Middle School and All My Children 

The other day, while watching All My Children, something hit me.  All My Children is just like middle school.  For me, specifically 8th grade.  Does that sound funny to you?  It shouldn’t.  Think about it.  The drama, the friends, the boyfriends, the trading of the boyfriends. It’s all the same except the people on All My Children get paid and are a bit older.  I attended 8th grade for free and was only 14.   

I had best friends in 8th grade.  We were the closest of a larger circle of about eight friends.  Each of us three had a boyfriend and who’da thunk, they were best friends too! Imagine that!  We all did things together as couples on the weekends, something I’m certainly not letting my 8th grader do right now because I ‘know’ what we did!  The girls were close to the boys they weren’t dating, which made things even more comfortable.

Life was perfect.  

I had a particularly wonderful boyfriend who I’d actually dated since 7th grade.  We were tight.  One of my two best friends was new to our school in 8th grade, though my other best friend and I had met her before 7th grade was over so our friendship was sealed.  When 8th grade started she was quickly brought into the fold and started to date one of the other two male best friends.  To understand, we’ll call them couple number three, my boyfriend and I couple number one and the new best friend and her boyfriend are couple number two.   

It all worked out perfectly until couple number three started having problems.   Sadly, they broke up.  It started some kind of trend because shortly after that couple number two went splitsville.  There went our great weekends together.  My boyfriend and I were the only lasting couple, likely because we’d been dating for over a year.  And then it happened.   

The boy version of couple number one decided he liked the girl version of couple number two and I was ousted.  Think Kendall and Greenlee.  They started dating and though it was tragic, I sucked up and pretended it didn’t bother me.  She was my best friend and oddly, we were able to continue that friendship even though I secretly hated her.  Okay, maybe not hated, but I was very upset and jealous.  It simply hurt.   

I started to feel better though because shortly after that the boy of couple number three started paying more attention to me than usual and within what seemed like minutes, he’d separated ties from the girl of couple number three.  We became a couple.  Okay, okay.  I know it probably wasn’t the nicest thing to do but the girl of couple number two did it to me so I figured, what’s the big deal? I was still friends with her so I believed girl of couple number three could still be my friend.  Unfortunately it didn’t work that way.   At least temporarily, she was mad at me.   Battle lines were drawn and catfights ensued.  It was brutal.  

The others in our group chose sides and the other side started spewing their nasty middle school tempers in my direction.  My team retaliated and spewed even more nasty middle school stuff in their direction.  Gone were the days of sitting together at lunch.  No more weekends at the roller rink.  Middle school had officially become hell.  

No, I did not get thrown into a pool of water.  I didn’t get locked in any rooms or pushed down any stairs.  It was worse than that.  I had a great pair of white painters pants and the ‘bad girls’ told me I’d ‘leaked’ through and red was visible everywhere.  That was the longest walk to the bathroom I’ve ever had.  The funny thing was, as most women know, when you get your ‘monthly’ you know you’re getting your monthly.  I was too freaked to think on those terms.  Thankfully they were just trying to upset me and there was nothing to worry about.   

I’m sure my friends did similar things to the ‘other side’ but I honestly don’t remember what they were.  Really, I promise.  I do know that it was all blown out of proportion and eventually we all became friends again.  The boyfriend switching continued and eventually each of us three girls had dated each of the three boys, but we had our favorites and luckily they weren’t the same.  There were more catfights about other issues; more battle lines drawn over silly problems that now seem so unimportant.   

Middle school ended and we all went our separate ways, to separate high schools and oddly, none of us dated the guys from the original three again.  Maybe it was just something we did in middle school.   

Today, if I were single and had two single friends we would not switch boyfriends and still live to talk about it.  Ten years ago I ‘liked’ someone I’d met briefly and therefore I dragged my best friend along to a bar where he’d be.  She met his best friend and liked him but I ended up dating him and she dated the guy I initially liked.  There were a few rough spots but we survived.  Had we actually dated the ones we liked originally, I’m sure we’d have not switched because things like that really only happen in middle school or on a soap opera.   

It came to me as such a surprise that the writers of All My Children actually adapted the soap after middle school and its’ trials and tribulations.  The catfights; the drama; the friendships; the waking up with make up still on (but all over our face instead of still perfectly applied); the shopping…it’s all there.   I’m glad I’m out of middle school and you couldn’t get me to attend again even if a large sum of money was involved.  And I don’t need to…I’ve got All My Children.



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