Today, my inner 7th-grade girl came out to play. Or, more accurately, to be mean. No sense denying it. It happens to all of us from time to time.
In 7th grade, I got in a fist fight on the school playground with a girl named Cathy. It was eons ago, but I still remember the day vividly. My best friend's name was Paula. She hated Cathy. Therefore, I hated her, too. In my 7th-grade girl mind, it made perfect sense. Mr. Ostrander (God rest his soul) broke up the fight and took us both to the principal's office. It wasn't a shining moment in my junior high career.
Still, that's what best friends did for each other in 7th grade back in 1982.
You passed song lyrics back and forth in math class until you both had all the words to the Go-Go's We Got the Beat memorized and you both got stink eye from the teacher. You talked about the boys you had crushes on and swore each other to secrecy. You signed your notes AVBFF, which stood for "a very best friend forever". You giggled together as you used a big, black marker to put an X through the yearbook pictures of the kids you mutually disliked.
Flash forward to 2012 and I'm still holding a grudge. No, not against Cathy. Her and I were friends after spending a day of in-house suspension together and are still Facebook friends today, as are Paula and I.
My grudge is against my neighbor who went to the police instead of talking to us when my then 11-year-old son fell off a scooter into her boyfriend's truck. On the same day, she accused my kids of teasing her dog and threatened that he would bite them if he got loose. This all happened about a year and a half ago. We paid them $500 for a minor dent and scratch on the truck. They got rid of the dog, though I'm sure that had nothing to do with us. What really made the whole situation awful was the way she handled it. She was so incredibly rude and hurtful, especially about the dog, which my kids hadn't gone near.
I'm mostly over it. Honestly. It's in the past. I've moved on.
But, my inner 7th grader comes out when my other neighbors, people who are my friends, get friendly with said neighbor. That's against the code, right? OK, I know, it was the 7th grade code, but I still can't help it.
Today, when they mentioned her and how great she's doing with her new baby, I couldn't help but bring up the past incident, least they have forgotten this woman is not my friend. I criticized her for something else, too. Why? I was a 12 year old standing there on the playground, that's why.
I know these are grown women. They can be friends with who ever they choose. The mature, 42-year-old me knows that. I'm not much of a mean girl these days.
But, the 7th-grade girl that still lingers around from time to time, she is.
One thing I know for sure, if we were still in 7th grade, Paula and I would X said neighbor's picture out of our yearbooks without hesitation. Then, we'd make some ribbon barrettes while we talked about which boys were totally cute.