Wednesday, April 28, 2010

There are places I remember...

From kindergarten to 5th grade I attended Friends Seminary School. All was well till 4th and 5th grades when things went completely and totally down hill. A new very very cool (and still, as an adult much cooler than I could ever hope to be) girl moved to our school. She took my very best friend Sasha away and in doing so, took the rest of my friends away as well.
5th grade was an absolute nightmare for me. Awful year. I had not one single friend which in itself is horrible but when everyone decides that they are also going to be cruel to you it makes it so much worse. So much worse.
I was the only kid in two classrooms not invited to birthday parties, I once had a sleep over and stupid me didn't even question why everyone attended till they all got up and left. I ran into the hall after them to find out what on earth was going on and was informed that the only reason any of them came in the first place was because they wanted to prove that I was lying about Daryl Hall (ya know, of Hall and Oates?) living in my building. It was the truth. I WASN'T lying. I used to ride the elevator with him all the time. Today not to impressive but back in 1982 and 83? BIG DEAL. They discovered that I wasn't lying and all went back to the apartment and no one spoke to me the rest of the night.
Happy birthday to me.
We used to spend every weekend in the country and one Sunday night we came back to find a very hurtful, mean message on my parents answering machine from my former best friend and her new best friend. My mother remained very very calm though I'm sure inside she was so upset. She sat down with me and told me the best way to handle this was for me to ignore it. Act like it didn't happen. When they asked about the message (and she knew they would) act like I had no idea what they were talking about.
I thought she was insane but nothing else was working so I might as well try her way.
In the spring we went to a local Y to swim for gym period. Just a few blocks away from school but it was always towards the end of the day.
Looking back, those two twits must have been dying all day waiting for me to approach them or say something about the message but I didn't. I held my tongue.
As we were walking by this church they called out to me "Diana, did you get any messages last night on your machine?" I remember I stopped and looked up at this beautiful mosaic on this church turned to them and said "No, Why? Did you call?"
The looks on their face was fantastic. I had just taken all the wind out of their sails and all the fun out of their sport cruelty. They put their heads together and chattered like squirrels clearly trying to figure out what had gone wrong with the plan to be hateful and mean.
I remember feeling like I'd FINALLY won a round and I felt strong and smart.
It was there on that day, under that beautiful portrait mosaic of Christ that I learned that you don't have to give all the power to the bully if you don't want to.
I also learned that my mother is one smart cookie and she knows what she's talking about.
That was 25+ years ago and every single time I pass this church this memory always floods back to me.

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