Jun 16, 2010

No, I was never popular... what's your point?!

Mama's Losin' It

1.) The popular girls.

Me (in the red) and my best friend before formal, my freshman year.

When I was a child, I was one of those kids who befriended everyone, especially the "special" kids. I was endlessly kind, and protected those who were small or in need of help.

I was transferred to a "GATE" school when I was in 3rd grade, so the school was full of nerdy kids, so I played secret agents with Matthew and hunted for and "bred" ladybugs with Jenny, I even used to spend lunchtime with friends looking for 4 leaf clovers.

I am not really sure what the "popular kids" did during lunchtime, at that school. I honestly didn't care. Kids wanted to be my friend because I was kind and confident in myself. I was never alone.

As a Jr. Higher, though, my happy carefree days came to an end. Suddenly I realized that there was a popular group... and I wasn't in it. It hurt me deep down. I had a solid group of friends, who did normal Junior High things, like ditching each other and cussing for no reason. I should have been content. But I wasn't. I wanted to be "popular". (I blame 16 Candles and the Breakfast Club)

I ended up "going around" with one or two of the boys in the popular group, but never hung out with them. I tried out for cheer, but didn't make it (unfortunately I broke my hand just before tryouts... AND I wasn't a popular kid, and my sister wasn't a popular kid (she was 3 years older than me), so I had no chance). So off I went to High School, and I was STILL NOT POPULAR.

So, I did what every self-respecting girl did in that situation... I became a "stoner". I wore black and I vowed to hate the "preppies" until I died. I wrote angry poetry and wore a lot of silver jewelry, I joined theater and attempted to forget the longing to be part of the "in" group.

But then I joined Leadership... and ran for class president (TWICE) and dated another boy in the popular group... which turned into a MAJOR fiasco. I helped decorate the class float for homecoming, planned dances and made balloon arches for football games. I wasn't popular, but everybody knew me. I always had a boyfriend, I never ate lunch alone. (I went to Prom all four years!) Eventually that was enough.

What makes a person "popular"? Ultimately I decided it had to do with some unwritten, unspoken caste system that had something to do with who you knew, what you had, and if you were too nice... forget it, you were out. Can I tell you a secret? I still don't like "preps"... but I try to not hold it against them. Oh, one more... even in bloggy land... I still sort of long to be popular, but know it ain't gonna happen.

 Does this look like a girl who was alone?  My Senior Prom, I'm second from right.

Just me, AJ


  1. I worry about this, particularly with my son right now. I think maybe it has more to do with luck sometimes. Don't know. Thanks for your post.

  2. It kinda sucks that you don't figure all of this stuff out until your older, and it doesnt' matter as much. I love this post. Thanks for sharing it :)

  3. OMG. I have so much to say here.

    1. What do you mean you aren't popular in bloggyland? Look at how many followers you have!!

    2. Jason is in second grade and said there is already a popular crowd. Well, his words were "the group everyone wants to be friends with and a part of."

    3. It doesn't seem like you realized it, but you were indeed popular. You said so yourself. Everyone knew you and you were super involved. I know exactly what student you were, and I considered those people to be popular despite the clique they hung with.

    4. I think you have a natural ability to be liked and that speaks volumes.

  4. Even back in junior high, I hated the way that "popular" was defined in school- it didn't actually mean that someone had a lot of friends, but that you were in a certain group- and usually a group that others didn't even like. Made no sense to me.

    I was a GATE girl, too. And by high school, that meant that I was in almost all GATE classes and away from the rest of the school. So it made the whole popular thing not count for much.

  5. When I think back to high school I remember nothing but angst. But I was just like you, a smart kid who was involved. Funny, at my 30th reunion someone came up to me and remembered me as being a cheerleader (I was not...I was in marching band). I thought it interesting what one remembers.

  6. Such a great post AJ! I felt and still feel (about bloggyland) the same, so this just resonates with me. Recently, I have been trying to give up the desire to be popular (in bloggyland) and just enjoy my projects and the friendships I have made.

  7. Why was it so important to us? I can't believe the angst those years gave me over that kind of thing!

    I'm so glad you found your way!

  8. Ah, I blame 16 candles and breakfast club as well. :o)
    Now my girls love the movies. lol. I was never in that crowd either and I friended the 'special' kids too. Gosh, we would have been great buds in real life!

  9. Ahh high school.
    I remember.
    I was a BIGGER dork that you. for the record you were beautiful in high school, and still are.

    i was such a nerd.

    Hmmm...Good blog post coming in my mind. I'll see about perfecting it. :)

  10. Did u smoke pot???? I thought stoners smoked:O) Girl u are popular. I was once very mean to someone you know because I thought he wasn't popular. And he was one of my best friends. I was popular and wished I wasn't because you feel pressured to be mean to others. It was my choice to do some mean things that I still feel bad about. It wasn't until my jr year I realized I could just be myself and hang with who I wanted to not who I was told to!

  11. I think we all secretly long to be popular with everything we do...means we are doing it right....right?

  12. Oh my god, I think I had that same dress as your friend in the first picture. I wore it to homecoming junior year. So funny!

    Lots of yummy love,
    Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner

  13. I never thought that you were not popular in high school. I know that you had lots of great friends and that is what is important. I know I definitely was not part of the popular crowd but I had friends who liked me and that is what mattered.

    I am trying to teach this to my little ones right now. It is amazing how this popularity issues now starts in preschool and kindergarten. I think that it is important for our kids to know that it is better to be who you truly are(okay, even geeky) and have a great group of friends than to be popular and follow the crowd

  14. I guess maybe there's two kinds of popular:
    1) Those who everyone want to be
    2) Those who everyone want to be with

    You seem more like #2. and that is probably the one I'd want to be too.

  15. I can relate...on all accounts!


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