Anyone else but you might have been okay with your mom pregnant sitting next to you in your child sized desk and asking the girl next to you-will you be my daughter’s friend. No probably not. No one would bask in the glory of the embarrassment of a 3rd grader wearing the perfume of the anxious for the first day at school at a new school. Anyone else but you might have figured out a way to turn an awful shade of purple from embarrassment. In my head I thought- mom back off I can handle this. A mom trying her best to make sure I had friends. But anyone else probably would have let me fly solo on the first day. She wore her protective barrier around me, my wings not to ready to go, go at it alone.
So this girl, girl next to me did become my friend. Actually my best friend. We had a lot in common. Both our moms were pregnant, we were only children, so we were excited for another sibling to throw into the mix. Being an only child for 8 years is a long time to bear childhood alone. We both had bowl cuts and very 80 like fashion such as bright button down collared shirts, losts of gummy like bracelets, coolots, and probably keds without the laces. We were neighbors in class and in life. She lived down the street from my duplex home in her duplex home. We lived in F section me on Fall her on Francis. She lived 4 minutes from my house biking. Biking on my pink banana seat with a basket to carry books and the like. She lived 11 minutes away walking. And running running was about 6 minutes.
We basked in the glow of friendship. We both were in brownies or girl scouts. We both had a crush on the same guy. We were just the friendship, the beginning, the end. The embarrassment of my mother I found would be her’s too. Her mom did things that no one else would be okay with either.
We lived in friendship bliss until one day. Anyone else but you might not think the worst. The worst when you saw two girls you think are friends whispering and laughing about you. Anyone else but you might not had thought the worst. But I thought the worst. My mom had purchased me a green turtleneck cotton with embedded stripes in the fabric and matching leggings from the expensive boutique we couldn’t afford anything from. I was so excited to get an outfit from izzy kids- it was the talk of Rohnert park 3rd graders at Hahn school.
I thought it was beautiful and I wore it at Christmas and then school. Then the whispering. My green lily pad of outfit was only cool on my pond. I thought the girls including my bf were whispering about my parents. My parents getting a divorce. I was crushed. Crushed because I had told her in the secrecy of my scared 8-year-old ass. As I smiled wearing that suit of acceptance. They just whispered that I looked like an alien. She hadn’t outed me. But I didn’t know that then. Anyone else but you might not have thought the worst. Alienated from my friends in losing my family was all I could think. Really it was the stupid outfit. But our own fears, fears are stronger than the bond of a budding friendship and are stronger than the cool outfit we think we have on.