Does anybody miss french braids, big bangs and braces?
It never really goes away does it? I mean the "feeling" of Junior High School. It was as if I was constantly questioning. Does anybody like me? Will they like me tomorrow? Will I still have a seat at the lunch table or have they voted me off the island because they traded up for a Student Council officer? (Does that give you any sense of how low I was on the social food chain?)
So, my little sister, Jill, is dragging me into the 21st Century by pestering me to set up a profile on Facebook. After dinner last night, I got on and started the process. It's relatively painless with the hardest part being wrenching a photo of Steve and I in Israel out of the scrapbook to scan and upload.
I began to be overwhelmed by this pervasive feeling of uneasiness. Trying to diagnose the source of this, I ran through my mental checklist. Stove turned off - check. Kids in bed, nobody vomiting yet - check. Steve on the couch and not halfway across the world as usual - check. Nothing I could think of would cause that amount of rising panic, until it hit me. Facebook is all about having friends, adding friends and communicating with friends. And at this point in my Facebook life I had NONE. Never mind that I just saved my profile 3 minutes ago. I really truly felt like I was back at Campbell Junior High School, the first one in my desk in math class because I had nobody to talk to in the halls. For a minute, I considered making my husband create a profile just so I could have one friend.
Lest you think I'm pathetic and more mentally unstable than usual, I did snap out of it pretty quickly. As a middle school teacher, I think it was a reminder of what my students go through every day. People ask me all the time why I teach Middle School and my stock answer is, "My sense of humor got stuck somewhere around the 7th grade, so I still think they're funny." While this is undeniably true (tell a fart joke if you'd like to test this theory), I think there's more to it than that. I think remembering middle school with more loathing than fondness gives me a fair amount of empathy for what goes on in the halls of Scott Johnson Middle School in McKinney, TX.
By the way, I woke up and found I already had ten friends on Facebook this morning. Never mind that Jill had sent them all messages suggesting they add me as a friend. At my age, a friend is a friend and you're lucky to have one, but blessed beyond words to have more.