Thursday, February 22, 2007

This is what friends are made of

I have always been an outcast.

Well, maybe always isn't the right word. But almost all of my school career has consisted of me being on the outside looking in.

In kindergarten, no one really cares. Except for boys versus girls. Everyone of the same gender is on the same team. The others have cooties. Of course, there's always the one head-lice kid that you steer clear of, but I have never had lice in my life. And am proud of it.

In first grade, identities begin to be defined and characteristics are either "cool" or "uncool". "In" or "Out". I was still safe. I was starting to get noticed as a bit of a different character. But nothing major.

In second grade, things started to change. I had a teacher who hated me. And I seriously mean that this teacher was EVIL. I wanted to throw a bucket of water, steal her broomstick, and take it to the Wizard, she was that bad. Under her guidance I started to be labeled as "the wierd girl". But honestly, I didn't care what the kids thought of me. I had three best friends and they were all that mattered.

Somewhere along the line, past second grade, my view on this changed. Despite this blogs appearance, it's writer, at school, outside of her small circle of friends, is fairly quiet and very self concious. Except when a teacher asks a review question. Then I'm on it like stink on a warthog. I've just never fit into the high school ideal society. I don't own anything from Abercrombie, Hollister, AE, or PacSun. The most valuable thing I own are my 2 pairs of Liz Claiborne shoes. Which I don't wear to school.

The past week, I have gotten a glimpse of how lucky I really am to have the friends I have.

The example that ties in with this post is something that happened today. My best friend (I have at least 4 best friends I can think of) Rachel, at the bus stop today told me, "Do me a favor. Never confide in Lucy or Ethel." (Their names have been changed, because this blog gets imported to Facebook, and one of them is linked to me and has friends who also are. The person will know that it's her I'm talking about, but I really don't care. I'm just not going to slander her name. Because I'm cool like that.)

I asked her, "Why? They've always been fairly nice to me. Lucy and I of course had our falling outs in Elementary School, but me and Ethel have never really had any problems. What's the deal?"

Rachel told me that in her second period World Studies class, which is right after the English class I have with Lucy and Ethel, the two had walked in talking about what a wierdo I was and how different I was and how wierd, and yada yada yada. She said that, in not such a Christian manner, she asked how they could call themselves Christians and talk about someone like that.
While Ethel is an Atheist, and this would have no effect on her, Lucy's father is a pastor. Their responses?

"Well, she's wierd and it's not like you know anything about being a Christian."

Rachel told them that, so what if I'm wierd. I'm still her friend and as far as Christianity goes, she knows that they can't be one.

I sat stunned for a moment. I couldn't believe that those two had said something like that. And then, I was rocketed back to third grade, in Mrs. Portzline's class.

Me and Lucy had been friends. We ate lunch together, played at recess, etc. And one week, she got to be line leader. She told me she would save me a spot in line. So, when the bell rang for lunch, I jumped up in line with her. "Rebecca, what are you doing?", she squealed and pushed me away. "You told me I was your friend so I got to stand in front with you."

At this point, Lucy said the words I don't know why, but I have never completely forgotten.

"You're just a back-up friend, Rebecca."

Apparently, this meant she couldn't be seen around me when her cool friends were around. It's a stupid, childish memory, but for some reason, it came back to me, clear as day at that moment.

With all of this happening, I decided, that while it bothers me a lot to hear stuff like this get back to me, I wasn't going to let it get to me too much. Rachel asked, "Are you going to confront them?"

"No. I'm too nice to tell them what I want to tell them. And too Christian. Plus, it's not like it's a big deal. I just won't confide in them."

I told someone a while back, that in some ways, it's good to be an outcast.

You know who the real friends are, that way.


Jewel said...

I do know that childhood and teenagehood can be difficult, at best, Becky. *sighhh* I was cross-eyed most of my elementary years. (It's okay if you laugh...*smile* I'm over it now.) ANDDDD I "developed" early. I was wearing a bra in 4th grade. (Now, that was pretty traumatic 'cause my two older sisters WEREN'T!) me on this was tough many days. Be careful not to be so hard on yourself, though, Becky. You're not an "outcast" by any means; just wonderfully unique! Learn to love your uniquenss!! K? Love you, sweetie! ((HUGS))

Anonymous said...

Hey, wanna meet the queen of this issue? Well, you just did! Welcome to my world, and I know exactly how you feel. I've come to the conclusion, that despite my being an outcast with the youth, I am involved in so many things. I guess you can say adults are my best friends, and I have nothing to do with my youth group. It'll never change, it's been ten years! None the less, I know what you're feeling, in a different sort of way. Love ya girl!

Miss Logan

Gene Holley, Jr. said...

This post brought back so may memories from my youth. I, too, felt like an outcast many times. Your response is commendable. Keep doing the right thing. God has opened many doors in my adult life that I never thought possible as a young person— all because I stayed faithful through all those younger years. In fact, I met your Dad after being elected as Sunday School Director of Texas District. I actually got to run the camp where I felt so small and insignificant at one point in my life!

You also gave me a sermon - "The Back-up Friend?" Are we using God that way? Only spending time with Him when others aren't available? I don't want to stand in judgment one day and Him not know me.

Thanks for being who you are. God sees.

Bro. Holley