While working at my second job last night, at my friend's little Italian restaurant, two girls that I cheered with came in. The first one to show up was Katherine. She was my stunt partner for 4 years. We had a love/hate relationship in high school but we were always able to put aside our differences to be the best stunt group on the squad. She and I are cool now and talk everytime we see each other. We ran into each other at 5 different 5k's this summer and really reconnected. It was nice seeing her.
The second one to show up was Katy. Katy was a childhood friend. Our parents were really good friends in high school and our moms wanted us to be as close as they were. We always got along until our Junior year in high school. One morning, picture day actually, I walk into the school building at the beginning of school and find all the varsity cheerleaders standing at my locker waiting for me. Katy instantly starts screaming at me and accusing me of telling her mom that she and her boyfriend were having sex. All the other girls jumped in and started saying really nasty things. I was instantly crushed, embarrassed, and hurt. It was the only time I ever cried at school. I didn't know what they were basing this assumption off of. I would never dare call someone's mother and divulge that information...not my place. All the girls were talking the previous day about their sex lives...I didn't have one. I chose to stay a virgin because I knew I wasn't going to end up with any of the boys I dated in high school. So I must have been the one who told because I was different and thought differently than my peers. I seethed all day long, hoping I would calm down before practice after school. The glares in the hallways and being snubbed the entire day by people that were supposed to be my "friends" just made me more angry. At practice, I stretched in the corner by myself. I ignored the group that sat and made rude comments about me. My skin was tough as nails through that practice. I participated, but ignored everyone until the end of practice. Then, as I gathered my gear together to leave, I looked at the group standing there and said: I am not the one who told your mother you were having sex. Don't you realize that you were blabbing it in front of all the cheerleaders...including the freshmen-where you sister is a cheerleader as well? I will not take the blame and I will no be treated the way I was today because you feel too guilty to be able to tell you mom your damned self. I am not coming back to practice and participating with a group of self-centered, hypocritical, group of girls that think they are more righteous than me. You can all kiss my ass.
And then I left. It was the first time I had ever stood up for myself and it felt liberating.
Katy showed up on my doorstep that night. She apologized and said that she found out that her sister had told her mom. Not me. I calmly looked at her as she apologized and told her that I could never erase the feeling that I had had that day. That her apology wouldn't make up for the fact that I heard all day long how much the cheerleaders now hated me. Even though I had done nothing wrong, it would take a long time before I felt like a part of that team again-I never really did. I didn't allow myself to. I didn't want to associate myself with them outside of practice, games, and functions anymore. That is the day that I found out just how mean girls can be.
Looking at her last night, I still had that same feeling. I can tell that she knew exactly what I was feeling. I know that I am the bigger person. I know that I am not based on shallowness and assumptions. Even though I was the one serving last night, I was truly the bigger person.