October 14, 2007
My best friend "Alison" and I had a lot of fun together after school and on weekends. We rode bikes around the neighborhood, went to Thrifty for ice cream and to try on makeup, and talked on the phone for hours. Our birthdays were a day apart, our senses of humor were compatible, and we both loved Judy Blume, prank phone calls, and sleep away camp. But she shared her actual birth date with "Wendi," a girl in the popular crowd.
In seventh grade, Alison and Wendi planned a joint birthday party--a night time party with boys, dancing, and who knows what else. I write "who knows" because I wasn't there. I wasn't invited.
Alison explained that she couldn't invite me because she didn't want Wendi and her crowd to know that we were friends. She said she could only act friendly to me outside of school--otherwise I'd blow her cover. Pretty terrible, no? Unfortunately, my self esteem was, too, because I accepted the terms of her friendship. I just wanted to keep her as a friend. The night of the Alison/Wendi party, I stayed home and cried in my room.
Last time I checked, Alison and Wendi hadn't talked since the 80's. Alison never was fully accepted into Wendi's dominant popular clique, but she found her own group in high school. I had my own group too. We did stay friends, though.
And believe it or not, I am still friendly with Alison. Am I able to maintain the friendliness because I am happy with my spouse, kids, work, and life, and she is single and hates her job? Maybe! Wheel of karma?
My daughter can't believe that someone would do that to me. I am so glad she is indignant about it. I don't think she'd put up with Alison's terms. I am glad she is stronger and has more self esteem than I did!