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Sunday, June 28, 2015

THE NEW KID - a cranky re-run

This cranky re-run is from June 2012

When I was growing up my family moved a lot.  No, we were not staying ahead of the bill collectors, my dad’s job required relocation about every four years.  In school, four years is about the time it takes to go from the “New Kid” to one of the gang.  I was always “The New Kid.”

The first thing that happens to the new kid in school is that all the losers want to be your friend.  When I say losers I mean kids that are different.  As an old man I have learned to appreciate people that are different.  In many ways I prefer people that are different.  As an eight year old or even a high school kid, hanging with kids that are different is poison.  You, the new kid, are immediately branded as “different.”  Different in school is a hard row to hoe.

Shedding the "different" image is not easy.  You are forced to be mean to the only kids that befriended you in the first few weeks of school.  This was a source of bullying when I was a kid; it is a source of bullying today.  The different kids try to befriend others and to shake the image of you yourself also being different you have to make it clear you do not associate with the different kids. 

At least you thought you had to.

I am sorry different kids.  I did not mean to be mean.  I wanted to fit in.  I didn’t want to be “The New Kid.”

To “Tubby” Thompson: You were not “Fat fat the water rat.”

To “Four Eyes” Susan Smith: I wear glasses now and I know they suck.

To “Sparkles” O’Malley: I secretly thought your braces were really cute.

To Erick “The Spaz” Goldblatt: You threw like a girl, now you are a dentist.  I guess I was wrong.

To Jane “Bazooka Jane” Jablonski:  What the hell was I thinking?

To all the kids I was mean to:  I’m Sorry; being “The New Kid” sucked, but eventually I would fit in.  You were different all through school.


  1. Ah Joeh, you missed out not being the new Girl. It was instant popularity just by being new, at least among the boys. It took a while for the girls to accept me and by then we moved again.

  2. Yes, Arkansas Patti is correct. The new girl was always Homecoming Queen.

    I was in the same school district K-12. It did help to make lifelong friends.

  3. This different kid made her own friends -- had to. And all is well, now.

  4. I remember always wanting to be friends with the new kids; they always seemed to gravitate to the popular kids of one I was not. My kids were often new kids since we moved around a lot during their school years. For some reason they seemed to navigate towards the different kids. Hmmmm


  5. I never moved so I didn't have to put up with this. I do remember the new kids though. Never paid them any mind. I should have but didn't.

    Have a fabulous day Cranky. ☺

  6. I was never the "new kid, but kids who are into art and poetry aren't treated much better.

  7. Kind of shows you the true nature of people, I guess. The "different" kids bend over backwards to accept the new kid and be nice. The popular kids are concerned with superficial appearances.

  8. I never moved either but I always gravitated toward the new kids. Maybe I was one of the "different" ones.

  9. It is nice to apologize even after such a long time.
    Too bad, different describes losers.

  10. I've always thought "different" meant "more interesting."

  11. We moved around a lot, but always within the same small town, so I got to stay at the same school, just had to learn different streets to ride to and from. Later, I married a soldier and we moved every 18-24 months, so the kids were always the new kids and at the time I thought they adjusted just fine, but when we settled and they had a chance to make more permanent friends, none of them were happy in school and left as soon as they could to get jobs instead.

  12. I was the new kid a few times too but I was happy to be with the 'different' kids (mostly). I was part of the popular crowd only once in my life through pure fluke (very small school) and it was the most stressful and horrible time in my school life. Keeping up with the popular kids sucks. And yes, makes you mean :(