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Showing posts with label social. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social. Show all posts

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lessons From the Playground

Back in the early seventies, I was another dumb kid just trying to fit in when I learned a powerful lesson on how to treat people. As a reward for all of our hard work, the school took us on a field trip to one of the best playgrounds in the world–Six Flags.

Being middle schoolers, we radiated cool as we weaved from ride to ride with a large group of boys and girls. All was wonderful until the lead nasty girl huddled us in a group and whispered, "Let's ditch Dan."

Well, okay. Gee, I had no mind of my own, so if she says we're going to do this, I went along with it. At her signal, all of us darted away from poor Dan.

Next, she chose a second victim, and a third. The group continually grew smaller as we ditched one kid after another. Being that this nasty girl was my good friend, it never dawned on me that eventually I would be the one ditched. They ditched me.

Alone and terrified, I shook in the middle of that huge amusement park. Strangers surrounded me as I wandered up and down the paths looking for one, just one familiar face. Why had I gone along with the pack earlier? Why hadn't I had the courage to speak up and say, "Stop! This is wrong" or  "No! I'm not ditching anyone." I'd never even thought about how cruel our stunt was, and if I hadn't gotten ditched myself, maybe I never would have. So I'm glad they left me. And as for my nasty friend... that was the END of that friendship.

Okay, I confess, she is a current Facebook friend; so, do I paste a link to this post in a private message to her? After that day, she didn't seem to understand why I didn't want to be her friend anymore. Would she understand as an adult? Has she ever thought of Six Flags since or is my horrible memory a faded smudge on her bridge. I have found the ability to forgive her, but I will NEVER forget. It was too painful.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Writer's Post: Innocence & Middle School

When I was an innocent twelve year old, my big sister explained all those naughty words we weren't allowed to say but needed to know before entering middle school. When she came across the "F" word, she refused to define it because it was too naughty to talk about. Those with me in those early seventies, now know the bad word: "fifty."

Unfortunately, urban dictionary did not exist yet, and Bev's little vocabulary lesson was not nearly enough.

In the seventh grade, I had a crush on an eighth grade boy who I didn't know and still have never spoken to. Knowing he was Jewish, I needed to let him know that I was/am Jewish too. When we had a fifties day, I wore my earrings. A friend told me that the only people with pierced ears in the fifties were prostitutes. Here was my chance to let the boy of my dreams know I'm Jewish. I loudly said, and repeated multiple times, "I'm not a prostitute, I'm Jewish." Okay, prostitute sounds like protestant, and I didn't know what one was anyway so... oops.

Apparently, my classmates were not as innocent as me. They repeatedly mentioned a catch phrase of, "Sit on it" when at odds with each other. To add even more emphasis to the phrase, they would say, "Sit on it and rotate." Being super naive, I didn't know what this meant but said it anyway when my sister upset me. My mother held the dish soap under my nose and yelled about how she'd wash my mouth out with soap. Dirty? Did I say something dirty? Back in my middle school innocence, I didn't know that phrase was dirty. Oops.

Then came sleepover camp. Late night Truth or Dare with a crowd of boys and girls was the ultimate fun in middle school, until Ruthie asked me, "Are you a virgin?" Not knowing what a virgin was, I sure didn't want to admit to being one, so I said, "No."

Oh my. The faces around me turned white and mouths dropped open because who was not a virgin at age 13 in the seventies? Of course, I didn't know why I got their strong reaction to my answer. Ruthie explained to me that a virgin is someone who has never had sex.

Oh! A virgin! I thought you said, "Virgo." I'm a Sagittarius.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Our Wedding Hop

It's been a lot of months since my husband's friend entered into a second marriage, a year since our son's friend tied the knot, and another year before that, we had attended my nephew's wedding. Being the social outcasts that we are, people aren't banging down our doors to spend time with us. However, something odd happened on Memorial Day Week-end: two of our good friends' daughters got married on the same night, starting at the exact same time, and we successfully attended both weddings!

Knowing that one ceremony would be conducted in the most judicial of manners without much foofaraw, we attended that one first. The bridal party stepped about ten feet into a beautiful, plant filled room, and said your basic English vows--without the word obey. Somehow that important word for grooms has slipped out of the current vernacular. The groom said, "Ouch!" when his beloved slipped the ring on his finger, and she didn't even slap him. My husband thinks she hurt him with the ring, but I took it as him making fun of his new state of holy matrimony. According to Papa-In-Law it was a little of both. He'd burned his knuckle the other day but also has a great sense of humor.

After the vows were complete, we hopped in the convertible and drove a few blocks to the Botanical Garden where the 5:30 wedding had not even begun. We arrived in time to sample a few amazing appetizers, then watched men in black hats dance the groom to the bride so that he could lift her veil and make sure he was marrying the right sister. However, with the bride being a triplet, I have never been able to tell her from her sister anyway. Hopefully, he married the right gal.

The beautiful wedding included a long walk, maybe half a football field, through an outdoor area and Jewish customs such as the bride circling the groom seven times, chanting Hebrew verses, and a smash of a glass. The marriage was conducted by the groom's Orthodox Rabbi father who lives in Israel; however, the groom does not practice Judaism to the degree of his family.

After the vows were exchanged, we hopped back in the car and headed to the first wedding. We enjoyed visiting with a fun crowd and eating fried sweet potatoes; however, I didn't have any of the bacon-wrapped shrimp that I couldn't have gotten at the other wedding. The music was upbeat with Cee Lo, Sweet Home Alabama, and YMCA.  In fact, one dude walked around with an afro wig while the DJ had the folks on the dance floor wearing Village People Hats. The party was a lot of fun, but the other wedding would be serving dinner at 9:30, so we hopped back into the car and off we went.

We arrived to a New York band playing cultural music while people danced on two sides of a wall: men on one side and women on the other. The waiters served a wonderful trout dinner, and then the wall came down. The religious folks left the room while men and women danced together to rock hits. This was the compromise the groom had agreed upon with his family. Amazing!

Needless to say, we had a lot of fun and only missed two notable events: seeing our friend's weird solo dance and the second couple hoisted in the chairs to the tune of the Hora.

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