Honestly the more I sit back and notice… life never really progresses past high school for a lot of people. They get stuck in those roles and hold on to them for some reason. Safety, insecurity, maybe even just aggressive role play. And you find yourself stuck in environments that you cannot believe still actually exist… because you are not in that mental state anymore. And who is wrong in this situation?
Probably… the person who still holds a grudge against you for something you did when you were 15. I’m going to go with that answer. And now I’m going to explain why:
So I see this girl who I used to know when we were kids and work with her when we were teenagers. She still works around my general area, and since I’m more present in the area of where I grew up now I still see her about everyone in a while. In a recent turn of events it turns out that after all these years I get to work with her again. I see her, and nothing much has changed.. she still wears the same over-sized tie dyed shirts and grey sweatpants, her hair is still reminiscent of the bowl cut she used to have –a little longer but still the same shape, and yes, she still carries a thermos… that hopefully is still not full of Mountain Dew. (That stuff is just too sugary, and no one needs thermos amounts of that). I see her as a fantastic flashback to my teen years. From the look on her face I know she recognizes me too, and so with the enthusiasm of Jenna Rink I approach her with a big warm smile.
Me: “Hi _____. What have you been up to all these years?”
Her: “Not much, still working here.”
Me: “Oh, that’s great. I’m volunteering some of my time here.”
Her: “Ugh, of course.” –kind of just ignores me.
Now, since I haven’t talked to her in like 10 years you would think I could get a better greeting than an “UGH.” I mean I am a human, and I have not thrown up in her car, broken her glasses, or stolen her thermos that I’m sure is teeming with Dew.
Trying to brush off my less than courteous greeting… I get to the stuff I’m supposed to be doing, and make some cheery comments (this is a thing Lauren’s do). And I feel like I’m practically working with the Snow Queen. There is no response from her besides grunts.
Me: “Okay. What’s up? Did I do something to you? The last time I saw you we were teenagers?”
Her: “Oh that’s how you are going to act???? You know what you did!!”
I stopped there in my sensible cardigan and floral dress. What could I have done that was bad enough to receive that response? I was a teenager. I never said anything about how she dressed. I mean, I was wearing waspy dresses I found at vintage stores, weird denim jackets and shirts with pins in them and Billy Idol gracing my chest, and let’s never forget bracelets with spikes. I never drank her dew-ey thermos. I actually wouldn’t even let people make fun of her, because although she was quiet and a little awkward… she was a nice girl. And I don’t think people give teenagers enough breaks, especially when you are one.
What could it have been? I went around stacking up books. I was completely puzzled. Well a few hours after I left… it hit me. It had to be the problem all girls have with each-other … a boy! Could it have really been about boys? Boys, neither of us have talked to in years?!?!? So truth be told me and this girl were never a dynamic duo…and we also worked with a few boys, boys who were so sweet. Walk-you-to-your-car, buy-you-ice-cream kind-of-boys. And then I realized, the real problem was… they never paid that kind of attention to her. Considering that I am not married to any of those boys, nor did I ever (seriously) date any of them. You would think it wouldn’t be a problem…
And then I remember this one time when we were walking out and one of these boys was carrying a few books to my car for me.
“Things are always easy… for girls like you” she told me with a sharp glare. Then she went back to staring at this cute, tall, boy with the darkest curliest hair who was putting my books in the passenger side of my car. Who never paid her any sort of attention unless it was work related. (He never even carried her books or thermos once to my knowledge.)
And I took it her dig at me, with no regard to what she was saying. Because I am not like Sofia Vergara, you know. I’m just an average girl. I was young, and well I was probably dressed like Parkey Posey in “Party Girl”:
And then after a while I stopped working there because I went took too many classes, went to college. Met more people who would say things about “girls like me”, and I still didn’t give a crap. I just grew up and got over it. Because that is what you do. I never realized that some people just can’t get past it. Now, I could make some sort of reference to Heather Mooney from Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion. You know the girl who hated Michele because a boy liked her, even though Michele was never interested in him, or really even cared. I even asked my friends if getting one of those guys to come and see her now would be a good thing? I got so many astounding “no’s” and actually could only imagine their meetings going something like this:
And sadly, I find myself in a situation where I have to deal with someone who just can’t get over a wrong that was never malicious or vicious from over 10 years ago. 10 years. A whole decade. A time in which we saw the rise and fall of Britney Spears! And we finished out the tv shows like Friends, Frasier, and even the Office! Why can’t we just accept that teen-aged people and even adults do dumb things without thinking about them? And they never meant harm… especially a grudge that could last like half of your life.
Why can’t we all just get along?!?!
And even after writing out this whole story. There is nothing I feel like I can really do about any of this situation. The only thing I can do is to try to get done what I promised. But still maybe I’ll take some time to make a doodle or two about her unnecessary and rude comments. Because I totally don’t think I deserve to be treated like gutter junk, simply because I have a bubbly personality:
So what I’m saying is that things change and we shouldn’t be afraid to change with them. Also holding grudges is serious business, that is seriously bad. And truthfully and most importantly, I still kind of dress like Parker Posey in “Party Girl.”