Friday, September 16, 2016

confessions of the ugly friend


what I would give to travel back in time and tell my younger self that this is actually a thing.


the first time I came across this term was in patricia bright's youtube video. only a few minutes in, I knew exactly what she was talking about.


the ugly friend is the awkward sidekick of the popular girl, think: cheerleader stereotype. but my friend T wasn't superficial at all, she was effortlessly beautiful, which made it even painfuller to look in the mirror for me.

we met as early as primary school, but started out as seat neighbours (aka best friends) at age 12 - all through our teenage years before we broke off quite drastically just before my 19th birthday.

so there I was, on a daily basis, putting her on a pedestal and witnessing her admirers lifting her even higher - guys wanted to be with her, girls wanted to wallow in her light. so there I was, left in the shadows.. I lost my identity, I became "T plus one". whenever I did get a chance to meet potential friends, she made sure those new acquaintances knew they were unwanted.

my loyalty definitely got the best of me in those years, I would defend my friend to death. I was blind to her flaws, not realising her manipulative and self-centered behaviour. not only was I there for her, but also the shoulder to cry on for all the guys she hurt. straight out of a teen-movie.

so if someone out there recognizes him- or herself in this, please keep in mind:
you are your own person, do not compare yourself.
as with everything early on in life: it takes time & don't worry, you'll catch up eventually.

I found an old quote from the myspace-years, back in 2006ish, where I used the short & simple line to describe myself: never first choice, always first row. even though I remember the struggles, I always seem to have liked to put things into perspective and define my own priorities.

the gain: not once in my life have I narrowed myself down to my looks, or used those in an abusive way. while I focussed on my real qualities & character traits, it did take a long time to grow to love my body as it is [separate post here].

steering away from the wrong influences, however nostalgic they may be, will eventually lead you to your better self and dearer friends. maybe not right away, but soon enough. and they are worth the wait.

the happy end: T and I did stay in touch over the years, we had an emotional encounter at a reunion, where she confessed that she misses having a friend like me. 

2 comments:

  1. As I'm trying to relate with this I actually realize once again that I basically never had any real friends.
    Back at school I was bullied a lot and there were maybe one or two girls I occassionally played with but never anyone who I felt close to, anyone whom I could share my secrets with, who would understand me.
    Thinking about it, I don't even have such a friend now.

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    1. somehow, the quote from 'perks of being a wallflower' comes to mind: WE ACCEPT THE LOVE WE THINK WE DESERVE. it certainly doesn't get easier finding TRUE friends, not just acquaintances, as we get older. but I believe it's a give and take. let me know if you need anything, and we'll have talk over a cup of tea!

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