Anyone who knows me will remember a period of years from way back when I was in elementary and junior high school that I was picked on and teased relentlessly. That’s was it was called back then. In today’s terms I was bullied. I was tormented, I had rocks and snowballs thrown at me, our home was egged, I was spit on while walking home from school, I was chased and I was called terribly names. I reacted in a way that only added to my torment. I cried. I know now that wasn’t the way to handle a bully, but years ago I wasn’t as secure as I am now. I didn’t have the guts to stand up to my bullies. I just wanted to have friends.
I can remember trying so hard to follow the crowd just to be accepted. If any of my peers paid me even the least little bit of attention I would soak it up and attempt to be like one of the “cool kids” just to be accepted. I would try to wear the right clothes, talk with the right talk, listen to the right music, and try to join in on conversations about topics that I had little knowledge of; agreeing just to be accepted. Just so someone would pay attention to me.
How many times was I told “if you just do *this* you can be in our group and be our friend”? Too many to count. How many times did people start paying attention to me only when they wanted something from me? Most times the something that they wanted was to benefit them; not me. “Can I borrow some money from you until tomorrow? I forgot my lunch” or “let me borrow your new jacket tonight” or “I’ll pay you $5 to do my homework”. Needless to say, tomorrow never came. Even though I would try to accommodate the requests so I would be accepted and liked, it didn’t matter. I was used. Time and time again.
Now many years later I’d like to think I’ve grown at least a small backbone. I try to be a good person and a good friend. I have few very close friends whom I consider true blessings. Without them I would never have gotten through some tough times, for sure. Having them in my life has made me a better person and made me realize what genuine friendship means. They are there for me and I am there for them. Period. No questions asked.
I also have friends that I don’t necessarily see on a daily, weekly or monthly basis that I would also go to the ends of the earth for and I know if push came to shove they would do the same for me. We may not have an ongoing relationship, but it’s strong enough that we both know in times of turmoil, we are only a phone call away. These are both special bonds that don’t come along every day.
Then there are what I have termed “wanna-be’s”. We all have wanna be’s in our life. We have all experienced them. They wanna be your friend when it serves them a purpose. You don’t hear from them one day to the next and sometimes even if you did run into them they couldn’t give you the time of day. They don’t care about what’s going on in your world nor would they ever just pick up the phone to check in with you. You’re not one of the “cool kids” in their eyes. Until they need something from you. Again, normally something that will directly benefit them; not you. And once you have complied to their wants they once again fade into the wood work, not to be heard from again until the next time. If you were bold enough (or desperate enough) to need (not necessarily want…there is a difference) something from them, low and behold it’s like asking them to find a cure for some fatal disease.
There are so many different types of “friendships” and they mean many different things to different people. I guess the purpose of this post is more to vent than anything. I see it happen so much, not only to me but to others as well. If I’m not good enough or if I’m not enough of a “cool kid” for you to bother with me just for the sake of bothering with me then you can be darn tootin’ sure that I’m not that little girl from years ago who is going to drop everything to comply to your wants. I am who I am. For those who are important to me, that’s good enough for them and they wouldn’t expect me to be anything more. Likewise is true. I would never expect those closest to me to be anything other than who they genuinely are.
To the “wanna-be’s” ~ you would be only too lucky to have me as a friend. Your loss.
Until next time…