When I was in grade school I was the definition of a pushover. Whatever my friends wanted to do, I followed along (of course with some convictions). Because I was such a yes man, I found myself in many situations that are super cringey to look back on now.
I had a friend named Melissa who wanted to be the center of attention all of the time. She never really cared who she inconvenienced or who she hurt in the process of getting what she wanted. She perceived herself as an a-list celebrity and all of her friends were part of her entourage. Why I was friends with her for so long, I will never understand.
I had known Melissa since 4th grade. If my memory serves me correctly, she used to be pretty fun to hang out with. Then the summer of 6th grade she moved away and we lost contact until our junior or senior year of high school. During this point of my life, I was a loner and wanted more friends, but simply didn’t have the social skills to do so. This was when Melissa and I became friends again. I was overjoyed with the fact that I had someone “new” to hang out with.
I could go through the history of what our friendship was like, but that is a post for another day. Instead, I will reflect on the week of spring break, which was also her 17th or 18th birthday.
Her mother and step-dad wanted to take her to Florida to celebrate her birthday, but she absolutely refused. Florida was too popular for her taste and she would rather stay in the confines of her own home and have a sleepover with me. I of course went over to her house. Being an angsty teenager myself, I was actually looking forward to getting away from my house for the weekend.
When I arrived, we went down to her basement to hangout. That’s when we found out that due to the amount of rain we received that week (and that day) the basement had flooded and the water reached up to our knees. She wanted to try to clean things up before her rents got home, and asked me if I wanted to help water vac her basement. I wasn’t really wanting to, but I obliged. I thought it would be as simple as that, but knowing Melissa, it is never that simple.
She instead, wanted to invite these totes super cool college guys over (they were literally only a year older than us) to help. The kicker was, she wanted us to wear lingerie while they came over. I should add, she had a boyfriend at the time and I was talking to someone.
As I said before, I have/had my convictions, so I definitely didn’t want to wear lingerie to clean a basement OR wear it for strangers I’ve never met in my life. That didn’t stop her from wearing it though. She got all dolled up, while I wore a baggy t-shirt and some shorts. That’s when we heard her two dogs bark and a knock at the door. It was the college guys in shining armor. They all seemed friendly enough.
They were actually a big help in regards to the basement. With the effort all of us put in, we finished the entire basement within 1.5 hours. Afterwards, Melissa suggested we go upstairs to play truth or dare. I never was an exciting truth or dare player, so naturally I always picked truth. That’s when one of the guys (of the creepster variety) demanded I pick dare. I laughed it off and said “yeah, sure okay”. That’s when he told me to take off my bra. Because most girls have super powers, I took my bra off without having to remove other articles of my clothing. And for extra measure, I went inside the bathroom and locked the door behind me. As I left, I showed off my bra. That’s when he snatched it and deeply inhaled and said “this is exactly what I imagined an Asian girl to smell like”.
Thoroughly creeped out, I went back and sat on the other side of the room. To the other guys’ benefit, they weren’t as creepy as the one just mentioned. The rest of truth or dare was pretty uneventful until Melissa dared bra sniffer to give me a lap dance. Without hesitation, he gave me one. As you can imagine, it was a really uncomfortable situation for me.
The “party” was starting to die down, but one of the other guys jokingly commented on how short I was (he was incredibly tall) and lifted me up over his shoulder like it was nothing. It was in a playful manner so there were no malicious intentions. I remember he was so tall he almost (accidentally) slammed my head into the doorway. After that we were laughing and he put me down.
There was a third guy that was the “cutest” out of all of the guys. That’s who Melissa was paying most of her attention to, but once she saw me and tall guy laughing, she glared at me. I payed no attention to her and continued talking to the tall guy when out of the blue she pulled me aside and said, “I don’t appreciate you getting all of the attention. I’m not getting any and it’s making me jealous. It’s not fair at all”.
This was the first of many moments I would realize that she would never really appreciate or care about me as a friend. Although I can’t say I didn’t appreciate her honesty!
I decided to write about this incident today because I spent some time with my cousins over the weekend. They’re almost the age I was when this happened and they already seem to be much stronger mentally than I ever was. It’s really nice to see that not all youths have to be complete idiots like I was. Teenagers might not be so bad after all!