[November, 1991] What Would Blossom Do?
Sunday, November 24, 1991
I’m not very happy. I just seem to be depressed a lot. Maybe it’s that the guys in my class hate me and tease me during science. Maybe it’s that I don’t have a boyfriend. Or something else. Sometimes I just can’t express my feelings. I’m afraid I am unable to try to figure out anymore or I’ll start sobbing. I’m overreacting. I’ll be okay soon. I know I’ll get out of this slump. I am by myself a lot, but that’s alright. Things have to get better, don’t they?
Dark days. Kids get picked on every day and you grow up and move past it but at the time it’s happening, it’s the worst. I thought Hunter would be a place where I could continue to assert my individuality, but by 8th grade, I was learning otherwise. Being heavier (I gained back the 10 pounds I lost over the summer) was one liability. My fashion sense was another. I found the generic clothes of my peers dull and spiritless, and looked to 90’s sitcom character Blossom as my style guru. Mayim Biyalik’s portrayal of quirky Blossom Russo was an inspiration to me because her ensembles were a reflection of her personality: colorful, offbeat, fun. And I’ll be honest, I loved that she wore lots of wacky hats.
My own foray into unique fashion did not go so well. I already had a preview of meanspirited adolescence in the second half of 7th grade, but it was nothing compared to this. Science was particularly brutal because our teacher was one of those laid back guys that let us run rampant, didn’t do much actual teaching, and turned a blind eye to classroom shenanigans. Which was great if you had friends to goof off with, but not great if you had no friends in that class and were the target of ridicule. There was name-calling, drawing hurtful caricatures of me on the blackboard, throwing things at me. At first I found it confusing, because I genuinely thought I looked cool and would be positively regarded for asserting my personality by dressing differently from the other kids (sample outfit: babydoll dress over biker shorts, purple velvet hat, fabric scarf). The other kids did not agree. Unfortunately for me, the other kids were mostly made up of boys, several of which I had a crush on.
I did have a few friends in the 8th grade, but felt increasingly isolated, and being teased wasn’t something I talked to them about. I let that shame, sadness, rejection, and frustration slowly pull me down and erode my self-esteem. It was one thing not to be popular, but to be this unpopular was a shock to me.