Friday, March 28, 2008

(Non)Fiction Friday # 48

I am trying to jump back in the Fiction Friday bandwagon. Baby steps are necessary. This week's prompt is:

Describe a time your character was wronged; even though it was insignificant to the one who wronged them, your character never got over it.

My motto in life is "forgive and forget." Sure, I don't literally forget. But I do not hold a grudge. I try really hard to put myself in the other person's shoes; not to justify them, but to understand why they do what they do. I forgive because it is the right thing for me. I have enough stress dealing with my daily life and current obligations; I do not want to burden my soul with the additional weight of hating someone for their transgressions.

So why is it that I can't get over a stupid incident that happened twenty-seven years ago?

I was 12 years old, in seventh grade. I was at a new school, where I hardly knew anybody. The place was so big and had so many people. I felt out of place, and much of my first year I spent it roaming around the school fields, alone or with one or two new friends. I had a crush on a boy. He had the prettiest smile. I was too shy to even speak to him, so I adored him from afar.

One day, another boy I knew from riding in the school bus asked me to be his girlfriend. This boy was mildly amusing, although quite pretentious and slightly dumb. He wasn't my first choice, but I was flattered, so I said yes. The next day, he paraded me through the school yard at lunchtime, only to dump me the next morning. I was confused by that, and kept wondering what had I done to make him not like me anymore.

It turned out he had made a bet with some other boys that he could make me his girlfriend. Within a week he was dating somebody else. All I could do was ask myself "why?" Why was I only good for a joke? What was it about me that made me a target of ridicule? I was so painfully shy back then; there was no way in hell I was going to ask him these questions. So I never knew why. I never confronted him. I never had closure.

I have gone through more significant and more painful things in my life. Yet, this is what I have never gotten over. How come the memory of this prank still bristles my ego so? Why have I allowed it to become such a defining element of my personality?

The person who snubbed me like that was so inconsequential, so meek. Maybe that is why it stings so hard after all these years. To be fooled and rejected by a popular boy would have been embarrassing. To be scorned by a third-tier loser was even worse, for what does it say about you when the lowest of the low rejects you?

7 comments:

  1. I really liked your story today and isn’t it strange the hurtful things that we let gnaw at our soul? I don’t know if you read my story today, but maybe you should join Wicked and just “move forward!” I am saying this in the most sincere way I know how, please take it with the love, hope and peace I am trying to show.

    I hope you have a great day and Thank you for sharing your story with us all, Enjoy Life!

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  2. Welcome back!

    It's funny what we do dwell on, versus the things that we seem to let go of.

    Perhaps it was the cruelty of his action that makes it stick in your mind? With other break-ups, they can be rationalised, things go wrong, feelings change. But this was alld one without thinking about your feelings, and wholly under false pretences. The dishonesty of is what hurts more than anything I should imagine.

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  3. what he did was inordinately cruel.. but taken int he context of a junior high school... it makes it easier to stomach... i know i would never forget,, and probably only half heartedly have ever forgiven such an act where it committed with me as the brunt of the joke...

    i am only hoping that whatever his name was is equally haunted by his part in all of this....

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  4. Welcome back Ingrid.

    I think that making sense of someone's actions is the stepping stone to forgiving, or at least letting go - the whole 'putting yourself in someone else's shoes' that you speak about early in the piec. When you can't make sense it, that when you step into their shoes it still makes no sense, then the sting lingers on, and on, and on.

    I'd like to believe in karma and that his cruel boy got what was coming to him and that there is something he can't make sense of that haunts him. Perhaps some shallow girl who used and discarded him with equal disregard.

    Thanks for sharing something so intimate.

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  5. Junior High School boys can be so cruel. They just don't think about girl's feelings. They're part of the pack and just trying to rise to the top. I loved the image of the beautiful smile of the boy you had a crush on. The memories of those unrequited crushes never seem to die, do they?

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  6. Yes, this is a common trick by male junior high dorks. At least I've never heard of a popular guy doing it. People really need to let go of the idea that unpopular people are nicer than popular ones.

    I had something similar happen to me in 9th grade. I went to an all girls high school, and he went to a coed public school. He had some bet that he could get multiple girlfriends at once, so he went around to various groups and asked a girl in them to "go with" him.

    The next week, he was going after others. I got to hear about it through a gloating "friend." I also heard he got his comeuppance when one publicly and loudly yelled. "No! You're a loser," in his face.

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  7. People really need to let go of the idea that unpopular people are nicer than popular ones.

    So true, Spungen. I'm sorry to hear you had an idiot pull a similar trick on you, but I love that he got his due.

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