The cost of filling up the Wayback Machine is getting a little pricey these days

Where mah treats go!?!?!

Originally uploaded by dcwriterdawn

Because this place is heavily mirrored, if you look closely, you can see my pudgy pork roast butt crouching to get this photo. Yay. 🙂

I took a long psychological journey last night thanks to some Argentinean cabernet and some Oregon pinot gris and a very attentive audience of one. (Thank you!)

I know we recently jumped into the wayback machine (circa 1991-’92) to look at how high school fucked me up. But let’s cruise back one more time to about 1988-’90 and run the bastard out of gas once and for all.

So, yeah, I would never say I was popular. I don’t know that I wanted to be. I stayed far away from Student Council and preferred my newspaper crew and my Honor Society peeps. (I was president, which still baffles me to this day.)

There was this really motley crew of people who, I don’t know if I’d call them popular, but I would say they were downright toxic. People tried to befriend them so that they wouldn’t get picked on. They had some loud-ass mouths on them but nothing in the way of brains to back it up.

I, of course, have no interest in loudmouths now and I sure as hell didn’t back then, either.

Now, they tried to befriend ME. That’s the funny part. Not because I was beautiful or popular or overly snarky, but because I was smart. They would notice when teachers gave us back our tests and their glaring red Fs paled in comparison to my glittery and gorgeous A-plus-plus-pluses that rolled in again and again.

Well, at first they tried to befriend me under the guise of helping to improve their grades. I wasn’t interested in tutoring anybody, but I said I could help them study.

But that’s not what they wanted. They simply wanted to copy my homework and tests.

I wasn’t an idiot here. I knew that I was being offered a rare chance of not being a target, in exchange for looking the other way when it came to sharing answers.

But I knew my family was poor and the only way I was getting to college was on a scholarship. And there was no way I was letting these dumbasses raise their GPAs unfairly at my expense.

So I said, “No thanks.”

Test time came around and the bitch next to me basically commanded that I quit shielding my paper. I shook my head. So then she asked the answer to question 3. I ignored her. Then 5, then 10, and so on. I glared at her; you weren’t going to catch me talking during a test!

What a goody-goody I was. 😉

That moment in the early throes of ninth grade was the end of peace of mind as we know it.

It started with gum in the hair. Proceeded with relentless taunts when the teachers were out of the room. Always comments on the clothes, the pudgy pork roast butt, the hair, whatever.

This didn’t happen in my A.P. classes, of course. But you can’t take all A.P. classes in a day. There are study halls and gym classes and electives where you cannot hide.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I talked to my teachers. I got seated in the backs of classes, where possible. Or in the front where I was in the teachers’ eyeline. I realized my only true friends were the ones at the chalkboard.

And it made even my friends with higher IQs mad that I was so “in” with the instructors. But I worked my ass off for my grades. There was no favoritism when it came to academics. But I will not apologize for being a favorite or, at least, a protected entity. I asked for help and I got it; I even got some mentorship and, dare I say, friendship out of it.

I win, bitches.

Anyway, I could go into further depth, although the bullshit ended when I took summer gym classes with the other smart kids who wanted out of the traditional class. I also did it to make way for more advanced classes — give me five A.P. classes and a free period to work on the newspaper, please. The idiocy abated and my junior year was the best year ever.

I say all of this to say that Facebook has made me start to like some of the people I avoided. Not all of them, mind you. Stacy M. can still go die in a fucking ditch that’s caught fire. 🙂

But there were people who I know sold their souls to be part of her group. And while I don’t have any evidence of them being cruel to me (and I recall the occasional friendly moment or two with some of the others), I disliked them simply by association.

One of those “didn’t hate/didn’t love” people has a child with developmental disabilities. And while I would never, ever wish that on anyone, nor would I take anything resembling joy at anyone’s hardships, it gives me pause for a moment.

She talks openly of her struggles to provide a typical life for her child, often at the expense of her other child who doesn’t get as much attention. She notices the stares and whispers and taunts of other children. Her heart breaks that anyone else would look at her child with anything less than love and respect and amazement.

My, what a difference 20 years makes.

I wonder whether she or her former posse — or anyone like them who got their kicks by verbal assault and physical kicks and tricks — ever stops to think, “Wow, I was a real asshole to people!”

That’s all I want, really. For them to look at me and think, hey, she has a pretty cool life and turned out well, and hey, maybe I was a dick to her in school and I’m kind of ashamed of myself.

I don’t want an apology or an acknowledgment. Frankly, I’d be disappointed if I talked to any of them and found out they were still the scared sheeple following the loudmouth’s lead.

I will say a prayer for her and her son, that they stay strong and show the world what he can do. And I will be grateful to God that one of the “bad ones” turned out all right, after all.

Unfortunately, not everyone can change. But it does my heart good to be able to witness and celebrate it when it does happen. Mazel tov, friends.

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