Here it is in its entirety.
I received a list of questions for a recent on-line interview and was asked to pick five. One of the questions threw me for a loop. It asked if I was popular in high school.
Popular. What does that have to do with anything? Popular.
I stared at the question for a long time remembering my high school years. Back then, I was a little awkward, but not horribly so. I was honor roll smart but not valedictorian smart. I dated my share of guys but didn’t fall in love. I had a nice circle of friends, but popular? No. I wasn’t popular by any stretch of the imagination. I’m not sure what it requires to be popular. I didn’t know then, didn’t know when my kids were in high school even though some of them were, and I don’t really know now. Viewed from the outside popular people seem to have a list of characteristics that shouldn’t make them popular, but apparently does.
Clearly, I wasn’t looking at popularity correctly. Time to do some research.
So, naturally I did what everyone does when faced with one of life’s pressing questions—I consulted musical lyrics. (This is why I love Sondheim’s Into the Woods so much, but I digress.) Wicked has a very clever song on that deals with the question of popularity. In it, I learned that my aptitude wasn’t the problem. It is, I’m afraid, rather a perceptional issue. How the heck does a person change the way she’s viewed?
Elphaba required a change in hair style and clothing.
Clothing… Hmmm… I have no idea what type of clothing that might be the popular kind. Sporty, classy contemporary, dress casual (whatever that is), or the latest in tart-wear? Clearly I need help as much help today as I did back in high school, though there seemed to be fewer clothing options then. Does this mean jeans aren’t jeans?
But back to the song…
The list of challenges continued. Apparently, I also needed to hang with the very people I couldn’t hang with because I wasn’t what they were, namely, popular. I also needed to be “good at sports.” No luck there. I may have looked athletic at different times in my life, but trust me, appearances can be deceiving.
I think the key might be held in Glenda’s direction to follow her lead. Elphaba became popular because Glenda decided to befriend her and Glenda was popular.
To be popular, you need to be popular.
Sigh. Does anyone out there have greater insight they’d like to share?