Just those two words can make many grown-ups cringe, and feel a strange sense of relief that no matter how old we are now, at least we are not 12 or 13.
For any of us, it could be memories of the seemingly never-ending battle with acne. It could be raging ridiculous hormones that we can’t explain, but if we are female, they cause us to burst into tears at a moment’s notice. I’m not so sure what males go through since I was too focused on myself and my girl friends to notice, except that I am sure it has something to do with raging hormones. Obviously.
Some of us were over-developed or in my case, under-developed (or so we all thought), and I spent much of my time hiding in a corner of the locker room where we all would change after P.E. so that no one notice that I still looked like a nine year old. Thankfully, my best friend was just as skinny, if not skinnier than I was, and we huddled together to protect ourselves from those super girly girls that neither of us quite related to. We were much more interested in computer games and our innocent boy crushes than whoever was famous and how much makeup we should wear.
My best friend was a comfort to me, opposite and complimentary to my personality, and as I would learn years later when we reunited, she was the female version of my husband. She, too, had a deep spirituality and wasn’t shallow like the other girls. She was down to earth and wasn’t vain, and was confident. What is amazing is how we became friends.
Her last name began with ‘W’ and my last name began with ‘Z’. So the teachers always sat us together, whether we liked it or not, because alphabetically it made sense for the roll call. I think in the end, after 5 or so years, we finally gave up and figured it made sense to be friends. I enjoyed our exclusive friendship and our closeness, and the way we stuck together despite whatever drama was going on in the classroom.
And then there was Jane.
Jane always wanted my best friend to be HER best friend, and was competitive. I wasn’t worried, though, because she was seriously girly and I thought my friend would never take her seriously.
Until one day, I went to where my friend was so that I could join her in line.
And that is when she said a phrase to me that cut me to the core, but became a life lesson…
…to be continued…