I hate it when my past comes back to haunt me. I mean, I'm not running for office (although I am now a proud member of the Montessori board - look out Montessori Moms, here I come) so don't start scheming about all the embarrassing stories you know about me. But sometimes, little pieces of my past, tiny, tiny regrets come knocking on my door.
The other day, I was reading a conversation on Facebook between two of my friends who I have known since high school. One of these friends, I have kinda kept up with even without Facebook and the other, not so much. In the course of this conversation one friend, we'll call him Raul called the other friend, we'll call him Monty by an interesting name: Mr. Clever.
Suddenly, I was an embarrassed, blushing 11th grader, trying desperately not to cry in front of everyone.
We were arguing about something (or talking about something, I don't remember). I got flustered and frustrated and here was this cute boy making not so nice comments about my intelligence, or lack thereof (Wow - I'm blushing just writing this). I was trying so hard not to cry, trying so hard to keep looking cool above all else. And I called him Mr. Clever. Actually, I believe what I said was "Well, aren't you clever, Mr. Clever."
And then the Earth opened up and ate me whole. Or not. But, wow, did I wished for it. As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I knew I would be mocked for all eternity. It would be worse than asking the cutest senior during my freshman year if he liked cows. (I was trying to think of something funny from Monty Python because he was into Monty Python and... Oh, nevermind... There is no explanation of that.) Because at least that was on the phone and the hearers were limited.
But here I stood in the Cafetorium (don't even ask) making an utter fool out of myself. Sounding like an offended old woman in the grocery store. Heck, who am I kidding, my grandma is wittier than that.
I could have run, I could have crawled under the table and pretended to be invisible. Hey, I was driving by this point, I could have gone the hell home. But I didn't. I stood there, trying not to look shocked at my own stupidity and tried to cover it. Tried to look like I had sounded like that on purpose. Tried to look like it didn't matter to me what anyone thought, because I was cool like that. Nonconformist and all. I needed no one. I am an island. I may have even laughed. But not in that "Wow, what did I just say" genuine kind of laugh. No, in that "I meant to do that. Don't look at me anymore." kind of laugh.
I don't know if they even remember that story. It may have taken on it's own life by now. (Although, I don't think I'll post a notice of this entry on my Facebook - just in case, you know.) But reading those two, tiny, insignificant words, I was an awkward teenager, trying to be cool again. I was standing there wishing for a hole to fall into. A car to come through the wall. Someone else to collapse in a seizure. Anything. Anything to make that go away.
I'd like to say that I've grown since then. And I guess I have. I don't try nearly so hard these days. And I genuinely don't care about what most people think now, and those whose opinions do matter to me, I can at least be honest about. But I still say stuff like that. Still ask the cute boys if they like cows and get all mad and flustered when they don't think I'm perfect. Only now it's less the cute boys and more the professional peers, or fellow bloggers or sometimes, on a very rare occasion... the cute boys.