Every Sunday “The Parents” make their weekly calls to all of us kids. Many times we will talk during the week, whether by text or a quick phone call, but every Sunday without fail they call. Of course, I am the only kid who answers every Sunday just like clock-work. This is of no importance other than to mention that perhaps I am “the good kid.” It’s okay, my siblings do not read this blog, so I am good!
Anyway, today The Parents and I had a nice little conversation of a memory from years long gone. It was my 14th birthday, and somehow The parents were able to pull off a pretty epic surprise birthday party. It all began with “Jen, can you take the trash in the kitchen to the garage for me?” I thought it was weird that I was handed a bag that was not even half full of trash, but whatever.
As soon as I opened the door that leads to the garage, I was greeted with countless “SURPRISE!” “HAPPY BIRTHDAY!” and familiar faces of my friends. Many of whom I am facebook friends with today. It was a great memory, one made even nicer with the fact that my grandfather was there as well.
Then, the conversation with The Parents kinda took a turn for the worse. It took a turn down a long dark corridor to a memory that I feel pretty much screwed me up, but everyone gets a good laugh at to this day. Everyone except me that is.
It was my sisters birthday. She was turning 12. Now, although my sister and I were never really close back then, I did not think anything of it. The Parents rented out this Rec Center type of venue, and my sister was able to invite her friends. It was a boy/girl party, there would be music and some light snacks. I was actually kind of excited to go. I mean my sister and I hung out with different crowds, but I figured I would be able to invite my friend, and we could just hang out and feel important chillin’ at the Rec Center where there would be dancing, and music, and who knows, maybe I could even meet new people.
You see, back then, my friends were only church friends. I had no friends at school. Zero. My sister had friends everywhere. Church, school, the local pool hall, you name it. So in my feeble little mind of a 14-year-old, I thought that maybe I could meet some local school people then maybe people would start to be nice to me because my sister was the popular one, and everyone wants to be friends with the popular girl. Or hopefully the popular girls’ sister. Follow so far?
Now, imagine my surprise when I found out I was not invited to my sister’s birthday party. I will pause so you can read that line again. Yes, you read it right, my sister did not want me at her birthday party and The Parents backed her up.
Oh, my feelings were hurt so bad. I cried, secretly in my room while listening to Skid Row. I questioned everything. “Does my sister hate me so bad that she did not want me at her birthday?” “Am I that much of an embarrassment?” “Maybe I am too fat?” (I mean this is the mind of an insecure 14-year-old girl) It was a tough one for me, and clearly still is being that I am blogging about it!
I never really got a satisfactory answer. My sister did not want me there so I was not there. Now that I am a mother of four, and my girls are just about the same age apart as my sister and I, I can tell you 100% for me as a parent, I would not do that. We are all a united team, and excluding anyone is not an option.
I do not fault my parents, I mean at the time it was not about me. It was about respecting the wishes of my sister, and I will say if they truly ever knew how much it hurt me, I think things would have ended differently. I do not fault my sister. She was a brat back then. It would be a few years later where I went through my “brat phase.”
It’s just interesting to me. A memory that when reminded takes me back to those dark places. Things were different then.
After the phone conversation with The Parents, and after giving them fair warning that I am totally writing a blog about “The Time I Was Blackballed” I called Christin.
Excitedly, I told her I FINALLY have a blog to write about. I give her a quick synopsis of everything you just read.
Christin: Wait, what? You were not invited?
Me: I was not invited!
Christin: Are you being serious?
Me: Yes, I am totally serious!
Christin: Wow….this explains so much.
And there ya go! It kinda does explain a lot, right?
Now, again, it is important for me that none of you two readers come away from this post feeling some kind of way. Whether you think I need to get over it, or not agreeing with my sister or The parents, I feel I need to say that I had a wonderful, magical childhood. This particular incident was maybe just an “off day” for everyone, or maybe no one has any regrets? Who knows?
However, how fun would it be if we can somehow get my Dad, who has his own Blog that he writes with his brother) to do a follow-up post? I think that would be pretty epic. He could title it “The Time I Blackballed My Daughter” or something along those lines. Soooo, Dad, if you are reading this, I think sometime in between your crazy schedule you should write a post! That would be fun!
Anyway, on a closing note, what I have learned over the years, we all just try to do the best we can. And sometimes we are spread thin, we can never make everyone happy. It’s not always an easy lesson to learn, but it is a life lesson.