school, so I usually find it surprisingly easy now to converse with people who I didn't necessarily hang out with (or even like very much) back then. I still occasionally feel a little voice in my head that says "Wow, I'm talking to a POPULAR girl" or "Eeew, he used to be a GOTH kid" before I tell that voice to shut up for God's sake, this is the real world and no one cares who was POPULAR or GOTH unless they're planning on running for an elected office.

My dance class through high school was no different than what you'd expect to find when you get 10 or more teenage girls together. A couple girls rise to the title of "most popular", a couple more girls are permitted to hang around them and be considered popular by association, and a couple girls are considered "other", and are tolerated but never really made to feel welcome. I never did anything to make the other girls not like me (oops, I guess I just let slip where I fit into this little system) but I was quiet and I was a bit chubby and often that's enough. My memories of my dance years are mostly good, but speckled with instances where pranks were played, exclusions were made obvious, and all are pervaded by an angsty teenage "Why don't they like meeeeeeeeeeee?"

But this is not a sob story. I'm just laying a little background and believe me, I am over it now. But what I am NOT over is this: I ran into a girl from dance last week in the lobby of my gym, I walked by and made eye contact and smiled, prepared to say hi, and she blatantly looked at me then looked away. Seriously? Dude, your mother babysat me when we were kids. We spent pretty much every single day together at the dance studio throughout middle and high school, I never knowingly did anything to offend you (I wish I could say the same for the reverse) and NOW, 10 years later, when we're ADULTS, you still feel like you're too good to say hi to me?

I'll be fair here. She HAD been talking to some guy for awhile who was holding a sleeping toddler, and she seemed to be shooting him her best and brightest fake smile, so maybe I was interrupting her game. I was there with my very own (much cuter) toddler and my own (much hotter) man though, so it's not like she could've gotten the impression that I would swoop in and try to steal her toddler-toting guy. Still, I'd think seeing an acquaintance for the first time in 10 years even while you're in the middle of trying to get some play warrants a hi, a wave, an eyebrow raise, SOME kind of acknowledgment.

But apparently not. Apparently MOST people mellow with time, but some stay stuck in their high school roles. And I hope she is enjoying the fact that she's still POPULAR in her own head, because behavior that's accepted from teenagers is considered rude from adults in the real world. If she meant that little snub to have the same effect on me that it would've had in high school then she must be disappointed, because SOME of us have changed and all it did was leave me wondering what kind of life she's been leading in the last 10 years that has allowed her to keep such a high opinion of herself.

She must not be a mom, that's all I can say. Getting poop on your shirt a couple times will cure you of your high opinions real quick. And if she ends up getting together with sleeping toddler guy, I hope that toddler acts appropriately for HER age and teaches stuck-in-the-past girl that she's not actually the most important person in the world.

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