Today's Prompt: A childhood friend...
I was not very girly growing up, but I wasn't really a tom boy either. At an age when girls were trying to keep up with the latest fashions, and trying on make up styles; I had zero interest. I can remember a girl in my sixth grade class telling me that I was "uncool," and she didn't understand why The New Kids On the Block didn't make my heart race. It was about that same time that a childhood friend stepped up, and told the other little brat, "I think she is one of the coolest people, in our class, and who cares if she hates most of the guys on the latest cover of Tiger Beat?"
This girl held her own, she wasn't the most popular girl in our class, and she just didn't care. She was cool in her own way. She was from a huge family, and their names all started with the same letter. She had nearly perfect grades, and they seemed to just come easy for her. We once had to give a report about President Richard Nixon, and she was the first to step up and wear a suit from her brother and quote "I am not a crook."
I was not shocked when she joined the cheer leading squad in junior high, and later in high school. She did not run with the "popular," girls but was just proud to be herself, and support her school. She was cool in ways I didn't know was possible. She and I never really hung out, once we were in high school, but she always stopped to say hello in the hallways. We graduated high school and went about our lives...and I couldn't tell you where she ended up.
About five years later, I went to Mass for Ash Wednesday, in the town were I grew up. I was sitting in the pew waiting for the service to start, when she turned to me and said "Well if it isn't the girl who hated the boys from Tiger Beat?" I didn't even realize she was in the same pew with me. She and I talked like no time had passed, and she turned to me and said "I want you to know, it took guts to be yourself in our one room per grade elementary school, and I always looked up to you." I sat there in shock and told her she was the one who was cool and didn't even know. She got a kick out that, and then told me that she just couldn't wait to get out of there as the girls were just horrible to one another. She gave me a hug as she left the church, and I haven't seen or heard from her since.
Did you have someone that stood up for you? Were you uncool, and just didn't care? At what point did you come to realize that fitting in really wasn't that big of a deal?