In my first year of high school regularly being told by my father, "Jenny is a nice girl, hang out more with her".
And, yes, Jenny was a nice girl.
She didn't hassle me for not shaving legs, like the other 'normal' girls.
She had the self restraint to not squeeze a huge blackhead on her chin, and had perfect skin when it went a week later.
She liked doing her homework on time, so she didn't have stress.
She was going to be a dentist or something useful.
She was confident and not hard work.
Jenny was nice girl, that's why she was my friend.
Then I made the mistake to take her home for a visit.
She was kind about the unfinished house I lived in, and the composting toilet, that I know made her squirm.
Dad thought she was wonderful, and told me so.
That's when I decided Jenny was not the friend for me.
I started doing things like having to solve my problem.
Like having a rat at school. Vermon scampered around in my school jumper. And would distract the class when he popped it's head out of the neck to be fed, and drink my spit.
I once took a knife to school and in english class I showed her in a slightly threatening way.
She told the teacher. She was worried for me.
Mrs Stokes, english teacher, harrier runner, a feminist I admired, who introduced me Margaret Atwood, she was disappointed in me. I realised, briefly and too late, that I might have gone too far.
She took me to the principle, and the knife was confiscated, the guidance counsellor was informed of my troubles.
Jenny distanced herself from me, and inevitably stopped being my friend.
We would pass awkwardly in the corridor between classes, we began being in different streams, as she excelled.
"Why aren't you friends with Jenny anymore?" dad asks, "she's so nice".
"She's stuck up", I retort.
"You always reject what's good for you", says dad
"why do you do that?"