Life as Lou

Like, So Totally Popular

  • November 12, 2006 11:36 am

I never made homecoming court and I sure as hell wasn’t a cheerleader. I’ve never had the best fashion sense, and my hair, well, it is what it is. I wasn’t rich, and there were a lot of people who were popular who I looked at with a great deal of exasperation. I was more at home chatting with my teachers than my peers, and much more likely to be working at a part time job than attending a football game. I thought pep rallies were a huge waste of precious time. I was not the quintessential definition of popular, so it never occurred to me that I’d qualify until a few weeks before graduation.

It wasn’t until my senior prom, when I was standing in line waiting to show off my dress ( I wore a muumuu because I think most prom dresses are slutty and overpriced) when people who I had never seen before kept coming up to me and complimenting me on my dress and making small talk- small talk using my name and details about me. Small talk that revealed that these people totally knew who I was. I stood there in shock as it hit me, “I’m popular. How weird is this?”

Now, I had always been very involved. I was in show choir, choir, newspaper, drama, AP classes, church classes, lit club and more. I was well known, and generally liked and respected. I dated a nice guy, and I had good friends. Generally, I was nice to people. I guess I was a more visible member of my graduating class then your average student. It made sense that people could recognize me, but it didn’t fail to weird me out.

In the next few weeks I observed and discovered that people, particularly sophomore girls who I didn’t know were divided into two categories.

A) People who liked me and wanted to be my friend and could recall exactly what I’d written in my last newspaper column or the last solo I had in choir, or

B) people who knew all this stuff and hated me because I was dating Jake, who was, unbeknownst to me, the heartthrob of the sophomore class.

I found this information both creepy and hilarious. I can distinctly recall walking by a group of fifteen year old girls, loaded with angst and hatred glaring at me and muttering about how I was dating Jake, and how they despised me. Their immaturity struck me as incredibly funny because neither the guy I was dating or myself were in the least bit pretentious or preoccupied with the high school who’s who. We were far to busy dancing, rehearsing, studying or panicking about AP exams to even notice most of these younger students. It wasn’t snobbery, we were busy. We had better things to do. And so I laughed, and moved on.

I occasionally wonder what these people are doing now, and what they would think if they knew that this, like, so totally popular person spent her morning cleaning up after two adorable children who cracked eggs on the kitchen floor this morning, and then made mac ‘n cheese for lunch. I am still me. I am still busy, and I still fail to notice much outside my immediate circle of concerns. I know I haven’t lived up to the expectations of many who knew me back then. I didn’t grow up to have many educational accolades and a successful career. I grew up to do exactly what I wanted exactly when I wanted to do it, and I have no regrets. I am still me, popular or not. It boils down to the fact that everyone, at some point or another, has to learn to live with themselves, and other’s expectations have to take a backseat to what you need to be happy. It’s a lot easier to live with yourself if you like who you are, and I do. I have plenty of quirks and issues that prove both problematic and entertaining, but on a whole, I like me. Popularity has nothing to do with it.

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5 Comments

  1. Sanisi says:

    < ![CDATA[Oh, this is so sweet.

    Many people in my yeargroup knew who I was, but I was never 'popular.'

    I think I was too much of an artsy nerd. LOL!]]>

  2. Lawanda says:

    < ![CDATA[You are still popular, and with good reason ;) Talent being the first one that comes to mind. Talented people seem to draw others to themselves, I have noticed. :)

    I dont think I was ever really popular...I never paid any attn either. But I am dying to see your muumu prom dress girl!]]>

  3. roaringmommy says:

    I always felt like I was more popular with teachers than people my own age. Teachers loved me because I was so eager to please. Might as well have bought myself a t-shirt that said, “DORK”.

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