I didn't like high school, at all. Sure, I had a few friends. I had a few 'first loves'. I enjoyed the dances and had some memorable times. But I remember high school with a pit in my stomach. I was not part of the 'in crowd'. I was always much too opinionated and interested in justice to be 'cool'. Sure there were other people much further down on the totem pole. I prefer to think of my high school career as easily forgettable by others.
College was a better fit. I spent my time going to class and working. I never enjoyed partying. I was more interested in starting my life; beginning my career, getting married having children. I have been married for almost 6 years and I am content. I love being a mom. I have a great group of friends who are true friends. There is no pettiness or silliness over who gets to host playdates or who to invite to birthday parties. We just enjoy ourselves. Because quite frankly we are all too busy raising infants to be infantile.
I started getting involved in message boards after the twins died. It was a great source of comfort to me to know others had lost their children and survived. Then I started to chat with people about things instead of loss. I started to be interested in what was going on in their lives. Let's just say it was a gateway drug. I am now pretty invested in one message board - it used to be several, but I have started to wean myself.
But recently I realized I am in high school again. I'm not cool. That's okay. I don't want to be cool. The cool 'kids' exchange phone numbers, pictures of their kids, personal information about their children and even their sex life. Quite frankly I belong to the message board for a bit of grief support, somewhere to ask questions about how to handle certain behaviors, and to get advice on where to buy a good pair of girls jammies or a new chapter book. I make it my policy not to post pictures of my children or even their real names. The internet can be scary. People can pretend to be whoever they want, so I protect myself and my family online.
But the book Queen Bees and Wanna Bees comes to mind while I am on the message board. This book doesn't just apply to teen girls, but also adults. Which is why a grown up version of the book was written too. The queen bee decides what the code of conduct should be. And if it has been deemed that rules have been broken you are warned. My recent warnings include worrying someone needlessly about medical issues. Really?!
I have seen it time and again. When the rules are violated by the in-crowd it is okay or even overlooked. But when the floaters or outsiders don't play by the rules the queen bee or her court are quick to remind us of the rules. It can become quite vicious.
I just don't have time to keep track of who is friends with who and what I can say to which person. I am a stay-at-home mom to three small children. I have enough drama in my own life from my pre-teen four year old and tantrum throwing one year old. I don't need to get involved in fruitless banter of who said what to whom.
There are a few friends I have made and I will miss them. But it seems you can't have part of the friendship and camaraderie without getting stung by the bees.