Pick me

Remember those humiliating, embarrassing, hurtful moments in PE or recess where ‘teams’ were being selected? You’d stand there in your little white ked with, biting your nails and pretending to be aloof and cool even though you are quivering on the inside? Sweat would form even though the sport hadn’t started yet?
You knew you wouldn’t be picked first…those picks were for the popular kids. C’mon-every kid knows there place in the middle school pecking order. You didn’t expect second pick either…those were for the athletic kids. Third was a reach because there was that B-team popular kid or that non-starter-yet –on-a-team kid. But by the fourth pick when you weren’t pointed at indicating you were picked your mouth became dry, you felt an embarrassed flush start at your neck and it became harder and harder to look nonchalant. When the fifth picked passed you by the flush became warmer and warmer as it inched higher and higher on your face, you began rocking back and forth on wobbly legs and you began the silent chant ‘pickme!pickme!pickme!’ By pick six, though hate yourself for it, the chant ‘pickme!pickme!pickme’ becomes louder and louder until you are sure those around you can hear it. Tears form though you fight to hold them at bay. You look away as if you aren’t mortified to be picked last. The next pick come and goes leaving that hand in your mouth shaking, the tears welling so high you are sure they will spill over making the situation that much worse. It is time or the last pick. You see the captain look at his selected team as if to say, “Sorry guys…she’s all that’s left.” You shuffle your way to the group praying the earth would open and swallow you whole.
I’d thought I’d outgrown that feeling. I thought, in adulthood, you didn’t have to withstand such humiliation and agony.
I was wrong.  
In adulthood the ‘pickme!pickme!pickme!’ is louder and more desperate then the awkward girls standing in the playground waiting to be chosen. The shame is greater each time you aren’t picked. You second guess your life. What could I have done differently? Why wasn’t I good enough? What if I never get picked? Why does no one want me? Why…why….why?  
And you never get answers. The ‘teams’ are bigger. There are more options, more selections which makes being passed over harder and harder with each pick. As an adult you do cry. Hard. You try and find solace in wine. You lose sleep over not being wanted, not being picked.
You work harder. You try harder. You make yourself be more open. You try and find all the good in you there is to find so you and focus on the good, not the bad. But then another pick passes you by.  Other people are selected all around you.
It is all you hear in your head. It consumes you. The desire to be picked is all you think about. All you want. You pick about the pics. I can do {fill in the blank} better than that one. Hmph…what are they thinking! I am a better choice than that one. You want to shout out all the reasons why you should be picked. And you do but still….
Desperation kicks in. You cry, beg, get ugly, whine, cajole , entice, coax, persuade, wheedle, plead, beseech and implore; you appeal, weep, sob, bawl and wail. But the next pick comes and….
The voice becomes a whisper, a flutter because you a starting to realize you aren’t the one. You aren’t going to be picked. As an adult you don’t have to be selected. There is no coach overseeing the picking to be sure every kid makes the team. No one care if you do or if you don’t. When the dream team is picked they gather a hug of comraderies, they cheer and celebrate, they move away-never looking back-leaving you standing there, unpicked, unselected and unwanted.
Even as they walk away, together, as a team you stand there repeating this over and over in your mind in the false hope that if they would just turn around and see you they would realize they’d made a mistake. They would rush back, PICK YOU, and life would go on its merry way. And you would be happy.
You tell yourself you don’t care. You tell yourself your worth isn’t in someone ‘selecting you’. You are more than a pick. More than they see. You do your best to tell yourself that it’s their loss. You furiously wipe away your tears as if you can make them go away if you wipe fast enough. You look for other teams, teams where you belong, teams that WANT you. But your heart was set on one particular team. You wanted to wear their colors and anything else just seems second best… that’s what you tell yourself. Because it’s easier than admitting that you are terrified that no other team will want you either and that’s just more shame then you can bare. You make yourself smaller and smaller hoping you will become so small you just fade away and nobody notices you left behind, not picked.
At some point the ‘pickme!pickme!pickme!’ becomes a single, sad statement, “They didn’t pick me.”


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