As sung by the immortal words of Whodini (You Tube video here, if you must). What are some qualities, or rather qualifications one needs to be a friend? As I stated in my first post of this blog, I was never really popular in elementary or middle school because of my physical appearance. I was definitely taller than everyone and I felt I was fat too. It’s funny how I look back now at some of those pictures back then and realize, how hard I was on myself. Yes, I was taller, but being chubby then is nothing to how fat some kids are now these days. I’m sorry if that offends, but it’s true. No one ever picked on me because of my weight or height. For some reason I think I had an intimidation factor as the BIG girl, although I wasn’t a bully and really hated bullies. (I will have to tell the story about Johnny being bullied in 6th grade another day.) Maybe if you asked some of my classmates from back then they might disagree. I had friends, I just wasn’t the popular one, more of the follower.
Then when junior high school came around people figured out I was smart and was put in special gifted classes. NONE of my friends from elementary were in any of my classes so I had to learn to adapt. Made some new friends, but again, not the social butterfly. When I started in high school I met a weird girl who dressed in black. It was cool. I started to dress in black too. Being different was cool but also very liberating. I wasn’t popular still, but I found I was more comfortable being different than trying to fit in. By the end of high school I had lots of friends from lots of different “groups” at school. Don’t know what the groups are called now but back then I had friends who were Jocks and Cheerleaders, Heshers and Stoners, Goths and Puffheads, Mods, Geeks and Nerds. Maybe the names have changed recently but I bet you can figure out who belonged where.
College changed me in so many ways, which is why when I teach, I tell the kids, yes, college is about getting a good education and getting a good job someday, but it’s so much more than that. College is about accepting others and learning from people you might not have met if you just started right into a job after high school. You learn to take chances. You really grow up. You meet all the people from those groups in high school all over again and you start becoming friends with new kinds of people. Dorm life especially, taught me how to live with different kinds of people.
So flash forward um twenty years or so, (ugh, maybe more :P) and you have a middle aged, middle school teacher with two teenage boys blogging about friends. Yes, I have facebook friends, and old high school friends, college friends, and work friends, but I’m talking about friend, friends. You know, the ones where in the event of a catastrophe they would come rushing to your front door with fresh baked cookies (Okay,that’s just me, but if any of my friends baked like me, there would be cookies). This summer has been the Summer of Chauffeuring and I am exhausted but I still had a little get together last week with some of my friends. I woke up that morning and wanted to cancel. I even starting crying. Poor Marathon Man had to talk me off the edge as he always does. “You’re gonna do this, because they are your friends and you NEED to socialize whether you want to or not” And guess what? It turned out great. I…had… fun. BGM had her little breakdown in the morning and then had some fun in the afternoon. I even baked cookies.
But the real reason why I am writing about friends this post is that the other day I got a LETTER in the MAIL that was TYPED. Yes, I know I am using a lot of CAPS but I am trying to emphasize a point. I was thinking recently about a friend of mine from elementary school that I reconnected with on facebook. He’s all the way on the other side of the country. And then like he knew I was thinking about him, he sent me a letter just to say “hi” and that he was thinking about me. It really made my day. So I’m gonna give him a call and say thanks.
I don’t have a question this time but rather, a request. You know that one friend you’ve been thinking about calling up just to say hi? Do that today. See what happens. Let me know how it turns out.
Picture from Amazing Posts