(and every bit of pain)
Had an interesting time reliving a couple of memories today, with an...interesting person to relive these memories with. I could go on and on and on.
I realise I had a pretty eventful kindergarten and primary school childhood, and then a heck of an emotional roller coaster in secondary school. Kindergarten was an interesting period of discovery for me that I'm sure not many other kids got to experience. Social statuses and discrimination against anyone who was different, never overtly questioning The Leader, "that's not what clouds look like", eyeliner and making our own noodles, "single, double, triple, fourple...", afternoon naps where we never slept, getting a fish bone stuck in my throat, Street Fighters with the only guy friend I remember making there - his friendship was so much simpler than that of the girls. And a French best friend who left.
It was just that one girl, really, The Leader. She was really pretty and everyone followed her around and listened to what she said, which included Discriminating Against Those Who Were Different. The day she wasn't around everyone was mixing around with everyone else.
Now that I think of it, it was a prelude to the real world, society. Interesting, the experiences I got there. They don't all sound that good, but I wouldn't have traded any of the memories for the world. I remember how I played with Joan, a girl who was darker-skinned, and Rachel Ho who wore specs, until The Leader and everyone else came along and I was afraid they'd question me. I remember observing when the girls coloured a horrible picture of Joan on my autograph book in mockery (I still have the book), just taking it in, puzzled at discrimination. I remember lying on the ground with the class to watch the clouds and then draw their shapes out. (I drew a bunch of clouds that formed a girl's face; one of the Top Girls remarked disdainfully that that's not what clouds look like.) I remember playing with blocks with Lydia Metzger. And our class watching Rei En (was that her name?) as she bit into a sugarcane and her two front teeth came out.
I remember telling a boy that the straps on my dress were spaghetti straps. And he made some lame comment about it being edible; I laughed, flattered for some reason.
I'm grateful for all that, and for all the outings I don't remember (the teachers made us little photo albums and there are pictures of outings...and a sleepover in the school). I'm grateful for the insanely huge playground and the grass and the showers and the school production where I was a cymbal-clanging penguin. (WHAT HAPPENED TO MY PENGUIN COSTUME?!) It was a pretty amazing experience, now that I think of it. NUS Faculty Club Childcare Centre and all the memories it gave me.
Primary school was interesting, made interesting partly by the boy who was my playmate for the first two years, and my crush for the next four. (And my extremely multi-racial clique that I eventually got left out of in P5, before I found Rachel and Teressa and my JJ fandom that would last for years and years to come. And Yanhua.)
Bryson was a really shy guy when the classmates teased us; he'd start blushing, and then the teasing would only worsen. Somewhere along the way this other guy, Zhi Liang, and I had a little something going on (with our insane note-passing and his humour) and when others teased him about liking me he had no qualms about admitting it. And I remember thinking about Bryson and deciding that I wouldn't like a guy that was too shy to be able to admit he liked me. I decided, then, that when it came to something that mattered enough to a person, he had to have enough courage to admit it.
More interesting than anything, though, was the time I had with my childhood friends. It was a very different area of curiosity we delved into, one I don't think I've told anyone else about.
(and joker, one day I'll tell you everything, but I want to know too; besides it's long over)