Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My Grade School Arch Nemesis

After reading Sizzle's fabulous (duh, as usual) post, and then running across Sturdy Girl's equally brave post, I started contemplating my own school age arch nemesis. I'll call her Hickey for reasons I won't explain. Needless to say, she caused me incredibly painful moments throughout my 3rd to 11th grade years (then I realized she was pathetic, shallow and doomed to be a "soccer mom"...in a not good way and she didn't disappoint).

Let's start at the beginning...When I was really young (kindergarten to 3rd grade), my BFF lived 7 doors down from me and was named Annie...(so named because when we were in first grade we were both obsessed with "Annie" the movie that had just come out. We were so dedicated, Annie dyed her beautiful chestnut hair with red Kool-Aid and cut it one very naughty afternoon.)

Around 3rd grade, Hickey showed up. She moved 3 doors down from me on the other side. She was an only child of divorced and remarried parents. She set her sights on my BFF.

Being the way that I was (and at the constant encouraging of our parents) the three of us tried to be friends...

Well, friends and neighbors, 2's company, 3's a crowd and I was the odd gal out mostly because I refused to see the bad in anyone. (A tragic flaw of mine to this day.)

Anyway, I slowly got ebbed out of Annie's life. I had not at 9 yrs old learned the art of warfare. I was the oldest of big family of 5. Everybody accepted everything. Apparently (in retrospect), Hickey was too paranoid to accept anyone but Annie.

In order to break our bond, she employed all tactics of pre-pubescent cruelty upon me. When I got glasses, she was the first to laugh, if I wore something that she didn't approve of, she criticized (in front of everyone). Since I didn't like "Sav ed by the Bell" I was ostracized. When I fell in the lake (where we lived) trying to jump from the dock to boat, she laughed. She destroyed my self-confidence in those delicate years...I was never cool enough or good enough for the trampoline parties at Annie's next door neighbor's house(whose older brother I had a DESPERATE crush on).

Annie's fault, in retrospect, was that she was weak and just wanted to be everybody's friend. That's what I wanted, but I got shoved to the side, all the time missing swinging on her swings and digging in the sand under them for buried treasure.

The ultimate Hickey insult came when we were in 8th grade. I had given a speech and was nominated to go to the State convention to compete. Hickey laughed at the bus stop about me orating about Martin Luther King.

Annie didn't defend me that day.

I remember riding the bus to our junior high that day, tears silently rolling down my face...even 20 years later there's a spark of pain over that memory. Even my statewide victory didn't quell that pain....not even still...

By my junior year of high school, Annie and Hickey were on the cheerleading squad and I was a State award winning editor of our school paper, a State award winner of our debate and forensics program and in the advanced English and History classes. I found my niche and my nerdy people. I was happy (except when she looked down at her nose at me).

I still am feeling inferior (in retrospect).

I didn't go to my 10 yr reunion, not because I was afraid of seeing Hickey and the football player (stereotypes do come true!) she married a few months out of high school...I was at my cousin's wedding that weekend....

Fuck, I would have loved to have looked her in the eyes and asked if she was truly happy...

I would have loved to have shown off my drop dead gorgeous husband and compared him with the potbellied sack (but oh so dear hearted, truly...why did HE marry HER?!?) guy she married...

I would have loved to have compared notes of how, yes, yes I do have an incredible career after I GRADUATED COLLEGE, 'cause see, I didn't get knocked up right away..Have you seen my art? Have you ever visited my hobby of a museum? See how incredible the guy I married is, how much he loves me compared to the used car salesman burn out you married? See the pictures of my beautiful daughter? She's somebody who will change the world. Your kids?...Oh...they're ok....

I have learned the art of the well placed snub...

Alas, I guess there is always the 15 or 20 yr reunion.

Damn....I'm more petty than normal tonight, but fuck...it's empowering...

3 comments:

meesha.v said...

women know how to hold a grudge :-)

Sizzle said...

Sometimes it's good to vent, you know? You are still good regardless of her demise or failures. Compare yourself to you because that old crap? Is just old and damaging our own psyches. At least that's what I tell myself.

(And all my posts are not good, I mean it!)

Sugar Britches said...

Your Hickey was my Michele Carney. I'll have to remember to post about all the traumatic nicknames she had for me. Yet still I wanted her for a friend. Why? Your post rang very true for me. Thanks for that.