Saturday, May 02, 2009

Team NYC (Rejected?)

When I was in 6th grade, I had an utter social rejection that I remember to this day.

We were in gym class preparing to play a basketball game. The gym teacher randomly chose two team captains and then told them to pick people for their teams.

One captain was someone I considered at the time to be a "loser kid." (Not particularly smart or popular or cute or athletic.) The other captain was someone who I thought was a friend of mine. (Not particularly smart, but popular and cute and athletic.)

In 6th grade, I had obnoxious and shallow ideas of who I considered to be "good" or not. At this time, I just assumed that my friend would choose me for the "popular team."

The "popular captain" chose someone. The "loser captain" chose someone. And then another round, and another, and I still wasn't chosen. I started getting nervous and started to act out, overtly gesturing at my "popular friend" both toward myself and toward others in our so-called group as to who he should pick. The captain was looking directly at me and saw what I was asking for, but then purposely, after whisperings with others on his team who had already been chosen AND (!) whisperings with the OTHER captain, picked anyone other than me.

At the end of all the choosing, I was one of the last people picked, and wound up on the so-called "loser team."

DELIBERATELY! WOW! That was some hard-core, cold 6th-grade psychological shit!

While the picking process was utterly humiliating for me, I did nonetheless play my ass off in the stupid ensuing basketball game. The "loser team," of which I was a part, lost by 2 points. But only 2 points. Would've been more, but I was trying like mad to show everyone what I could do despite being rejected, and personally scored a lot of points...

Now here I am, 30-odd years later in NYC... For much of my life I've been judgmental: "This is stupid, this isn't meaningful, this is ridiculous, this is plain and ugly." I've always been extremely quick to judge and comment on. If I left something, it was because I found it "unworthy."

Right now, though, NYC is on the cusp of rejecting ME, when what I want more than anything else is to stay here "on the team."

I feel like I'm back in 6th grade again, gesturing stupidly, saying "Pick me, pick me!" while the city intentionally looks elsewhere... I haven't wanted anything like this in a long time. I didn't "want" Austin. I didn't "want" working at Holt there. And now I DO desperately want to stay in NYC and get any job that allows me to stay here... I LIKE it here. (One thing I like is the non-idiocy---I was embarrassed as all shit at Texas governor Rick Perry recently blathering on about the state seceding from the Union. One, as if a Civil War hadn't already been fought about the issue. And, two, just try to get by without federal funding, you blowhard!)

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