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“I don’t want to mess up our friendship”

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Yes, I was that girl in high school. “The friend.” At the time I actually thought I was a fat, ugly pig… but as I look back at my high school pic compared the the Beautiful People… I must have been wearing Teen-Colored Glasses. Meaning, I wasn’t as pretty as the Beautiful People by a longshot – but I certainly wasn’t as fat and ugly as I thought I was. Certainly the 80’s hair, fashion and make-up didn’t do much for me – but it looked pretty horrible on the Beautiful People too… so I consider us even on that score.

I was 18 when I lost my virginity. In some ways I am proud of that because when I did it, I was ready for it. But in some ways, I honestly know it happened at that age because I just couldn’t get a guy to date me to save my life. I can’t tell you how many times I got the “I just want to be friends” or “I don’t want to mess up our friendship” speech. There are many variations of it, but it all of them come down to pretty much the same thing. “I just don’t want to date you.”

There was a guy I had a crush on since 7th grade. We became friends around 9th grade. That year I asked him to Homecoming. He went with me, but “just as friends.” Talk about embarrassing. The good news is he and I ended up being *real* friends through the ages and still talk every once and a while now.

I had a dream the other night, not really related to that one specific guy, but an amalgam of *all* those guys. Probably because my 20th reunion is coming up next month (I am not attending, by the way). It was amazing how I went right back to that place in my feelings. Insecure, lonely, frustrated. And woke up VERY relieved to have my wonderful husband lying next to me, and being 20 years older both in time and maturity.

And maybe a little *extra* relieved I am not going to my reunion.

What were you like in high school? What things “bring you right back” to that place and time?

Author: Aimee

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  • comment avatar Catherine September 24, 2008

    Great post, Aimee.

    In high school I was lonely and embarrassed of where we lived and of the fact that my father was sent to prison for drug trafficking. I was very insecure and self-conscious. Yet I was fairly popular, although I chalk it up to niceness. I, too, am not interested in class reunions. I don’t keep in touch with anyone and have never liked the feeling of being in a room full of people judging and comparing and reaching conclusions that may or may not be accurate.

  • comment avatar Katherine September 24, 2008

    In high school I wasnot considered anything close to popular. I was too wrapped up in school. But I consider myself extremely blessed that I started preschool at a private school and went to school there until eighth grade. There is a group of 6 of us who all started preschool together and we are still extremely close. They are all “my boys” and I know that they will always have my back and vise versa.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson September 24, 2008

    You couldn’t pay me to go back there. My high school had 3,000 students so wasn’t overly cliquish due to the huge numbers. However, as outgoing as I was, I remember feeling a bit lost and scared to death of guys. I really didn’t come into my own until college.

    Would I go to my 20-year reunion? Probably. Because I’ve come a long way since then!

  • comment avatar Megan September 24, 2008

    I was very much like you. I shudder to think of those times!

  • comment avatar Lori September 24, 2008

    I was a Band Weenie!

    So i goes without saying that I graduated with my virginity intact.

    The tuba player wasn’t all that cute, anyways.

  • comment avatar Dana September 24, 2008

    Bon Jovi’s “Never Say Goodbye” always brings me back to big (BIG) hair, shoulder pads and after school yard duty. I can still smell the Aqua Net hairspray!

    I had crushes on many boys, from the “Grease” play lead, the football jock and the rebel, but never had the kahunas to approach any of them. And the ones I did date broke my heart. I’m glad though because staying single gave me extra incentive to move on and go to college somewhere else. It also gave me the wisdow to know someone really loves you and those who only say it.

    I didn’t go to my 10 year reunion because I had no desire to see anyone yet. I’m looking forward to the 25 year one though. Age and experience changes people and I hope to see some of my old friends aging gracefully.

  • comment avatar Amber Johnson September 24, 2008

    Lori–Band weanie with viriginity in tact. I dunno if I believe that. I’ve seen all those shows about how sordid band camp can get. 🙂

  • comment avatar Michelle September 24, 2008

    I was fairly popular, was totally boy crazy. I was a cheerleader and all the stereotypes that go along with that. I worried too much about extra curricular stuff and not enough about school. I did well in school (all A’s and B’s) but I could have done better. I wish I would have been more eccentric, been a leader and thought about things on my own, instead of going along with everyone else cuz that was the “cool” thing to do.

    When I visit my hometown and hang out with my H.S. girlfriends, that’s when the memories of H.S. turn up. They are still the same, a little more mature but still in the same clichés. Do I love them any less, of course not but the same stuff get’s old.

  • comment avatar Jody September 24, 2008

    Looking back, in high school, I actually knew who I was – but wasn’t comfortable enough to let too many others in on it. So I was the quiet and shy girl. I had my circle of friends, a few of whom I still keep in regular contact with.

    As far as boys went, I always crushed on the quiet and shy boys – so nothing ever came out of it! My BFF always had a boyfriend, and I think part of me lived vicariously through her trials and tribulations! Like you, Aimee, I was always “just the friend”.

    As far as memories go, the image that pops in my head when thinking about high school is from that Faith No More video, the fish out of water, flopping around on the floor. Weird association, I know. But being a teenager in the early to mid nineties was all about angst in massive doses…Kurt Cobain and the whole grunge rock scene.

  • comment avatar Jen September 24, 2008

    Same as you, almost to a tee. I was fairly popular, but I was really physically developed for my age and got only the kind of attention I didn’t want–no dates, barring three with the high school football dreamboat, who stopped seeing me after I said no to sex on our third date. Yuck. I too thought I was fat–I was a 34D and a size 10 at the age of 15, and all the girls around me were so tiny that I thought I was just a huge whale. I look back now and know I was downright thin (oy–not anymore), but those were miserable, miserable years. It was a revelation to get to college and discover that guys wanted to date me and were attracted to me–my self-image was so bad that I was honestly shocked and and in genuine disbelief the first few times these college guys expressed interest. College was a much better time!

  • comment avatar Kagey September 26, 2008

    My high school was small – my graduating class was 120 – and despite the fact that my parents have never moved, I wasn’t even invited to my 10 yr reunion. It’s not that they don’t remember me, is it? I was newspaper editor, lead trumpet, and valedictorian. Not popular, but not at all a wall flower.
    I don’t know if I would have gone, but I still wonder why in the world I wasn’t even invited.

  • comment avatar Tina September 26, 2008

    I don’t have a desire to go back to the high school memories. Not that they were bad, I just don’t really have anything special to associate with them. I was yearbook editor and sang in the select choir but I didn’t participate much in high school life. I was the girl with the older, college boyfriends. I didn’t hang out with my age crowd.

    I didn’t receive an invitation for my 10th reunion and by the time I remembered it, it had come and gone. For my 20th (gee, that makes me sound really old), I was only a month out of giving birth to my second child in two years. I could have cared less about seeing people I didn’t hang out with the first time around.

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