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Tie Down Your Self Esteem

, , , | Learning | August 31, 2017

(In my senior year of high school, I am part of the delegation from my school which participates in the county-wide choir. Prior to the concert, the host school provides a nice meal for the participants. It’s a standing tradition in the choir that during this meal, the boys have an “ugly tie contest,” with the cheers of the onlookers deciding the winner. For reasons that were never adequately explained, I have “inherited” the role of judge from the person who did it last year. As the contest is proceeding, three of the boys from my own school suddenly come running in, two of the boys carrying the third on their shoulders. All I can see, as the crowd starts getting more and more frantic, is that the tie the third boy is wearing has little squares stuck to it. They finally set him down and one of the boys – with whom I’ve been friends since first grade – proudly announces what’s going on.)

Classmate: “It’s covered with pictures of [My Name]!”

(Sure enough, they have photocopied yearbooks from the last few years and plastered this tie with my school photos from eighth, ninth, tenth, and eleventh grades. All I can do is stare, speechless, as the tie covered in MY FACE is loudly declared the absolute ugliest tie in the contest. Later, my old friend realizes just how upset I am.)

Classmate: “It’s not because it was pictures of you, [My Name]. It’s because it was pictures of the judge. We cooked up the plan before it was announced that you were the judge.”

(I understood the logic and let it go, since I knew him well enough to know that this wasn’t done to hurt me. We’re still friends 20 years later. That said, the incident didn’t exactly do wonders for my self-esteem.)