Thursday, November 10, 2011

I SHOULD be popular, and other musings.

November 8, 1995

Dear Bethany,

Did you ever notice that once a person is popular enough the don't really care about anyone else. They forget who they were and concentrate on who they are. Did you ever notice that when someone is popular enough they control you. They play with your feelings. Almost as if they're playing tennis and your heart is the tennis ball. They don't care what they do to you-- as long as your response back works for them.
Did you ever notice how you are never the one in charge. Everyone cares about the popular one-- but no one gives a shit about you. The popular one's friend-- the sidekick. Never the first. The second.
Ever notice that when you say something funny no one laughs but when someone loved by everyone says the same thing ten seconds later, the class is in hysterics, like they said it better. Why is that? Is it that people don't care about the way you think? Or are you just a play thing, a joke.
You're a nice starting place, a home base. But never the real friend. You're ALWAYS the one the popular can turn to if no one else is around... and you can count on them to be there when you're overdue for some insults.
Ever notice that no one cares about your feelings?
Have you ever noticed that no one notices?

SUCH an annoying day. EVERYONE, including Hayley, was dissing me so bad and everyone else laughed and NO ONE stood up for me. WHY AM I NOT AS POPULAR AS HAYLIE AND KATIE?
I have tons of friends, but I don't have any popularity. I have some problem. Everyone is against me. WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?

Peace (kinda) and Love (I don't have any),

Has there ever been a more quintessential middle school moment than expressing, at long last, the thought: "Everyone is against me"? I have no memory of writing this entry, although judging from the language and sentiment, it sounds like one of the worst days of my entire life, thus far.
I like that this is written as more of an essay than a journal entry. There's such an obviously strong desire for this to be SMART, and that's what I love-hate about 12-year-old Corey. She so badly wants to be smart and articulate and artsy and dramatic. She gives in to the angst.
And to be fair, it WAS totally unfair that Hayley ended up being more popular than me. Yes, I wore multi-colored vests and a total lack of social finesse, but Hayley was no beauty queen or genius or charmer. She was just a girl who knew that being mean and putting someone else down was a great way to get ahead. I could be a total bitch one-on-one, and pretty effing high maintenance, but I was never mean to anyone in a crowd.
And that, I'm pretty sure, is the dividing line between popular and unpopular.
As for my journal entry: I know I'm not the first person to use a tennis match as a metaphor for my feelings, but I applaud the effort.
Don't worry little Corey. Everyone secretly thinks Hayley is annoying, and in sixteen years you won't remember this day anyways.

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