THE MOST POPULAR GIRL ON THE PAGE
The other morning Taylor came in my room and said, “You are really turning into the teenager you never got to be.”
I said, “What are you talking about?”
“You know how in school you weren’t popular and you didn’t have a clique? Now because of your blog and Facebook and your gym, you’re like the popular girl doing all the things and getting to be the person you never got to be.”
Sometimes Taylor really astounds me and this one did actually stop me in my tracks.
She like totally – fur sure – was right on.
I wasn’t popular in high school. I wasn’t popular in grammar school. In fact until I started dating (and they were not my peers) I was not popular with anyone but adults. I had a few friends and being consistent people, two of them Susan Davis and Vanessa, who show up here all the time, were two of my best friends growing up.
But suffice to say, people were pretty mean to me. I was the kid who got picked on. And to this day, I’m not sure why.
People who knew me in school will sometimes come up and apologize and say, “Sorry, I was really mean to you.”
Even yesterday at breakfast after our sleepover –which I will get to – Maria said, “Everybody was really mean to you. Why?”
I have often asked myself this question.
My mother says no one liked me from my first day in nursery school (except Blake) she says I was bossy and wanted it all my way.
Wait a minute isn’t that you mom?
Though, there is no question I can see that – a bit- sometimes- perhaps.
But, actually I don’t think any more so than the popular people. Popular people are totally bossy. Why else be popular if you can’t order people around?
I wasn’t hideously ugly or fat or awkward or anything.
I was kind of blonde and perky the way I am now. I was funny then too.
People assume girls with long blonde hair and boobs are always popular. Well, take it from me they are not.
I might have been a bit overbearing. People have accused me of being too fast, too much to keep up with, too demanding of them to show up in ways that are not in keeping with their personality. But I’m not so sure I was that way at 12, 13, 14, and 15.
Like everyone else, I wanted to be accepted by my peers. I wanted to be a cheerleader and date the cool guys.
Who did I want to date? I wanted to date a guy called Tom Patten, tall, blonde, a junior when I was a real freshman. He had a baby blue Datsun XKE. He drove me home from school once.
That was the extent of our time spent together. And he kept the motor running and looked the other way as I exited the car.
I have heard he has turned monstrously fat. Which is what one always wants to happen to those people.
So, suffice to say I grew up very fast, and kind of went from playing with Barbies to playing with boys without a stop in high-school ville to live a normal teen-age hood in between.
I heard a quote from a film the other day, and it went something like this, I didn’t see the film, I think I got it from the ad. Someone had been in a coma and had just woken up and a person was explaining how the world had changed. They said, “And then there is Facebook; it’s where you re-connect with all the people you wanted to go out with in high school and finally get to be friends with.”
Now, I may have the quote a little off, but that is the essence and there is truth to that, a lot of truth. I think it is partially – scratch partially – I would say primarily why so many Boomers spend so much time online, on FB connecting with all the people from their past.
Thanks to the magic of the internet we are allowed the chance to present the image of our idealized self or just be who we are now and say hey – remember me, I was the nerd, well, now maybe that’s changed.
I think many people are reliving and photo-shopping their high school image online.
And the popular people, who might not have grown up to be popular people, which is many times the case (wonder if Tom Patten is cool now? If he’s fat -NOT) anyway, I think they get to go back to the place where they peaked.
It’s kind of all things to all people.
Plus like many things as we age and much that used to be part of our lives and personalities starts to diminish FB is a way of keeping certain aspects of our youth in play. And let’s face it; we are all up for that.
So yes, on Facebook I have become someone I was not in high school, popular. Tay is right. I’m now getting to be one of the cool kids. It took four decades, I’m loving it.
And then, there is my gym, well, my gym, the center of so much of my life, I’m back next week guys – my gym is like totally the cafeteria minus the food.
There is a little clique at my gym and the members, we all know who we are, we rule.
Glenn calls us the Warriors.
One of the member’s daughters once said, we were “the mean girls of the place.”
I hate to admit it, I loved it and she was right.
Like all cliques we have an outfit, and you pretty much have to wear a version of it. If someone comes in without it, they won’t be allowed in the group.
And we have real rules – consistent attendance is mandatory.
You like totally, fur sure have to show up at least five days a week, and better to make it seven; anything under that is considered a lazy ass and not allowed in the group.
Because all members of the Warriors, are type A, competitive, New Yorkers, you have to have a certain body fat ratio or you are not allowed in either. You have to have a certain type of abs – flat. Butt – firm. Legs – well defined. Attitude – superior. Hey- high school is not always a pretty place otherwise people who have been left out would not make so many movies about it once they grow up.
You can spot us sometimes, the Warriors striding down the street between seven and ten am., in rain, sleet, snow or even the high holidays. We wear Lulu Lemon workout pants or leggings, black and gray only; bright colors out you as imposter. You can mix and match the tops and if you are at the white-hot-center of the group and I am. OK, just accept it, you have to. At fifty-one I’m finally cool enough for school.
If you are at the white-hot center you can start new styles, mostly variations on the top. Like I started wearing day glow sports bras under longer than normal tops, others took notice and I have seen this look appear on a few people now. But the tight little workout tops we wear, are covered by either a snug long sleeved t-shirt or a cashmere hoodie.
But only for the first ten minutes, once you hit the deck for push ups, you have to throw off the long sleeves and toss them in the direction of your Emergence spiked water otherwise you look like a pussy.
And of course we are deeply judgmental of everyone’s body types, especially our own and some of the teachers as well.
And the highest compliment is “you’ve lost weight.” Sometimes people will say you should put some on. Which of course nobody means, but it’s acknowledging you’re really walking the walk or doing the down-ups, as we like to say at EXHALE.
So Taylor was right – I have found these places in my life to experience the popularity that was denied to me in high school.
And I guess this blog does a little too. Though I end being the least popular girl on the page with some people many days. But the other stuff is all kicking so – like you – know – I’m chill with that.
Now I’m going to go on Facebook and try and find Tom Patten. Maybe he’s not so fat.