Monday, December 5, 2011

On being popular

Okay, so here is the thing:  I've had a long day at work, a long weekend of sickness 'round here, and three long days of work before that.  And a part of me wants to hide everything I am thinking and feeling lately from the world (especially in case anybody from work reads this blog although I don't think they do except for possibly one secretary who I know knows about it but who doesn't read it regularly I think) while another part of me wants to put it all out there for some reason (that reason would be so everyone can tell me how I am awesome and have it all together and am their hero, right? Just kidding.  Nope, not kidding.  Sort of.  You can decide.)  This post isn't really about all the things I have been dealing with lately (yes I have cried every day and I might post about that and I might not, but thankfully, Clara seems to be doing pretty well at daycare), but it IS about one of the things that has been on my mind all day today for some reason.

When I was a kid, I moved A LOT.  And I loved relocating for pretty much one reason:  I was a HUGE nerd and I figured with each move that I had learned from past moves and could start fresh and FINALLY be popular.  The Bekins truck would show up, boxes would be loaded and my family would pile in our van to drive across the country to a new state and I would sit there in my bucket seat imagining and planning about how I would convince everybody at my new school that I was super interesting and cute and fun.  Inevitably, I made the same nerdy mistakes (like being too smart, not liking boys soon enough (I remember boasting to my mom that all the other girls on the playground always got caught by the boys when they were chasing us but not me and my mom knowingly saying something about those girls wanting to get caught), not understanding when all the other girls were going through certain "changes" that I was not and never would go through myself, wearing too-short jeans, being friends with teachers, saying "no" to bad things like swearing and a lot worse, eating my lunch in the library, etc.) and was immediately branded an outcast.  I had very few friends.  Like, one friend pretty much (you know who you are and I will be forever grateful for you and the things I have learned from you - do you miss Hawaii as much as I do?). 

I have exactly 2 FB "friends" from the high school I graduated from in Nebraska.  One was my senior prom date and show choir partner who asked me to the dance at the last minute by saying "I want to go to prom and I know that no one else is going to ask you so I was wondering what if we went together?"  He ended up marrying a man in Iowa where that is legal.  The other is a girl who is now a fashion designer in NYC who sat by me in choir and sang alto with me and she always talked about how her mom was a chain smoker and who is now a chain smoker herself from what I can tell of her FB photos.  I think it is interesting that for all the people who rejected me in that small Nebraska high school that these two people would seek me out to friend me on FB. 

Everything turned around for me in college though.  I made friends and I had people to do things with on weekends.  I didn't date a lot, but I dated some and for the most part I remember thinking that was pretty fun.  Going on a mission and then going to law school were even better because I somehow filtered myself into groups of people who I had a ton in common with (the super churchy goody-two-shoes crowd and the super logical/nerdy/ambitious crowd). 

Even now at work, I find myself shocked to have so many people come by my office and say they are glad I am back and ask if I want go to lunch with them (even though I am still a nerd and would probably bring along a novel and eat soup in my office while reading by myself if I had my druthers and if I bothered to take a decent lunch break in the first place).  Mostly I think people at work like me to come to lunch because I usually don't know what to say to fit in to the conversation so I either end up being a very good listener OR I end up telling stories about buying guns to protect myself in a zombie apocalypse, explaining how my grandma was one of two twins named Erma and Erna and I can't ever remember which one she is, or describing how when I was a summer associate I accidentally-on-purpose low-fived a senior partner from another law firm at a mediation (a big No-No) which left him stunned and speechless (low-fiving not being normal in our profession apparently). 

Today I found myself missing good friends.  I was sitting in my office thinking about friends who recently moved and wishing we were going over to their house tonight for brownies and snarky talk about our favorite tv shows.  I was daydreaming about friends who moved away a year ago and who will be moving back soon, hopefully close by.  I was reminiscing about law school buddies, old college roomies, mission companions, high school friends of Paul's who I have claimed now as my own, adoption friends and family members (they're friends too, right?  They better be.  My mom will always be my best friend.  I hope Clara grows up to feel the same way about me.)

And I realized that I felt popular.  And it feels good, but I don't care about it the same way I did when I was a kid moving from town to town.  I didn't do gratitude posts throughout November, but I don't see why I can't do one now:  Today I am thankful for good friends.  I wouldn't be who I am without you and I like the person that I am and I like you.  So thanks.


  1. Curse those short jeans! Yes, I am totally missing Hawaii... I am already daydreaming of our next tropical vacation which is not until September of 2012 (Barbados - care to join?). And if I worked in your office I would totally want to go to lunch with you. I understand the novel and soup thing too though. When I was working I used to park under a tree, eat in my car, and read a book. Actually that sounds totally delightful right now.

  2. I loved this post Amy. Partly because I am pretty sure I am one of the friends you miss and that made me feel good since I am feeling quite the opposite of you (no friends in a new place). It is nice that you are finally realizing how awesome you are. We love you lots Amy!!

  3. Bahahahaha! I love this post, and you. I've had a number of similar thoughts about friendship lately (perhaps one of my semi-annual blog posts is brewing?). What I'm saying here is three cheers for Amy.

    PS am I the super churchy goody two shoes crowd or the nerdy logical ambitious crowd? Bahahahaha.

  4. I rediscovered your blog after forever now! Clara is so big (and ADORABLE!) What a sweet happy family you are, I love it!

  5. You not being popular in high school is hard to believe! I was instantly taken with you and am very proud you are my friend!!!

  6. I can't thank you enough for posting our button on your blog! We really appreciate it!


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