When I moved away for college, I felt like it was my chance to break away from "the small town girl whose known these people her whole life" me and create a new, "anybody I want to be" me.
As is the college girl way, I used to hang out at frat houses. I've always been that girl with a ton of guy friends. It's like this...if I friend zone you, you're one of the girls...or I'm one of the guys? Either or, there's no nervousness there. If I am attracted to you, I become this bumbling idiot incapable of talking without stumbling on my words. So smooth, I am not.
Well one day we were sitting around the frat house and I'm observing the cute guys & having fun when we start talking about our good ol' high school days. You know, the ones that when you're in college, you don't yet look back on with wistful fondness like you do when you're fifteen years removed from it? Yep, those. So we're talking about our loser boyfriends/girlfriends that we dated way back when (all of two-something years ago at this point) and we started talking about what we looked like when we were in high school.
There was a lot of laughter and more than a little teasing as the stories came out of the Slim Shady era of the bleached hair, the neckties-as-belts craze, wide leg jeans, baby tees & tales of using brown eyeliner as lipstick. (Yes, it happened. Moving on.) We started talking about hairstyles. Aside from the Slim Shady hair, there were confessions of neon hair, super gelled spiked hair and recollections of highlights gone wrong. One of the guys asked me what I looked like in high school and I nonchalantly said that I was blonde.
My senior picture. Totally a dramatization:) via
Apparently this was an impossible thing to imagine. I, at this time, had gone back to my natural color, a deep dark brown. Honestly, I would have kept the blonde but it was just so hard to keep up with. Shouts of "pics or it didn't happen" rang out so I went back to my dorm and grabbed my high school scrapbook. I sat down, thinking it was no big deal because to me, it wasn't, and showed the group my senior photo. And then came this gem...
"You used to be hot!"
I wish that I was half the smartass then as I am now so I could have come back with something clever but no, I was still relatively innocent in the ways of smartassery so I just sat there, mouth open in shock. You USED to be hot. The phrase burned in my ears. It hurt my little feelings. I was taken aback, shocked at the rudeness. I wanted to say that that picture wasn't even two years old...how much could my appearance have changed?! No tattoos, no piercings; in my opinion, the only thing between me of the now and me from high school was a change in our hair color. We thought we looked cute both ways. Apparently we were wrong.
I stared at what could only be described as THE DUMBEST MAN ON EARTH as he tried, sputtering, to cover his ass. I sat there, amazed that someone would be that blunt. Something like "I think you looked really good with blonde hair." would have been more appropriate than taking away my hotness altogether!
What I apparently looked like in college. Not a dramatization;) via
A couple of months later, I had moved in with a great group of girls who lived right off campus. One of the girls had her high school best friend staying over for the weekend. Her boyfriend went to our school and was picking her up for a date. Lo and behold, when I opened the front door, there he was. The asshole. He looked as shocked as I felt, seeing him on my doorstep. He came in and sat down as his girlfriend yelled that she was not ready yet. I stared at him. He stared at me.
Then came his apology. He said that when he saw my graduation photo that I looked awesome, that the blonde hair made such a difference in the tone of my skin and how it made my eyes pop. He said he'd meant it as a sincere compliment but, as a dude, of course it came out wrong. He said he had honestly never meant to insult me and had meant to apologize but never had the chance since I had stopped going to the frat house and he never saw me on campus. We patched it up that night and I began to feel a little better about myself.
Fast forward to today. He and I are the best of friends. Seriously. I couldn't ask for a better guy friend. We even bring up that fateful sentence in jest to each other from time to time. He'll throw me "You used to be hot" and I'll swing back with "Well, you used to have hair!" (he's kinda balding...) I had to learn not to take things so seriously. I could have missed out on a lot of things by sitting in my room being butt-hurt about a rude comment. Yes, in life people can be assholes, but that doesn't mean everyone is one...