I started being treated like an idiot in the seventh grade. I'd transferred out of a school where I was so nerdy and ostracized that a pair of "popular" twin boys took to leaving death threats on my parents' answering machine, and entered a school located all the way across town, where nobody had any idea who I was. I had a blank slate. Over the summer before I entered my new school, my bangs grew out, I shot up a couple of inches, the beginnings of breasts appeared, and I started to emerge from that tragic awkwardness that plagues middle-schoolers of the large-toothed sort.
Boys noticed. I noticed them noticing. I loved it.
I also spent a lot of time observing my new environment, and specifically the girls who seemed like they had a handle on it all; like they were important. I noticed that it wasn't cool to be smart, or to do well on tests, and so I started lying. I moaned over my grades when I was actually getting solid As; I asked for homework help that I didn't need; I giggled and pretended not to know what James was getting at when he and his friends came over to me in the cafeteria and he handed me a banana and told me they wanted to see me eat it.
I ate it.