Monday, August 2, 2010

The old nasties

A funny thing happened this weekend.

The competition cheer squad (which, for the record, does NOT include Roo's mean girl) had practice all weekend and finished up with a surprise team builder: a whiffle ball game, cheerleaders against the parents.

Now, first of all, that's hilarious from the get-go because I am NOT the athlete. My kid did NOT get her abilities from me, that's for sure.

So -- heh heh heh -- I called the role of "official photographer" for the team. The other parents went for that as far as fielding was concerned, but when it came to taking a turn at the plate, there was no escaping it.

"Come on, Janet, DO IT!" they all called to me.

And I immediately shot back in time to elementary school -- and being picked last for any and EVERY team.

Yes, I had my own versions of mean girls, 1950s and '60s style.

In fact, when my incredibly gorgeous daughter started on the high school cheer team, I had a visceral response that I chronicled here, which I called the Sally Smith effect -- the ability for a certain type of girl/woman to make me feel instantly inferior.

My first at-bat was less than stellar, but the second? I swung, made contact, raced to first base (SAFE!!!!) and even scored on a series of parent hits that followed.

But here's the funny thing. You see, we have a little high school reunion coming up this fall. It's a big, scary number. I graduated from high school in 1970, so you can do the math.

Facebook has been an amazing tool to make this reunion happen. I have friended and been friended by people who I haven't heard from or thought about in -- ahem -- a lot of years. People who I was actually friends with, and people who were, well, um, not on my hit parade.

I guess the years fuzz out the memories some, huh?

So because I am a big girl now, I posted my photo of a-swing-and-a-miss on my Facebook account, followed by the declaration that I also got a hit and scored a run ... "so take THAT, elementary school mean girls who always picked me last for the team!"

I was unprepared for the comments that followed -- from friends who I know were in the same boat as I was ... and from schoolmates who clearly weren't.

In fact, here is the comment that rocked me on my foundation:

"I was there... I remember those awful feelings and how mean some of the girls were... I hope you didn't think I was a mean girl. That's so long ago, see you at the reunion?"

Um. Yes, my dear, you WERE a mean girl. Don't you remember?

This reunion is going to be VERY interesting ...

Crossposted at Mid-Century Modern Moms


Roger said...

I'm sure she isn't a "mean girl" anymore. Now she might be a "mean lady."

I would surely hope after that amount of time, people would have outgrown their high school, but I'm sure there will still be some glory day hounds. Because it still matters. To them.

I just missed our last reunion, only 25, but I saw the results via Facebook where I am "friends" with more people from my high school than I was when I was actually attending it. Go figure.

LceeL said...

Hah! Kind of ironic, isn't it - finding out after all these years that the 'mean girls' had 'mean girls' too? And now maybe Roo understands just a bit better - why She IS just a bit better than her 'mean girl'. Because, instead of becoming someone else's 'mean girl', she's standing head and shoulders above hers - it's called 'leading by example' - and it's what will someday make her famous. said...

Oh gawd! That is so very...surreal. I mean growing up, that's what everyone kinda wants. The mean girl attempting to be friends with you at some point in time and you having the ability to just squash her like a bug. But then reality hits in the form of adulthood and that's not what anyone does.
Do you think she realizes she was one of the mean girls and is just too embarrassed to admit it while hoping your memory has gotten really, really bad?

Debbie said...

I bet she knew she was mean. They always do. And now she is older and is hoping you have forgotten. I guess I have a little chip on my shoulder about those types:)

Pamela said...

I didn't go to mine.
I guess I copped out.

I'd like to see that photo.

carsick said...

Facebook is good and evil. I too have more "friends" now than in school. It's kinda creepy and even though we are friends on facebook I would never want to meet up with some of the evil girls that became woman. My stress level couldn't take it.

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