popularity has always been my bête noir; the one attribute i want more than any other and the one that proves the most elusive. there are days when i am content being just the way i am and there are those other days (i must digress here for a moment, for it is moments that i would like to address: when i say ‘day’ i don’t mean a whole day, for that is only a contrived marker of time, what should be indicated by the word ‘day’ is ‘moment-by-moment’ and that doesn’t mean i’m any more mercurial than the next person, but it does mean i am willing to admit it,) when i wonder at my inability to draw a crowd (other than those watching and waiting for the accident to occur, the “what a train wreck, i couldn’t turn away from it” kind of people who dog your life.)
being popular. as children, let’s say under 8, you don’t much think about popularity (your Q rating, as it were), you’re content to play with whoever is at hand…it seems pretty democratic, if i remember correctly. somewhere in fourth or fifth grade, you’ll begin to notice that some of your classmates attract more attention by their peers than you do (or not, you may have been one of the popular ones, for which this essay is moot. if you, like me, had a small circle of friends, the ‘B’ group were you grading them, you’d start to see a pattern; the handsome, pretty, not always particularly bright, but with a certain confidence that you just can’t deny is attractive, 9 and 10 years old start to separate from the rest of the class. it may be that they mature faster or start to understand the power of their charisma and how to wield it while you and your friends stand at the side, shoes untied, t-shirts untucked, sucker-punched by this turn of events. (the phrase, “turn of events” isn’t too trite, is it? see, another worry of the unpopular, neurotic about phrasing.)
i am not sure why i”m on this jag about popularity, the rose in the photo is named ‘princess diana’ and she struggled with popularity–more than likely she was a ‘B’ that found herself in with the ‘A’ crowd without the necessary decompression period, making the best of her sudden popularity only occasioned by the bends every now and then (that sinking, swirling feeling you have just before you faint.) or it may be that my expectations are greater than my ability. or it may be that today was a day i actually cared about being popular. there, that’s it.