I was recently made aware of the fact that, compared to my closest friends, I…kind of suck. The book/movie The DUFF is a Young Adult work that follows the main character’s realization that she is the Designated Ugly Fat Friend (DUFF) of her friend group – the one that lags behind and is just there to make the others look better. Of course, when I first read the book, I definitely thought the concept was total bullshit…up until a few months ago. See, my friends are both goddamn geniuses – in every sense. They’ve won awards in every extracurricular they’ve ever tried, pull As in advanced classes like it’s nothing and have social and love lives that are practically perfect. And they definitely don’t let this go to their heads – I’ve never seen them be anything but caring and kind and genuine to pretty much everyone we know. So, since you’ve probably got the idea that my friends are Disney princesses by now, let’s talk about me. A) I struggle in pretty much all my classes, and while a good grade for my friends is kind of guaranteed, pulling one for me is an uphill battle B) My social skills are pretty horrible C) My love life has been nonexistent for my entire life. Seriously, not even one date. D) I don’t excel at…anything. Not really. Most people are dancers or artists or piano players or writers but I’m just…me. Struggling through school, not really good at much, not really investing the time to become good at much.
After slowly coming to these four conclusions I realized that I sort of knew it all along, and so had everyone else. People would talk to my friends directly while casually acknowledging my existence, teachers would ask me about how my genius friends were doing and tell me how I could “learn from them”, boys would befriend me just to tell me a few weeks later that they really just want to get with one of my friends, and then when I tell them that I’m really not going to help my friend get with a douchebag, they never speak with me again. Everyone knew it all along, and, perhaps I had as well, but had never mustered the courage to face it.
So one night when I was feeling particularly pissed off about my situation and not in a mood to talk to my friends (this is probably going to get redundant and confusing if I keep saying “my friends”, so let’s call them Sandra and Lonnie), Lonnie started talking about her boy troubles and how it sucked that so many guys liked her, and, knowing her past history with those guys, I could sympathize a bit, but I mostly felt annoyed and bitter, emotions that weren’t hard for them to read through my short, one worded replies. They got me to spill, and after telling them how yeah, I was definitely that friend, they laughed at me. Told me I was perfect and amazing. Told me it was all in my head.
Maybe. But I needed to know, and I needed someone who would tell me straight up. So I asked an anonymous source outside our friend group what they thought, and they confirmed it –
“Yeah, you’re definitely the lagging friend – in academically and socially. Nothing is really wrong with you, but you aren’t spectacular at anything. But your friends are.”
So that was it – my suspicions were confirmed, and I was christened “not spectacular”. And honestly, as much as I want to be mad, I’m really not. I’m glad someone actually told me the truth. I’m glad that now, at least I know who I am and where I fall and why people (friends, teachers, boys) treat me the way they do – as an accessory to the real idols. I’ve accepted being “not spectacular” and I still love Lonnie and Sandra, and I know they love me too. But I hope I won’t be this way forever – I hope that I can make myself spectacular. I can’t control, really, what others think of me – which, right now, is somewhere along the lines of ugly, fat, useless, lagging, weird, according to the above anonymous source. But I can choose to let it not affect me and bring me down.
Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t like being known as the weird kid that no one really takes seriously, but if I let what they say affect me so much that I think that there’s no coming back from this, that I’ll always be that kid, then they win. And I don’t go down without a fight. This blog is about self betterment for the sake of myself, for the hope that I won’t be stuck in this position of inferiority for the rest of my life, that I’ll be able to see what I want and take it, that others will take my ideas and words seriously, and that, one day, I will be spectacular in my own way.