I have stumbled into a parallel universe, one from which I had fled eons ago. The universe seems almost entirely the same as the one from which I came. Barack Obama is the POTUS. Our world did not end when the Mayan calendar did. Twinkies are back on shelves. But something is definitely amiss.
I was last in that universe going on 40 years ago. [Type 40 years and try not to choke on the big-ass catch in your throat.] Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, Virginia, was brand spankin’ new when it opened when I was in seventh grade. I arrived the next year, and found myself in a theatre class. [Do note the spelling of “theatre.”] I was supremely pissed at my mother for signing me up, mostly because theatre is what my sister did, and I wanted nothing to do with what she did.
I’ve written about the experiences before. Five years in that theatre, and I grew to love it once a most fabulous young teacher joined the staff my sophomore year. I’ve written about him before, too. I still write of him nowadays from time to time. He gave me away at my wedding. [While the marriage didn’t last, I don’t fault his involvement in the wedding.] [Damn side thoughts in brackets.] [No more for the rest of this post.]
The head of the department was seen as this brilliant man. I saw him as a prick. You know how high school football stars and cheerleaders look back and revel in the joy that was high school? Meanwhile, the poor schlubs they picked on remember the days without the haze of adoration. They remember the bad, what it felt like to be on the outside.
Until my friend came, I was involved in theatre, but I didn’t live and breathe it. Once he arrived, I threw myself into the shows. Having never been one of the prick’s favorites, I was never part of the inner circle. The good guy’s arrival changed that. Let’s hear it for the good guys everywhere.
One of my high school friends recently added me to a Facebook group which celebrates that Little Theatre at Lake Braddock. I clicked over to the group, and I read the adulation being heaped upon the prick by all of these long-ago girls who used to give the prick backrubs. You want to be in the inner circle? First, be a girl. Second, give the man backrubs.
I can still see the prick as I saw him when I was 13 or 14, watching similarly aged girls and older teen girls rubbing his back while he oooohed and aaaaaahed and pushed his back into their fondling and massaging. It creeped me out then. It creeps me out today.
But no one mentions that in the feel-good Facebook group. They just sing his praises. And I understand that a Facebook group isn’t the place to point out the whole ickiness of it all. I guess this blog is.
The one thought that keeps resonating in my head is this: these people have grown up and many have had children and quite a few of those children are likely girls. If their 13- or 15- or 17-year-old daughter came home and told them about giving backrubs to a 40-year-old man time and time again, would they find that perfectly acceptable?
As soon as I return to my own universe, I’m going to remove myself from that Facebook group in another universe. I will be eternally grateful to reside in this world I call my own.