Thursday, November 3, 2011

The one where she talks about the A List

Popularity didn't become important to me until I saw The Breakfast Club. Or maybe it was Pretty in Pink. In grade school you played with who you played with in the school yard. The "friends" came and went to different parts of the jungle gym and the notion of a "best friend" was completely foreign.  I don't know when it happened, but suddenly some people's friendship was more valued than others.

Those kids became the "popular" kids and the rest of us (because it should come as a surprise to precisely nobody that I wasn't one of them) just made do with the friends we were playing with all along. Sometimes we no longer played with one of the people we used to play with, but kid friendships are just like that and we carried on with our day. And then we got a little older and we saw John Hughes movies and learned we were supposed to envy the popular kids. We were supposed to emulate them, to covet their friendship at the expense of the people who were already in our lives.

Seriously? I didn't envy the people in the fish bowl. I didn't much care about them one way or the other. I had a great group of friends, many of whom are still in my life today. I wonder what it will be like for my daughter growing up in a post-John Hughes world. Will she always know she's supposed to want to be one of the popular kids? I suppose she will. But will she focus on surrounding herself with people who love her and support her, no matter who their friends are? I certainly hope so! Because now that I'm out in the big, bad world, I have no idea who was popular in high school.

This post is part of GBE2 - Week #24 word prompt: Popularity. For more info,  click here. Life with a Parasite has been nominated as a contender for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Canadian Mom Blogs. Please vote for me. You can vote once a day until November 17th. Thank you in advance!


Brenda Stevens said...

i remember Meg; she was made fun of in HS they called her :tiny tim: i HATED the people who did that an i made up my mind to befriend her. I did and we became close friends she was even in my wedding but lost track of her,. People can be so cruel and for the life of me..still can't understand it.

Never really understood cruelty and refuse to be a part of it no matter how popular KUDOS to you! ((hugs))

Unknown said...

I have often wondered how much nicer junior high and high school would have been if everyone could have stayed friends and not be separated into groups of who was who. I think that is why I have blocked out a lot of those memories but have remembered very precisely the fun had in elementary school. Wonderful blog.


Beverly Diehl said...

"Because now that I'm out in the big, bad world, I have no idea who was popular in high school. " Likewise!

In fact, I'm not sure I knew who they were at the time - I pretty much had my nose in one book or another from the day I started.

Teach your daughter to be a good friend, a kind friend, and not to bully those who are different, and she'll be just fine.

Teena in Toronto said...

I was never popular and I was okay with that.

Just Jane said...

I actually remember who was popular...I decidedly was not. Now, when I look at Facebook and see one of the "popular" kids pop up in a comment, mostly I laugh. Because they are miserable in mundane lives and I am certainly not - socially, professionally, intimately personally. They locked into conformity 20+ years ago via popularity while I was given a chance to fly precisely because of my inability to conform.

I hope you give your child just one gift...the gift that noncoformity - while occasionally painful - is a beautiful, lovely path.

Anonymous said...

Having a group of great friends (or even one great friend) who really gets you is such a blessing, but popularity for popularity's sake? Bah.

Anonymous said...

Too true. Thank goodness parasites are more fun than popularity!

Catch My Words said...

If you had a close group of friends who you still see, maybe you were the popular crowd, and you just didn't know it.