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bullies

For some reason today I kept getting this awful memory from elementary school. This bratty kid was harassing me... we'd been talking about mammals. He said you could tell a mammal because mammals breathe air. I told him that wasn't right. He was like, "THEY BREATHE AIR" and breathed heavily through his nose right up by my face so I could see that he was in fact breathing air.

"Well ducks breathe air," I said, "they're not mammals."

"Yes they are," he said.

"What?!" And then we got into this huge debate about whether ducks are mammals. He said they were, because they breathe air like us, I said they weren't. He got his friends on his side... "Tell her she's stupid, ducks are mammals!" and they did, and eventually I'm sure I cried, because they were wrong and I just knew it.

I just could never let stuff go as a kid, couldn't ever brush comments off. Mom said when boys picked on me, it's because they liked me, but I knew it wasn't true because I was a total dork. I was the girl with too many freckles, and my friends consisted of the girl with bifocals, the always sick heart-surgery patient, and the fat kid. When other kids tortured me I knew it was not some secret crush. In fact usually it was girls, they were usually much more honest about calling me ugly. Boys did little mean things that I didn't understand, like ganging up on me until I'd admit that a duck was a mammal. Girls always just made sure they were understood.

Honestly, if I could write a letter to my second-grade self, it would just say, "Your life will get better as soon as you learn how to say, 'fuck off'."

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Comments

( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
mrs_dragon
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:57 am (UTC)
Mom said when boys picked on me, it's because they liked me, but I knew it wasn't true because I was a total dork.

That has got to be the worst lie ever told to children. What? Because you want to teach them to tolerate abuse and hatred in the guise of "love". Way to set them up for emotionally abusive relationships!

I never understood all the drama of the other girls. I just wanted to be friends and they were the classic petty girls of the "What do you mean I look nice today? Don't I ALWAYS look nice?" variety? Manipulative and catty to the core. Ugh. So glad to be an adult where I have more freedom in choosing who I want to be around.
spacefem
Apr. 28th, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC)
you know I never thought about it that way, but THANK YOU, seriously! So what if he does like me? If he's an asshole, he's an asshole and I shouldn't have to put up with it!
mrs_dragon
Apr. 29th, 2010 02:45 am (UTC)
So what if he does like me? If he's an asshole, he's an asshole and I shouldn't have to put up with it!

Exactly! Glad to help. :)
litlebanana
Apr. 28th, 2010 03:12 am (UTC)
I wish I had learned how to say "fuck off"...
discoflamingo
Apr. 28th, 2010 04:32 am (UTC)
Seconded.
deana_in_texas
Apr. 28th, 2010 02:24 pm (UTC)
and Thirded.
spacefem
Apr. 28th, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC)
like, ever?
litlebanana
Apr. 28th, 2010 11:02 pm (UTC)
I don't think I've ever physically said the words "fuck off."
(Deleted comment)
wig
Apr. 28th, 2010 07:45 am (UTC)
I was the fat kid! I also got bullied (when I was, like, 6) because I was dressed in trousers, not skirts. I remember begging my mother to get me a skirt.
schmelf
Apr. 28th, 2010 12:42 pm (UTC)
Could you CC that letter to my second grade self?
feanelwa
Apr. 28th, 2010 06:08 pm (UTC)
I think my letter would say "play truant, you'll learn more and the toilets are better". There was even a 4ft wall between my school and the local library. How much more obvious can the solution be? Bah.
astrogeek01
Apr. 28th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
I wonder if I can teach my li'l girl to say "fuck off"... hmm. Probably will need to use other words or she'll get in trouble.
spacefem
Apr. 28th, 2010 09:58 pm (UTC)
you know, I've totally thought about that.

I support schools and teachers and education and rules, and if my kid does bad things in school I will support her punishment.

But something tells me if I get a call from the school along the lines of "kids were making fun of your daughter and she told them to fuck off" I'll feel a twinge of happy satisfaction.

Then, I'll have a sit-down talk with her. About how to not get caught.
mrs_dragon
Apr. 29th, 2010 02:44 am (UTC)
In middle school my hubby was tormented all year by another boy who was a jerkoff (and tormented other kids too). My hubby was in some form of karate and, despite what the instructors said about not really fighting, his parents had told him it full well was for self defense. So when he'd hit his limit, he told the kid to leave him alone or he'd hit him. The kid didn't leave him alone. My hubby hit him.

He was suspended. His parents took him out to dinner.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )

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