I’ve done and said many cringeworthy things in my life. The great thing about leaving high school is leaving behind people who remember the stupid things you said and did behind and moving on to new people and new interests.
Only sometimes you don’t. Sometimes you feel trapped by the old adage “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other’s gold.”
You keep forcing yourself to go and hang out with them once in a while, even though you have nothing in common with them anymore. And they still treat you like you’re the awkward teen they remember.
Which brings me to the birthday party I’m going to on Saturday. It’s for a high school friend of mine. I don’t want to go. What a surprise, right? It’s different, this time. It’s not social anxiety. I just genuinely don’t like this person anymore. We are different as night and day. She majored in fashion design and is obsessed with dresses and historical clothing. I majored in Computer Science. I could never give any shits ever about bustiers or corsets or victorian patterns. There is literally nothing we have in common.
It doesn’t help that this friend views herself as some sort of benevolent tender of social ‘tards, as we all were in high school. Kind of a “Look how nice I am for being friends with awkward weirdos while I myself am totes normal” vibe. Like she’s doing us all a favor.
She’s always had this tone of voice. It never used to bother me. When I lived in grating poverty, obese and unloved, her feeling sorry for me was okay. But as I eventually succeeded in life by marrying (before she did) and climbing out of grinding poverty into the upper-middle class (she is massively in debt with no job), her smug attitude began to grate on me.
When I was obese, she tried to get me to do cosplay for conventions, and more than once. Are. You. Facking. Kidding. Me. I was never delusional, as an obese person. I never thought, “I’m just big boned! They’re all jealous of my curves!” I never thought I was more attractive than I was. I knew I would have looked awful as a cosplayer. Obese cosplayers are relentlessly mocked online. Why would I do that to myself? Why would she try to make me do that?
“You need to be more confident and sexy and outgoing! You go, girlfriend! …And also it’ll make me feel good about myself seeing your ugly lard stuffed into a ludicrous outfit.”
Uh uh. No way. No how. I dress for the body I have. I’m not that deluded.
The last time I saw her, she was seeing me for the first time since I’d lost all the weight. One of the first things she said was this piece of smarm: “Oh, NeuroticOne! You’ve blossomed!”
I’ve taken the liberty of translating for her. This is not a stretch, I assure you.
“Oh! NeuroticOne! You have lost the weight and are now wearing form fitting clothes! I assume now you too are obsessed with fashion and have become super-feminine, so therefore you have become appropriate as a woman to me! This doesn’t change how better I am.”
I don’t really care to go, but I feel obligated to. It’s because I skipped out on her fancy formal-dress birthday party last year, which would have required me to drive to New York after being jetlagged from flying back from Arizona. Also, my husband shares the same birthday as she does. Where do you think *he* wanted to be on his birthday? At some other person’s birthday party in another state? And one he doesn’t know at all? Bad thing was that I had stupidly RSVP’d months in advance. So I canceled as soon as I could, before she would have been out money for it. She was still butthurt about it and so I’m going Saturday. Despite there being no bond except we went to high school together.
Ugh. Guess I need to just get ready for more sickening “You’ve blossomed!”-type comments. At least the food will be good.