When I Was Young

Currently I’m reading “Best Friends Forever” by Jennifer Wiener and it’s got me thinking about my days in elementary school and how friends come and go. “Best Friends Forever” is about a woman named Adelaide Downs who has worked hard all her life to be liked. As a child she was overweight and kids at school never wanted anything to do with her. Then a mother and daughter move in across the street and Addie learns what it is like to have a friend. The book chronicles their friendship and the ups and downs that go with such intimate relationships.

So far I’ve only read about seven chapters, but already its got me thinking about my childhood and how I used to dread going to school as a child because I knew what was coming – non-stop name calling and the occasional eraser or elastic in the back of the head. Ever since I was two and a half years old I’ve had no hair. The doctors don’t really know why it fell out, but since a young age I’ve had to deal with the torment that goes along with being different. I remember wanting so badly to be a part of the “in-crowd” and almost wanting to cry when I was overlooked every day. It wasn’t until high school (I had lost my sight during the summer) that I actually learned what it was like to be welcome and a part of a group.

I had friends as a child, but not many stuck around long-term – either they’d move or we’d grow apart. I remember how hard it was at times to make friends and then hoped that they would not end up turning on me in the end because someone decided to befriend them from the “in-crowd”. I think the most heartbreaking friendship I lost, was when I was in grade 7 and had befriended a boy named DJ. DJ was new to the school and became my friend almost instantly. We’d get together after school to toboggan or just hang out at each other’s house almost every day. As our friendship grew, other kids began to tease him and I watched as he started to move away from me out of embarrassment. I actually liked this guy, he was the first guy I truly liked as a child and it was hard to see his behavior change towards me just because others didn’t see what was so worthwhile in being my friend. Even to this day I think about DJ and what great friends we could have been if he had just seen past all the comments made by others.

In high school everyone knew me and would offer help whenever they thought I needed it. I remember kids who had teased me during elementary school running over to be of assistance, only to be turned away because I didn’t want to be their “good deed for the day”. I would eat lunch with a group of kids each day and meet up with others during spares. Life in high school was so much different from the days I spent in elementary school, but still there were friends who came and went – the difference this time was that I often chose to part ways.

As you can see my childhood was quite the experience, but it only helped to make me the person I am today. I’m an independent-minded, caring and welcoming woman, but I’m also not one to let someone walk all over me. Reading “Best Friends Forever” has really gotten me thinking about my past and wondering what the future will bring.

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.” – Walter Winchell

What If

I am currently reading “Remember me?” by Sophie Kinsella and can’t stop wondering – what if this happened to me? This is the first book of hers that I’ve read, but she also wrote the popular book “confessions of A Shopaholic” which I think was recently made into a movie. From what I’ve read, her books tend to have a humorous tone to them and “Remember me?” doesn’t seem to deviate from this trend.

Lexi (the main character) wakes up in the hospital and doesn’t know where she is or what has happened. As far as she can remember, it’s 2004 and she had been out with friends clubbing and remembers falling down some stairs. When the doctors come in to speak with her, she learns that she’s been in a car accident and that it’s the year 2007 – which means she’s lost 3 years of her memory! The book is told in the first person and describes the turmoil she experiences while trying to piece together what she has lost.

I’ve read other books where peple have lost memories or been through traumatic experiences, but for some reason I find myself constantly thinking about this one. What would I do if I lost three years of my life? I know Huib would be by my side the whole time trying to help me through the process, but I also wonder – would I want him to have to deal with this? He’s just such a wonderful man and has never once complained about the things I ask his help with or about me not having a job. Would I want to put this additional burden on him?

I guess I’ll never know the answer unless I’m put into the situation, but this book has sure got me thinking…