Willing to be Illuminated and Pierced

I hated prom nights. I was very glad I never had been to one in high school. Due to forgotten circumstances, our school decided to postpone such an activity in our batch alone. To justify my joy, I reasoned out it helped us save supposed-to-be-wasted-money…but the truth is, I wouldn’t have the chance to be lonely as a wallflower.

Much was my anxiety as a teenager. It’s so natural how I wanted attention and how I wished I was every boys’ talk of town. I was not a typical popular girl and had this secret jealously with the pretty and popular.  (I was quite childish, boyish, and a bit nerdy.) But perhaps, being an unattractive wallflower has its perks, too.

When I treated another friend to watch The Perks of a Wallflower, we expected it as a typical teen flick. But my reason for seeing film was Emma Watson. Appreciating her since those Harry Potter series, I expected her to break off from her bewitching character as  Hermione Granger. At this point, she surprised me on how she Americanized herself as a typical high schooler named Sam.

The film’s protagonist, Charlie, was a shy freshman who mingled with a group of seniors who helped him out breakout from his shell. He was utterly close to Sam and her stepbrother Patrick. These guys did not mind Charlie’s introvert character as they had him tag along their parties and school lunches (they were totally loud and fun-loving). Being older and more liberated, they were able to share to him their self-expression. In reciprocation, Charlie mingled well. But as their friendship progresses, they began to pour out and even share their inner frustrations and even pains.

As a light, realistic teen flick, it lightly dealt with difficult issues of teen sexuality and abuse. It’s more of a picture of how adolescence, despite of the promising hope of youthfulness, can be a painful can affect one’s mind and being. On the lighter side, these young people tried to live day by day by shoving off each other’s differences and try to turn away from the pains by living loud and free.

I loved the friendship that was built despite of their differences. In high school, factions and groups were made according to your kind. But not Charlie and his friends. Together, they explored the wonders and even the hardships of a teenager. Senior or freshmen, they go through the same realities.

Being a teenager is never easy. Being a wallflower shouldn’t be a big deal since dealing with the pains of adolescence is much harder. I guess, if Charlie had not been with these older people, he wouldn’t have dealt with his dark secret at all – even at the point of almost bringing him to insanity.

So, Charlie isn’t really alone. And I’m not alone, too. I guess a wallflower is really better since I’m no heart throb too focused on myself not realizing the joy of sharing adolescence with the oddest friends. Prom night or no prom night, unpopular wallflowers like me is no big deal at all. Differences will never be an issue as long as there are real friends who understand your difference. It is only fellow teenagers who can understand teenagers, despite of the misfits they do in life. They learn from one another and carry what they can as they age more.

If ever that prom night pushed through, I guess I’d have some of my fellow misfit friends stand with me on the wall. I don’t have to be popular to express myself, right? Charlie was not popular, yet was accepted because of friends who had some crazy fun and shared frustrations with him.

If I were the person now back then, perhaps I’d just dance crazy just like Patrick and Sam. Then towards the night, with some 90’s rock music, stand on the top of the pick-up truck and wave your arms like an eagle.

To be a wallflower, anyone? 🙂

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