Ok...here's my story of the week. Let me start by saying that Amelia Island is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I love the beaches, the parks, the activities for the kids, the Rec Center activities and the nature that is all around us. I have met such wonderful people here and have made some friends that I hope to know for la lifetime! All in all, while I miss home very much, this has been a positive experience for the whole family to live here and to get to know this area!
That being said. This island is small and there is quite the small town mentality that shines through from time to time. Most of it makes me laugh...some of makes me say "What?"...and still other parts of the small town life make me say, "Are you kidding?"
Today, I experienced an "Are you kidding?!" moment.
I am at the YMCA getting ready for Zumba class to start. A certain group of ladies live here on the island and they have - since the day they first laid eyes on me - let me know -that I do not belong here. These girls have a Jr. High mentality. New is bad, different is not accepted, and we will let you know that you are not welcome because of it.
Today, one of the "girls" is teaching zumba and the other is taking her class. I have been introduced to them both no less than 10 times a piece. And the story goes like this.....
They begin talking loudly about the week of rain that we have had and how hard it is to entertain the kids when they can't get outside. A few other "class waiters" chime in that they too are feeling the cabin fever. I say softly....something like, "I actually took all of my kids to the pool last night in the 60 degree weather just to get some of their energy out!"
At this point, some of the other"class waiters" say....Oh my...was it cold? And a few other laughs and nods of "I get it!" ONe lady actually said - Why didn't I think of that!!!.....And with the end of these comments to my statement.....girl one - the instructor....looks at Jr. High girl number two...and they roll their eyes....bring their heads together....actually whisper something...and they die laughing. They both proceed to look directly at me....then look again at each other...and truly die laughing again. I swear I am not exaggerating....it happened just like that!
So I just kind of stand there, head to the side....small wrinkle of question in the middle of my forehead. I wanted to walk away, but I was truly in awe of their rudeness and I just wondered beyond all wonder...what they were going to say or do next. I guess I stood there for a bit longer than what they were comfortable with because one of them - the instructor - stopped laughing very abruptly and looked at me and said, "Oh....what is your name again?"
Now let me remind you that i know her name, her last name, her kids names and ages and could pick out her husband in a crowd. We have kids on the same baseball team...kids in the same schools and we swim with them at the Y at least once a week. WE HAVE TRULY been introduced no less than 10 times in the past 9 months. ...
So I pause for a moment and I say, "oh...it's Ruth." And I smiled politely and just continued to look at her. Well her face proceeds to get bright red....she looks over at "Jr. High girl number two" (who by the way ...has her head down and does not even look up to rescue her dear friend.) and they says...."Oh...nice....um...nice to meet you....or...see you......I better hit the bathroom before class starts...." And she rushes out of the room.
Of course no one in the room knew my name, or that I had said the wrong one...or that I had made this girl feel uncomfortable. I mean...come on...she knew my name!! :) ha ha ha...but now...she knows....that I am on to the Jr. high moment....wait...maybe I am not an idiot!! ha ha ha
No one knew...that is....except one girl. Her name i will not share....but after class she walked up to me and said, Renee...."you truly made my day before class. Some one needs to stand up to those bitchy girls!! Thanks for doing it!"
I guess, from that, I now know that it is not just me that is their target. There are other people that they ignore at the park, and in the grocery store. They will only talk to me when they are alone....and then...you would think I was their best friend. But in their pack....they are mean.... ha ha ha ha
Yeah...and let me admit the worst part....while today I felt strong and on top of my game and was able to handle them with grace...there have been other days where this group of ladies has actually made me feel sad and unwelcome? What is up with that? I left the Jr. High....I graduated! But still.....sometimes it is easy to revisit those childhood hurt feelings when put face to face with people like this.
I know that they could have no reason to dislike me. Heck...even if there were something about me they didn't like...they don't know me well enough to know what it is! ha ha ha. So I write this for all of my girlfriends that have possibly been "here" before. In this place where even though we are mature, loving, good women....we can still have moments of Jr. High drama. Even though we didn't initiate it...it still happens!
There will always be people who won't be nice. Who can make us feel left out and less than great! And to that I say - let your feelings get hurt! For 10 min....and then remember who you are and what you stand for....and move the heck on and away!! And thank your lucky stars every day that you are not this kind of person!