Saturday, February 7, 2009

And She Was

I write this as my palms continue to grow clammy. Isn't that insane? I was on Facebook this morning and in the "People You May Know" box, there she was. Jodi Marshall Boyd. All I need now is Erin Murray and the unholy triumvirate is complete.

I've got a voice in my head that is saying - yelling, really - that it has been 25 years, why are your palms sweating, you idiot? I know exactly why. There is a quote from someone, I don't know whom, that says something like "People will not remember what you did, or what you said,but how you made them feel." That is exactly why my hands are clammy right now. Even though it has been 25 years, the way Jodi, Erin and (sometimes) Annie made me feel was pathetic.

Even more ironic, Annie just posted our 6th grade class picture on Facebook and here's the thing. I wasn't only NORMAL looking, I was kinda cute for a buck-toothed, pony-tailed 11 year old. I was not, in the least, the most homely kid in the class. (Second row from the back, third kid from the left with the red dress and the barrettes. That's me.) So it begs the question "why me?" Out of 30 kids in that 6th grade class, why was I the target? My guess is because a lot of these kids had been together since kindergarten and it was just plain fun to pick on the new girl.

I used to be thrilled to be invited to sleepovers, only to realize that I was only there to be the target of childhood pranks. It's like they invited the human pinata, who was so happy to be invited anywhere, that she just kept going.

My friend J. says that by growing into a decent human being, having a great family, etc., I actually got the last laugh. While I know on some level he is right, I'd still like to pants all three of these gals in front of a large, unfriendly crowd (which is pretty much what junior high felt like for me, thanks to them).

I am hoping this will be my last blog post about these three. I have talked about it pretty frequently, and I don't like to dwell on the past. It is funny to me that Jodi can still get this very real, visceral reaction from me. I have a feeling it is how an abused woman feels when she hears a male voice raised in her direction.

When Columbine happened, and for years afterward, the media was reporting stories about childhood bullying. Intelligent news people seemed supremely shocked that kids could be so horrid. But when you look at the limitless creativity generally found in kids, and couple that with hormones and burgeoning social status, truly heinous things start to happen. Every time I heard a new feature about bullies - girl bullies in particular, I laughed at the media's naivete.

You know why they are surprised? Their kids never got bullied. They were probably the ones doing the bullying.


Tammy Howard said...

There was an episode of Fantasy Island (because all the answers can be found in pop-culture, I swear) where Adrienne Barbeau plays a heavy woman whose fantasy is to get back at the kids who made fun of her in HS. Mr. Roarke (God Rest His Soul), of course, cautions her against it... but she moves forward. She becomes, for the course of her fantasy, slim and sexy. Her classmates arrive for the reunion and are happy to see her and are very nice to her. The boy who bullied her the hardest becomes attracted to her. Because she is now Adrienne Barbeau sans fat suit. When she humiliates him in front of the class, completing her revenge fantasy, no one laughs at him, they are just disappointed in her. Angry at her, even. Because they did to her what they did to her when they were kids and didn't know any better. What she did was calculated. And beneath an adult. Just sayin'. That's how things played out. For Adrienne Barbeau. On Fantasy Island. (couldn't find that episode for you on hulu - yes, I looked. Stop looking at me like that...)

smarmygal said...

I don't even want to get back at them. I guess what I really want is an apology, when it comes down to it.

I skipped lots of classes in college due to reruns of CHiPs, so I cannot judge you for mentioning Fantasy Island, a far better show to be sure.

Jenny Penny said...

You skipped classes for CHiPS? That's good stuff, and sounds way cooler than my skipping classes to watch Bevery Hills 90210. I have been thinking about this blog entry of yours since I read it yesterday. It's touching on one of those big themes of life that are hard to navigate -- forgiveness. And I really feel mad at those girls for you when I read about how they made you feel. So, if I feel mad at them for you, I can't quite imagine how it must make you feel. I guess I feel like they owe you an apology but wonder if they know you'd be receptive to one. Or would you be? Whatever the case, it's clear they left a mark. I hate that. But maybe it's one of the building blocks to the totally rockin' woman you are today...