Flashback Friday 1

Friday, August 28, 2009

Growing up, I went through best friends faster than I can scoop my way through a jar of peanut butter. I had self esteem issues, having been overweight my entire life (now I'm considered "average"), and I think I had a tendency to give my friendship to anybody that would accept it, no matter how they treated me, or what they thought of me.

I'm a very giving person, always wanting to hand out happiness and laughter, even if I don't get it in return. After the worst best friend that I ever had, a horrible person that contributed to the worst years of my life (someday I'll have to write about her, swap her name out to protect her identity), I pulled myself together, leveled out my head with a rolling pin and a large batch of sugar cookies, and told myself "never again". These days I don't open up to people quite as easily, I've found a best friend that I'll have for the rest of my life (the Godmother to both of my children, and the only person on this planet that really "gets" me), but I still welcome new people with open arms, just not letting them into my heart the same way I would have in the past.

One of my best friends, from around the 7th grade, until the 9th grade (I think?), was Brooke. She lived down the street from me, around the corner in a large newer house, with her hundreds of brothers and sisters. We met in the summertime, probably while I was riding my bike around the block. We'd spend hours upon hours, days even, at each others houses. I'd go with her Grandma's house, so she could take care of her horse. She'd come with me and my family out on our boat. We'd go to movies, the mall, do all of those teenage girl things that teenage girls do.

When school started, she became one of the popular girls. It was unavoidable in our small town. She was tall, athletic, and just gorgeous. Everything that I wasn't, but to me, that never mattered. I'll never forget the first time that she ignored me in the hallway. She looked directly at me, walking with her new cool friends, and then looked away as if she had never seen me before in her life. "I must have done something to make her mad. What did I do?", I wondered. We had laughed together just the night before. Maybe I had said something. Maybe she just didn't see me (but, she had). That afternoon on the bus, she smiled at me, but didn't talk to me. If she smiled... then she wasn't mad? What was going on here?!

Later that night she came over to my house, or maybe I went to hers? It was as if nothing had happened (because nothing had, happened). I didn't want to bring it up, because if she had been mad, I didn't want to remind her of whatever it was that I had done.

As time went on, this became a pattern. While we were at school she would act as if I didn't exist, not even so much as a glance in my direction, but while we were at home, she was my best friend. We would write each other notes during the day, and give them to each other after the bust dropped us off. I knew all about her popular friends, who she had a crush on, who she thought was a snob, but none of them knew about me. I was her hidden best friend. And somehow, I accepted that.

During the Basketball season I would go to the games and cheer for her. And then track season rolled around, and I would do the same for her meets. The first one at least. One day while we were hanging out at her house, her mom invited me to ride with her to an away meet, and Brooke's attitude suddenly changed. Before the night was over, she had turned into a complete bitch. There, I said it. I wasn't about to question it, because I was quite used to it. Her mom however, hadn't witness her daughter treat me like this before, and after bothering her about what her problem was, Brooke finally screamed out "I don't want you to go because you embarrass me!". Directed at me, of course.

So that was it. I knew that was how she felt, but hearing her say it out loud nearly tore me in half. She went on to explain (to her mom, not to me) about how I wasn't popular, and people didn't like me (not because I was mean or obnoxious, but because I was poor and overweight (and now that I look back, once high school rolled around, I wasn't even that overweight), nice right). Her mom told her that she was being a brat and that I was her best friend and it wasn't right to treat me that way, and I'll admit, having her on my side felt nice. It didn't change anything though. My best friend thought I was embarrassing, for no reason other than the fact that other people didn't like me. I walked out of the house crying, disgusted with myself.

Did you see what I just wrote? Yes, I was disgusted with myself.

Brooke eventually said she was sorry, but I couldn't erase her words and actions from my memory. We stopped being friends. I was sad when I saw her, jealous of the friends that took my place, but in the end I guess it was for the better.

In the above picture, we had just finished painting her bedroom, which I think was the last time that I ever went over to her house. And while she wasn't a good friend to me, we still had a lot of fun times together, and I'm grateful for a handful of our memories.

As a closer, I hope I can teach my daughter how to choose her friends better than I did when I was younger. I want to teach her that no matter what anyone else says, she is beautiful, inside and out, and not to let the opinion of another person define who she is. Ever.


Christina Nilsson August 28, 2009 at 12:59 PM  

Oh that was great to read. I had one of those friends too up until just recently actually. I was used to her flaking on me, but to do it to my new daughter, guess it opened my eyes. Its too bad she did that to you. You were just to awesome of a person for her =). She didnt deserve your friendship anyways!

NessaGurl August 28, 2009 at 1:19 PM  

Oh... this made my heart break a little.. while I didn't have the same situation happen. I did see lots of that going on as a child. I was the overweight one...but since my parents had money...somehow people wanted to be my friend...by high school, I started fresh and didn't let people in by not telling them that my parents owned restaurants for fear of them wanting only to be my friend for that reason (as lame as it sounds...people WILL befriend you for a free dinner)

I too hope that I can teach my girls to be good human beings that look for nice friends regardless of looks, size, financial status etc. Until recently I thought that those "bitches" in high school would eventually grow out of it and become decent human beings...but after my last few trips to the park, I have noticed that they never left high school and are still the same old snobs. The sad thing is that they have obviously passed this on to their children as their kids are rude and pass my daughter by like she doesn't exist when she tries to play with them. It breaks my heart to watch it... but what can a mother do other then try and change the world one child at a time.

Christina is right..she didn't deserve your friendship... and all of us that read your blog would be honored to be your friend :)

jessicajane August 28, 2009 at 1:43 PM  

Gosh, that's a really sad story.

When I was growing up, for some reason, everyone was my friend, and I was nice to everyone. All of my really blose friends were all really little and petite, and cute. I was this tall, lankey, redhaired girl. Two of my best friends became cheerleaders in jr. high, and then when high school rolled around they were still on the team. Sophomore year, one of them quit cheerleading (Amanda), and the other one went on to make Varsity her sophomore year, which is a pretty big thing. Ever since that, the other girl quit hanging out with us and was too cool for us. Her parents were still together and she had a good life. We, on the other hand, didn't have the best childhood and we were all from broken homes. I think that this girl's mom actually had a lot of influence on her for not being friends with us. Because she knew who our parents were....kinda sad.

(I just have to add that thismorning when I woke up and looked in the mirror I could see myself getting old. I could see it in my face. And my word verification to post this is, aging. I think its a sign...wtf!)

Julie August 28, 2009 at 1:45 PM  

Yup been there as well. The overweight "not-cool" chick that lived in the wrong town. My "best friend" still calls me her best friend and I cringe 15 years later. I was embarrassing to her in front of her "cool" friends. Funny thing is, those cool friends never liked her and look who's still around? Yup me. None of them give a rats booty about her. I hope that my husband and I can teach our kids NOT to be like that. My heart goes out to you. It's amazing how much those kinds of things sting even years later.

ElegantSnobbery August 28, 2009 at 1:48 PM  

Okay, this post made me feel very sad. And then it made me remember 7th grade (groan) which was the worst year of my life, as I was actually one of those girls who ate lunch in the bathroom so no one would see me to make fun of me... so awful (not to mention disgusting - ew).

She definitely didn't deserve your friendship, Tia!! She was just a narcissistic bitch (pardon my French) I had to read the book Toxic People a few years ago, before I was smart enough to cut all those mean folk out of my life for good. Glad you were able to get rid of her while you were still young!

nicaeli August 28, 2009 at 2:33 PM  

It hurts my heart to read that. I had a few similar experiences growing up and it has effected my ability to make friends now. I am WAY more cautious than I should really be with opening up to other people. I am sorry you had to go through that. I think one good thing about these kind of experiences is our ability to pass on our wisdom in the matter to others, I hope to do this with my son and daughter as well.

Christopher And Tia August 28, 2009 at 2:47 PM  

Christina- Good for you, for getting rid of the friend. And thank you, for the kind words. I am way too awesome for her, haha.

Nessa- Its sad isn't it, to see that kind of crap still going on? We CAN and WILL teach our daughters better. And awww, I'd totally hug you right now if there wasn't 4,000 miles and a computer screen in the way.

jessica- I'm getting older too. I've heard recently, more than once, that black hair makes you look older. I don't want to look older, but I don't want to look younger. I want to look exactly my age, and ACT my age as well. I'm getting highlights put into my hair. Its official.

Julie- So then you know exactly how I feel. Don't let yourself stay in a sucky friendship.

Elegant- I like your french, hahaha.

Jen August 28, 2009 at 7:46 PM  

My heart is aching and I'm crying. I hope I can raise my daughter to be respectful and caring to everyone, no matter who they are.

Thanks Tia for sharing:)

Marie August 29, 2009 at 3:46 AM  

Tia, you are incredible. I have a feeling that by the time your daughter meets one of "those girls", you'll have instilled such a strong, beautiful sense of self-worth that she won't consider for a minute blaming herself for another person's shallow hang-ups.

Rock it, Momma! :)

Anonymous,  August 29, 2009 at 8:50 AM  

...send me an ark, I'm swimming in my own tears...at the very least, a pair of swimmies

Christopher And Tia August 29, 2009 at 11:02 PM  

nicaeli, it makes me sad to hear that you had similar experiences. But yes, we can teach our children better :)

Jen, thank you for taking the time to read it. I used to be cautious of writing about experiences like this, so all of the support that i've gotten through comments has really warmed my heart.

Marie, I hope you're right. And thank you <3

SHN, I really didn't mean to write such a depressing post, haha. I didn't realize until the very end how sad it was. Floaties are on the way though, haha.

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