Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Mean Girls ...

Damn ... you must hate coming here. I haven't been funny in days. I guess I should try to be more entertaining if I hope to get any votes. But I feel like maybe I should clarify yesterday's post about my experiences at Blessed Sacrament ... because it may have come across like I lived in some sort of John Hughes movie.

My years at BSS were a good thing ... and, overall, it made me a better person. At the very least, it affected the way I look at life.

For instance ... freshman year, my family moved just outside of Springfield and I chose to start my sophomore year at a small public high school. Karma must exist ... because I was blessed with everything I craved so badly.

They say every experience changes you as a person ... and it must be true. Because for those three years, I made a point of treating each and every person I met with kindness. I went to class with stoners and talked and laughed with them ... I went to class with cheerleaders and jocks and wished them luck at every game.

Now ... pause that story ... while I explain why I'm leery when it comes to re-acquainting myself with people ...

Several ... several years ago, my high school class had it's 10 year reunion. I was really looking forward to seeing everyone ... because, really, there was no one I didn't get along with.

One evening out of the blue, I got a call from one of my classmates ... not a best friend by any means ... but a girl I'd spent a lot of time with years ago. She was excited and breathlessly shared ideas the committee was throwing around. Basically, they'd already agreed on hosting a cocktail hour at the top of the Hilton on Friday night ... and were considering a picnic at some exclusive club on the lake.

Why there, you ask? Because she and another woman on the committee had husbands who owned boats at the marina. She couldn't wait to show everyone in the class how well they'd done ...

I told her that sounded great ... but suggested maybe we could have it at Washington Park or somewhere else a little more "neutral." I thought a lot of our class would have kids ... and maybe it'd be easier if we chose a location that offered a playground for them to run in ... and some bbq pits to cook on.

She went from sweet and bubbly ... to icy cold in seconds flat. She snapped that the boat club was the perfect solution because they could take their friends out for rides ... and ... to be quite honest ... it all came flooding back.

This was no different than the girls in middle school ... who wanted to rub their good fortune in the faces of everyone around them. And, while it didn't bother me in the least that she'd "married well" ... it did bother me that her intention was to show everyone just how "well" that was.

I knew a dozen or more people in our class who would've felt out of place ... and while I would've been one of the people riding on that "massive boat" ... I would've felt awful knowing there were classmates standing on that shore who weren't even asked.

So stupid me ... I told her honestly I was afraid people would feel ostracized ... and suddenly she had to go. Oddly enough, my reunion invite never arrived in the mail. Go figure. I obviously didn't attend ... and I probably won't go to the 20 year bash. I mean, where will they hold the next picnic? The Governor's Mansion?

What a long post ... only to make that point that ... in the end ... it was BSS who made me who I am. I'm so far away from perfect that it's not even funny. I make mistakes ... lose my temper ... and occasionally curse like a sailor. But I remember how it felt to be left out ... and I genuinely try my best to never make anyone else feel that way.

You know what ... if I was at the Blessed Sacrament garden party (do they even have garden parties anymore?) ... and I saw one of those girls from years ago, I would still smile and say hello. I'd also say hello to that social-ladder-climbing high school classmate. Not because I believe everyone eventually goes through some kind of amazing metamorphosis ... but because at heart I'm just a sucker who never learns.

I'm not on a belltower with a high powered rifle ... I don't have a list on my cubicle wall of everybody I'm going to "get". But there are people from my past who deserve my time and care and concern ... and they get it in abundance. But life's too short to spend my energy seeking out people who ... generally speaking ... just aren't nice people.

Why not think about times to come
And not about the things that you've done
If your life was bad to you
Just think what tomorrow will do
Don't stop, thinking about tomorrow
Don't stop, it'll soon be here
It'll be, better than before
Yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone

Fleetwood Mac - Don't Stop

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