Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sleepovers Are For The Cool Kids!

When I was in fifth grade, I, like many other kids, desperately wanted to fit in with the "cool kids".  There was this one girl, Liz, who personified coolness (about as much as one can at the ripe old age of ten), and she didn't even have to try.  She was the exotic new girl who had just moved in from the big city, and everyone wanted to be her friend.  Liz smiled all the time, she was trendy, and liked to paint her fingernails bright colors.  Boys didn't have cooties around her, and girls wanted to be her, and I was no exception.  Liz was that year's IT girl, and we all wanted to bask in her glory, if only for a moment.

So you can imagine my eleven-year-old delight (and before you ask, YES, I was super old for my grade because I am stupid my mother loved me too much to let me to go school on time with the other kids*) when I received an invitation to Liz's birthday party one lovely day in May.  The invitation was on white paper, with pink and blue ribbons pasted along the edges.  I thought my face was going to split in half I was smiling so hard.

*No, seriously.  When I was like five, and other kids were getting excited about starting school, my mom said to me, "Honey Bi, do you want to go to school this year?"  Being lazy even then, I squealed, "NO, MAMA, I WANT TO STAY HERE WITH YOOOOOUUUUU!"  And she said, "Okay!"  

Pretty sure five-year-olds shouldn't be making life-altering decisions like that.  Atta way to take control, Mom!

When I ran to my friends to smugly tell them of my invite to the party of the century, I was disheartened to see that not only did all of them get invitations, but so did almost everyone in our class!  My face fell as I realized that I wasn't the "chosen one" after all.  But, it could have been worse.  I could have not been invited at all!

I arrived at the party in my birthday finest, with my favorite green-striped shirt and a brand new pair of Girbaud jeans (ha! ha!  Remember those??!).  There were snacks, an air hockey table, and a slip-n-slide for those who had the forethought to bring their swimsuits.  Liz had just gone to Mexico, and she was all tanned and had her hair in braids.  My friends and I ran around with perpetual smiles on our faces, confident that our social standing was going to rise infinitely as a result of our presence at the event.  Seven o'clock rolled around, and I sadly got in my parents car to leave.

But when I looked out the window, I saw a girl in my class, Amy, arrive late to the party armed with a sleeping bag.  I wondered why she would have a sleeping bag when the party was over already?  (Yeah, I wasn't very bright.)  I furrowed my eyebrows, but had no choice but to leave with my impatient father whistling at me from his car.

Later, my friend called and told me that a select few girls were invited to spend the night at Liz's for her birthday.  It was supposed to be a secret.

I was devastated.  I cried for hours afterwards.  It was like someone dumped a bucket of water on my head and then slapped me in the face a few times for good measure.  I thought my social life was ruined, and that if Liz didn't like me enough to invite me to her birthday party, then I was going to become a sad, rotten old lady with nobody but my hoards of cats to keep me company.  I wanted to die before school started again on Monday, because I knew everyone was going to be whispering to each other behind their hands about how "pathetic" it was that I hadn't been invited to sleep over.

Why is this relevant, you ask?  Because yesterday, I had that same feeling, albeit a little more grown-up version.  Remember those endless blog posts about studying for the GRE, working on my graduate school application, and lamenting over their laziness in letting us know the outcome?  Here's a link in case you missed that one a couple days ago.  Well, yesterday that outcome was finally revealed.  And here it is:


It is never easy to be rejected.  To feel like your best just wasn't good enough, that you aren't one of the "cool kids", or the select few who deserve to catch a break.  It's easy for me to internalize this failure.  To blame it on my age, or my lack of credentials, or fixate on things I should have changed in my application.  Maybe if I had just re-read my personal statement one more time, or changed that thing that my brother told me to change, things would be different.

Sitting in my car yesterday post-graduate-school-rejection, I had to laugh out loud when R.E.M.'s "Everybody Hurts" came on the radio.  And, wouldn't you know it, I was stuck in traffic.  It seemed so perfect that that song would come on at the very moment when tears were welling up in my eyes and self-pity was settling in.  I chuckled to myself as I turned up the volume, and I wondered what the person in front of me was thinking about, and how many other people in the world were feeling the pangs of rejection from their chosen graduate school.

I won't pretend that I don't feel sad, or angry, or rejected.  It pains me to think of all the hours, effort, and money I spent on this graduate school endeavor, only to end up at back at square one (but with a rockin' new vocabulary!  Thanks, GRE!).  But after R.E.M.'s poignant reality check, wiping the tears from my face, and cracking open a beer in the middle of the day, I realized that everything was going to fine.

I may or may not have then proceeded to get drunk with two of my best lady friends and went to see Red Riding Hood, laughing all the while over how horrible it was.  Ahem.

Just as the eleven-year-old me finally realized, after hours of crying and Oscar-worthy theatrics, that I was just one of many girls who were not invited to the sleepover and we were all okay, so too did the twenty-eight-year-old me who spent the better part of yesterday feeling like an epic failure.  I still have wonderful friends, family, and new bloggy-friends (HELLZ YEAH!), not to mention the whole new world of Twitter that has finally been opened up to me (thanks, y'all!).  I have a home, a sense of humor, and an unemployment check, and that's all I need for right now.

Plus, I now know the meaning of the word "lilliputian", "temerarious", and "unguent", so I guess it's not all bad.  Perhaps I could participate in spelling bees for a living?

Thanks for sticking through this post to the end.  Back to regularly scheduled programming tomorrow!  ;)



Jess said...

Ohhh Bi, I want to smother you with a giant hug!!!!! I am so sorry! But I am so glad that you realize that you will be ok. If we lived any where near each other I would invite you over for a slumber party, just us cool jobless folk. :)
I am so glad you came to The Twitter by the way!
Huge Over the Internet Hugs!

Johnny Madrid aka Tim E. said...

So sorry to hear about you not being accepted. Ah, yes, that old kick in the back that faith gives you. I know that (I hate it when the radio plays songs that fit a bad moment). Don't worry though. You'll find a way to get back on your feet again. There is more than one way to get to your goal. GOOD LUCK!

beanditch said...

This reminds me of the day I got fired and as soon as I turned my car on, Avril Lavigne's My Happy Ending came on the radio. So much for my happy ending, indeed.

Sorry things didn't work out how you wanted. :( Sending big air hugs your way.

Coyote Rose said...

Let me just say that I feel your pain. I was rejected by all 6 of the PHD programs i applied to (also so did 3 of my friends), it motherfucking sucks.

Now let me tell you what everyone (college professors, admissions people, etc) told me. It's not you, its the school and the economy. The economy sucks so school are cutting back funding which means they can't take as many applicants for graduate school. I know that doesn't make you feel better right now (I spent most of march and april of 2010 crying) but in the long run it does make you feel better.

So I suggest many many tubs of Ben and Jerry's and getting laid to make you feel better now.

Melbourne on my mind said...

Ohhh, Bi. I'm so sorry. That sucks balls... :( And why does music sometimes feel the need to be sarcastic? Last year, the day after I found out the guy I really liked had a girlfriend, my iPod threw out Mika's "Big Girl" followed by Queen's "Somebody to Love" followed by "All By Myself". Thanks, iPod... *glares*

Sending internet hugs!

MeredithDuck said...

I'm so sorry! That sucks that they make you wait wait wait just to piss all over everything. stupid butt heads. If you want me to go beat some people up I gladly will. ;)

And I can't tell you how many times I sat in my bedroom as a teenager listening to that song over and over, *thinking* that I was making some sort of connection with the lyrics. I think you need to trade it out for something a little more upbeat. How about a little Don't Worry, Be Happy?

Cassie said...

First off, thanks for the awesome comment on my blog. I'm glad to finally have Friend Connect too, even though I look like a loser with so few followers. But you helped contribute to my looking less loserly! So you are wonderful.

Of course, I don't have the same excuse for failing to keep up with your blog. There's no reason not to, because I think we share some key characteristics in common. (OH, the birthday party horrors I experienced as a child.) But what the hell were these parents thinking?! Don't they know that you can't not invite all the girls and and that this would ultimately lead to traumatizing, life-altering moments in young girls' lives? JERKS.

Cassie said...

Also, sorry about the grad school thing. They're jerks, too. :(

Meri said...

UGH!!! After all that time? I"m sorry dear. What a load of crap. THey don't know what they are missing. I hope you're having fun at the show- I decided not to accompany the man to the other concert as I was worried I was having a heart attack/ panic attack earlier. Thought I better get some rest. So that's why I"m blogging at 1:30 am... to get sleep.

Good lord, I"m dumb sometimes.
Hopefully see you soon- Easter wknd?

"M" said...

Rejection does suck, but I tend to go with the "everything happens for a reason" philosophy. Maybe that particular program just wasn't for you. Bigger and better things are ahead, I'm sure.