Do you remember when you came home from high school, upset and crying because someone was really mean to you? Like the girl whose locker was underneath yours and she went nuts because your tehina accidentally spilled all over the leather knapsack her Dad brought her from Hong Kong? And, no matter how much you apologized and offered to replace it, she still made you feel lousy?
And, remember how your Mom/Dad listened to you crying on the couch, and patted your back softly and wiped away the tears, and empathized with you? Do you remember when your parent told you that it will all be okay, and that “life isn’t like high school,” and you’ll come into yourself/find yourself/enjoy life better once you graduated?
Yeah, your parents were totally lying to you.
Because, as I recently concluded, life is EXACTLY like High School. And, no matter how you try it, you cannot get out of High School.
So, what inspired me to write this post? This week, I met a friend for brunch on Emek Refaim. We were having a lovely time, when a patron at the restaurant who knew my friend, came over to our table. I have never spoken to this girl before, but I knew who she was. After we exchanged pleasantries, she proceeded to tell my friend to stay away from Girl X because she was mentally unstable. This woman then spent 15 minutes going on and on and on about Girl X, spewing accusation after accusation about her, until I had literally had enough of listening to it.
As someone who has been bullied and, let’s be honest, we ALL have been on the other end of gossip, I spoke up. I asked her if she had proof to her accusations. Well, she launched into a tirade about how people were doing some digging and the stories weren’t holding up, yada, yada, yada. I decided to stop engaging her in this type of banter and she finally walked away.
I left feeling very unhappy about the exchange. I thought, if there really was a situation that she needed to discuss with my friend, she should have done so in private. I did not know Girl X, but now I know more than my fair share. I thought it was very Mean Girlish of her to stand there and malign Girl X in such a public manner.
And, it got me thinking, about the way society really works. And, human nature. And, of course, High School.
I started thinking about my own actions, the things I’ve said about people, and the way I’ve treated people. And, of course, I thought about the way people have treated me.
Like the girl who had no problem asking me for help (which I did) and then she didn’t invite me to her party. Now, I haven’t been invited to many parties in my life. And, truth be told, I’m pretty anti-social, rarely go out at night because I work evenings, and have a much thicker skin than that. But, I just helped this girl out, so it was pretty hurtful that she didn’t even invite me to her party.
Or, the woman I interact with on a more professional level, who keeps blowing me off when I’ve asked to meet up. Since we are really more like colleagues than friends, I thought it would be nice to actually meet face to face. Rather than having the balls to just say “I’m just not that into you,” she’s been vague and actually just ignores my requests to meet, while continuing to interact with me. How very High School of her. Seriously, just tell me that you don’t want to meet and I’ll stop asking!
I have tremendous respect for people who are direct, to the point, and tell it like it is. But, I have zero respect for bullshit.
Or the woman who was getting married and having a very small wedding. We were friends when I lived in Tel Aviv, she was invited to my wedding, and she attended my Sheva Brachot. I completely understood not getting invited to her wedding, and I even lent her my veil. Then I found out that she invited all of our mutual friends to her Sheva Brachot, but did not invite us. So, I’m good enough to use when she needed something, but not good enough to invite to her Sheva Brachot? WTF?
And, if I really thought about it, the examples of High School BS since I’ve graduated, abounds. It happens when you’re single in your 20’s, married with children in your 30’s, hell I even know stories of High School like BS with people who are Grandparents and in their 60’s.
You can never escape High School!
Yeah, I know that there is more to life that this crap. And, truth be told, I rarely let myself think about it. What’s the point? It’s just hurtful and frustrating. And, sure, you can say that my blog post today is just some whiny woman’s rantings.
But, the actual purpose of this blog post is to tell all of my readers out there with kids. Do yourself and your kids a huge favor, stop feeding them the BS line that life isn’t like High School.
Tell them the truth! That you can never get out of HS.
And then, give them the tools they need to deal with this crap for the rest of their lives. I know I will.