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.