Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Do You Like Cows?

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.


Suze said...

Was I there? I don't remember the incident at all. I think some of those embarrassing moments (some of mine will live with me forever, I'm afraid) feel about 1000 times worse to the person who makes the comment or trips over the chair or whatever.

And I still get flustered by cute boys. Not that they notice or anything :)

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

I can honestly say I'm mortified, disgusted and ashamed of about 99% of the things I said, did and was known for in high school. The only things I'm proud of from those days are band, speech, drama, academic team and the lit magazine. The rest of it I would be happy if everyone ever forgot who the hell I was. But I, too, tried to play it off. And often, when I'm out and about on facebook, and someone sends me a friend request, I wonder, "OMG, what does this person remember about me?". So, you aren't alone in the whole feeling like a teenager again thing. Not alone at all.

Suze said...

P.S. This post illustrates perfectly exactly why I DON'T do facebook!

Jessi said...

Suze - I'm pretty sure you were there for the cow incident, but maybe not the Mr. Clever one.

Jenn - I only remember good things about you.

I actually really love Facebook. I like checking in on these people. You would not believe how grown up some of them are and how much some people have changed and how little others have. But, you do get those moments. Those, omg, who WAS I moments.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

I'm sooo glad, because I was such a SNOT back then (and that's putting it mildly). :-)

Strangeite said...

Trying.... hard.... not... to.... rant... on.... the.... evils..... of.... Facebook...

Orwell warned... you... Zuckerberg.. eats babies.... rights... out window... Arrrgggghhhh

(I think I just broke something in my brain)

I don't remember hearing about either one of these incidents; but, one of the few nice things about getting old is that my memory is failing at rate that resembles an exponential growth curve in reverse.

If I took the time to photoshop my yearbooks now, when I reach forty, I probably could convince myself that I was a popular and good looking football playing jock that listened to Boys 2 Men and treated my academics very studiously.

Jessi said...

yes, but we'd remind you otherwise. Because we're good friends like that.

Mrs. Allroro said...

At least you have a super cute husband now. (I'd love to see a family pic, by the way.)

Jenn, I too remember good things about you--especially slumber parties.

I think I remember only good things about everybody who was nice to me. That trumped everything else for me, because of that same high school-type embarrassment mentioned here.

Jessi said...

I'd love to see a family pic, too, actually. We haven't even stood all next to each other since Maren was born. Let alone while someone else held the camera. We're going to do family pictures at Christmas, so you've got six months to wait.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

I only remember good things about you two, as well. Probably because you were some of the few people who didn't make my life miserable in high school. I need to hurry up and get my butt back in that neck of the woods; 1,200 miles is way to far away!

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

whoops! That should say "too" far away!

Strangeite said...

See, personally I know that I was, to steal a phrase from Harry Potter, a git. Although I think it is a pre-requisite of being a teenage boy.

I remember it was Mr. Biggers, our 7th grade science teacher, that said that it should be law that all teenage boys be stuck in a jar, buried and allowed to remain there until they have ripened. At the time it seemed a tad extreme, but now with the wisdom of age, he might have been on to something.

Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Yes, you were a git. But that's why we loved you. LOL