Wednesday, August 17

Jerks be jerks

When I was in eighth grade- after mono lightened me of baby fat but before I was introduced to the wonders of eyebrow waxing, and smack in the middle of two years of braces- I stood at my locker, equal parts transfixed and horrified at the scene in front of me.
The biggest jerk in junior high had just pantsed the most popular girl in junior high in front of, basically, everybody.
The Big Jerk was never this funny.

They broke up the night before, I later found out. The Popular Girl recovered more quickly than I would have, and slapped him full-on across his face. I think they got back together shortly thereafter.
The Big Jerk continued being jerky all the way through high school. I had exactly one class with him in the six years I went to school with The Big Jerk. The only time I ever had conversations with him were in our senior year AP World History class, and they went like this:
TBJ leaning forward in the desk behind me: "You know, my favorite {adult film} star's name is Savannah."
SB long since over the shock of such blatant ickiness, and long exhausted of the line: "So you've told me. Every day this entire semester."
TBJ leaning forward even further and whispering in what he surely thought was a seductive tone: "Do you want to be my favorite {adult film} star?"
SB weary for having to repeat herself daily, mustering up as much sarcasm as she possibly can: "No. Not particularly. But thanks for asking. Again. I'm incredibly charmed."

I wondered how many girls had fallen for his ridiculously bad attempts at... what? flattery? degradation? Was he trying to humiliate me or hit on me? Either way, I was immune to his particular brand of skeeve.
We graduated and went about our own lives, and I completely forgot about him.
During occasional fits of nostalgia with my girlfriends, his name only ever came up under the "Man, That Guy was a Jerk" category.



Ten years later, by some wild twist of fate, I was the one planning our reunion.
Since I was one of the few weirdos who actually enjoyed high school, I was (mostly) looking forward to seeing (most of) my former classmates, but I wasn't taking any chances. I armed myself with nerves of steel, brand-new invisibility glasses (should I need to disappear at any given moment-- a leftover reflex from junior high, which, by law, sucks for everybody), and the strongest shield available in my armory: my husband.

The reunion was a smashing success. I saw conversations between people I knew for certain had never spoken in high school. I saw two dudes who I once watched beat each other to pulp shake hands and introduce their wives. That one girl I could have sworn wanted to shank me back then? She gave me a bear hug. We're grown-ups now.
Most of us.

It was my self-appointed job to round up awesome door prizes to give away. Before I announced any of the prizes, The Big Jerk came up to me and threw his arm around my shoulders. "So, what's the biggest prize in there?" he slurred. When I told him, he asked, "Well, how much will it take for you to pull my name out of the bag? C'mon... I won't tell anybody. Just let me be the one to win it."


I have never been a cynical person. I believe the best about humanity in general, and people individually. But sometimes? 


Jerks be jerks, and they stay that way.




I'm just glad he didn't pants anybody.

.

3 comments:

  1. My 20th reunion is coming up and because so many of the people I know still behave this way? I'll be a Bloggy Boot Camp in Atlanta, raising a toast and hoping they have a good time. While I enjoy life with my real friends, who love me for me and aren't Judgy McJudgers.

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  2. Loved this post. I hate to be cynical and say that some people don't change after high school, too. And it's really unfortunate that the jerk is still The Jerk.

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