Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get

When I was in junior high we all pretty much told it like it was. No politics, playing games, no two-faced stuff; we just came right out and said whatever was on our mind. And we spent a lot of time saying "yo' mama" to each other also, haha.

As best I can remember, we were direct. I never really thought much about it because that's just the way it was.

When I got to high school, things were different. I learned that you have to keep your mouth shut and play games with people.

During the summer between junior and senior high, my folks moved. Not too far, but far enough so that I was now in a different high school area than I would have been had we not moved. Most of my friends from junior high went to the high school in my old neighborhood, and I met new friends in the new one, most of whom had gone to one different particular junior high.

They seemed more grown up than the friends I had in junior high. They seemed to have more freedom that I was used to. Was it just that we were a little older? That we were in high school and expected to act different? Or was it a different culture at their junior high versus the one I came from?

I got to know them soon enough, and also soon enough they invited me to their parties. I'm a shy person by nature but I liked hanging out with this new crowd and the freedom I felt, as well.

But here's an example of the game playing, and learning to keep my mouth shut:

There was one person that was universally disliked, and that everyone made fun of, talked about, etc. You know, there's always one in every bunch. Yearbooks feature the people voted "most popular," "most likely to succeed," etc., but he had been voted the unofficial "Best Pest." And I have to say, not without good reason based on my observations.

So there we were at this party, at K's house (no name naming here!), the guys congregated and talking about the Best Pest, and the girls standing around gabbing about their own things. Then one of the girls overheard us making fun of Best Pest so she walked over and told us how mean we were and how that wasn't very nice of us.

I said to her, "you girls talk about Best Pest just as much as we do. How can you say we're mean? You're a bunch of hypocrites." She tried arguing with me and I repeated my accusation.

Then it got really quiet. That girl stared at me then turned and went back to her group. Meanwhile I was pretty upset. I was expecting some kudos for defending us guys, when D pulled me aside.

"Don't say stuff like that. You'll get us all in trouble," he whispered.

I gave him a confused look. "What are you talking about?" I asked. "They're the ones that started it and they're a bunch of hypocrites. They're always making fun of-"

"I know, I know," D said, hushing me up. "But you can't say that. You're going to make it bad for all of us guys, don't you know?"

And I stood there fuming inside but also feeling embarrassed. Here I was, the new guy and already I had put my foot in my mouth although I still thought I hadn't done anything wrong.

D continued. "That's okay, you didn't know. Just remember in the future, don't say anything."

It was like the girls had the ability to cast a spell on us guys and I had put everyone in dire jeopardy. Some of the guys acted funny towards me after that. I didn't know what to say except, "Sorry, I didn't know." But then I felt like a hypocrite because I didn't feel sorry in the least; I still didn't understand.

And that really highlighted the difference between junior and senior high to me.

Like the video at the top (junior high) and the one below (senior high).

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