Memories of Middle School

Let me start off by making one thing perfectly clear. I love SD’s (My fiancé) family. They are all wonderful people who have welcomed me with open arms. That being said, my post:

I was never popular in school. I wasn’t lucky enough to be a nerd, but instead I was just decent at school and weird. Middle school in general was not the favorite time in my life. Barring band and track (which helped me find the friends I did have during my last years of mandatory school) I spent all of my time with my nose stuck in some book or another, trying to be as unobtrusive to the outside world as possible.

Those days are thankfully gone. I have since garnered another layer of self-confidence that I often wish I could have had during those dark days. However, this past weekend, I was reminded of such days in the most unexpected of places.

SD has a mother. SD’s mother has a sister. SD’s mother’s sister has a daughter. Which would make her my…cousin-in-law-to-be? She’s eight years old. She’s always been somewhat of a brat, as kids are wont to be at that age. So we’re at the Grandparent’s for Easter. We’re all hanging out in the living room, and in comes in my cousin-in-law-to-be. She immediately begins showing off her new outfit and Tinkerbell necklace to Kelsey (SD’s sister.) and then describing the other Tinkerbell items she has acquired. She makes her rounds, and as a normal female when presented with a young child showing off a possession, I appropriately gush over said item.

And she gives me this look. The look that says, “Oh my Gawd, why are you talking to me, do you know who I am?” If you’ve ever been an unpopular kid in school, you probably know this look. Perhaps you’ve been on the receiving end of said look. That one look, however brief, given to me by an eight-year-old child, immediately took me back to those days in middle school when I was a self-conscious of my lisp and so desperate to be accepted yet shunned by nearly everyone in the popular crowd for not being ‘cool’ enough.

I brushed it off, telling myself that I’d just imagined it. We go on with the Easter proceedings. Both cousins-in-law-to-be (being the only children young enough) go out for the easter egg hunt. Once that’s done we all gather for the meal, and the cousin-in-law-to-be sticks her finger in something or other being set out on the table and licks her finger. She is immediately reprimanded by her mother, (Who is amazingly nice, and funny and a pleasure to be around.) and I see the look again. Not exactly the same, more of a, “You are going to regret talking to me like that.” look. I was completely shocked.

Right in front of me was a budding “popular girl”. Not one of the followers. She will be one of the leaders. One of those who people makes everyone who doesn’t make the cut’s lives miserable for as long as their hormonal insecurity allows them no self-respect. One of those people who believes she is entitled to things simply because she exists, and that the rest of the world are simply peons that exist to serve her. I saw all of this in an eight-year-old child!

And I immediately wonder on the Nature vs. Nurture argument again. Thinking on the article I read on Penny Arcade. I mean really, what do you do if your child turns out like that?

Comments 2

  • Middle School was absolutely horrible in every respect for myself as well. Ugh…not divulging anything else.

    Anyhoo, I found this quote interesting: “Right in front of me was a budding ‘popular girl’. Not one of the followers. She will be one of the leaders.” If you mean a leader in school, most likely. If she sticks with that attitude any time after – and perhaps during – high school, she’s going to crash and burn multiple times until she learns the shortcomings of her naïveté. More profound leaders hail from normality and those who are generally pushed into leadership, not those who snatch at it selfishly.

    “One of those people who believes she is entitled to things simply because she exists, and that the rest of the world are simply peons that exist to serve her. I saw all of this in an eight-year-old child!” Well…yeah. I thought that until I was around six years old, but maybe she’s not so quick to realize her glorious insignificance.

    As for the Penny Arcade article: Damn. My answer is that there is nothing you can do, because he’s obviously criminally insane to some degree. A lot of kids act like that at that age, but to the point of murder practically screams a disorder of some sort. The only possible solution I could see in that case is to kick him out and let him deal with it all by himself before he realizes he’s not some lord of the world, he’s dependent. And if he is able to function independently then at least he’s out of your house (though I realize I’m speaking without any attachment to the guy here).

    Anyways, sorry for the essay but I haven’t checked on your blog in awhile, so hi =)

  • Yes, I did mean in middle school, though I now realize I never specified that.

    I’ll be the first to admit I avoid being around kids of any unreasonable age (Before logic blossoms as a solid concept to them…though I guess that could apply to some adults as well.) but I’ve still never seen a look anything like that from any other kid I’ve ever come across. But then I guess there’s always a chance for some turn-around. /shrug

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