Sunday, December 9, 2012
Apparently, waiters have the inability to tell customers apart using just the table numbers they are sitting at. They can't remember that the #2 with no onions goes to table 8. No. They have to associate each table with an image or description so they can easily remember where they are supposed to deliver the drinks, food and eventually, the check. I can understand putting "guy in Yankees hat" or "woman with screaming kid" even on the check. But "Fat Girls"... Really? First off, you have set yourself up for a huge problem there because a majority of people in this country are, well, fat. By labeling one table's patrons as "fat girls" you could easily mistake their orders for the obese woman at table 4 or the tubby twins at table 12. According to the CDC, more than 1/3 of Americans are obese. So Joe Waiter- where do you deliver the chili con queso nachos now, huh?
Moving past the fact that it is beyond rude to even refer to a group of women as "fat girls" whether it be their size or the combination of their size and their order, the sheer audacity of printing it on the receipt boggles my mind. If you're dumb enough to need shorthand to remember your tables then you obviously increase that level of stupidity by failing to delete the said shorthand and deliver an insult-free receipt. Apparently, the connection between service and tip, and the fact that they are NOT mutually exclusive, slipped this genius's mind.
The headline and story that followed it got me thinking though. What has been written on my receipts in the past? I'm sure "girl with annoying laugh" and "girl who drinks too much Diet Coke" are at the top of the list. Coming in close though would probably be "Girl with food on her shirt" since I rarely make it more than 1.5 minutes in a Mexican place before there's cheese dip in my hair and/or front of my shirt. And on those days when I decide to "be bad" and order off the "naughty" part of the menu (i.e.- anything not under the soups and salads section), do they put "Loud, fat ass brunette" at the top of my ticket?
Yesterday, I was eating at Cracker Barrel. Yes, the place where vegetables include macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes and cinnamon apples. It's a beautiful land of happiness and annoying table peg games. Our waiter was pleasant and kept refilling my ever emptying glass of Diet Coke. He brought my breakfast which was ordered off the healthy side of the menu. The "healthy breakfast sampler." Did I want to order yogurt, dry eggs, turkey sausage and a bran muffin? No. I wanted french toast slathered in syrup, butter and sugary glaze. But my ass can't eat that because, well, it goes straight to it. So I swallowed my pride and ordered the healthy menu choice. And the person sitting across from me got the french toast so I just made sure my fork reached across to his plate just fine.
While we ate, there were empty plates all over the table. Portions of the meal were finished but not the plate directly in front of me. I had been reaching over and "tasting" the french toast but I still had some bran muffin on my plate to finish up and I was enjoying it (as much as one can enjoy a bran muffin). Then, out of nowhere, Mr. Waiter swoops in and takes my plate. He didn't ask if I was finished. He didn't stop to take any of the empty ones. He, without any questions, picked up my plate- with my fork in hand- and swiped it from the table saying, "I'll take this." Before I could even utter a word, he was gone. GONE! It was a drive-by muffin mugging. I was in shock. I didn't know what to say. And he was not even around to hear me utter a word. I wanted that muffin. I needed that muffin. I was pissed.
Did he make the decision himself that I had had enough to eat? Did he determine that my "taste testing" of the french toast meant it was time for me to stop noshing? I may never know. But I am pretty sure that if he could have put "fat ass" on the ticket he would have. And frankly, he could have amended it to "fat ass/bad tipper" when I walked away.
Fat girls will always be considered fat girls. We don't need it on a food receipt to remind us or to state the obvious. If you lack the mental capacity to remember where your table tops are and where food goes, then you're the one who should make some judgments in the mirror next time. My judgement stops with your tip. And a handwritten "I'm fat and fabulous. And your tip? It's in my wallet... I'm spending it on dessert" would be more than enough satisfaction for me.
Friday, September 28, 2012
What brings about this resurgence of the bully-theory, you ask? (Or maybe you didn't ask but I'm answering the question anyway...) In the past month, without any provocation on my end, I have, at the ripe old age of 28 been picked on. And, as is the trend for most of my life, the insult on hand? My weight. Were these children poking fun at me and making comments out of pure innocence of not knowing why God creates different body types? Unfortunately no. In those situations, I simply tell the child the whole story as to how God created me and made me perfect in his eyes and then I passively refuse to let them have dessert. Adults on the other hand... There's not much you can say to them except look on in sheer disbelief and wonder what is so wrong in their life that they would use you as their own personal form of entertainment.
The first incident came while I was sprinting in the parking lot of my apartment complex. A man in the building next to mine (who we shall refer to as Bubba because the sleeveless shirt and can of beer really helps with the image) decided to yell out to me after my set of sprints were finished. Did he ask me if I needed water? No. Did he ask if I needed an inhaler? No. He made me take my headphones out to simply hear him say, "You book it for a big girl." To which my inner Christina Aguilera came out and I shouted back, "And you talk real big to compensate for smaller things, huh?" What was the point of that comment? What was the point of intentionally calling me out while I huffed and puffed to GET in shape while he chugged a Budweiser (notice the "light" was left off there)? Well Mr. Owl... the world may never know.
The second incident came the other day downtown on Broadway where I was standing outside of the ice cream shop holding both my cone and another's cone while they were in the bathroom inside. Was I double-fisting? No, because I am trying to gain self-control and not eat other people's food. Apparently that's frowned upon in today's society. But a man, who I did not know, had no intention of speaking to or even previously made eye contact with walked up to me, looked me up and down, pointed to the ice cream and said, "Do you really need both of those? Fat ass." I could have thrown my ice cream at him but I wouldn't want to waste a perfectly good sugar concoction. So I just yelled an expletive (sorry Momma) up the sidewalk to him as he walked away reveling in his insult and patting his sorry self on the back.
Folks... when you leave the plastic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle lunch boxes behind, start driving a car, pay rent, lose the acne, and have your braces removed there's one little thing you need to throw in there as well: Shut the hell up. If a damn bunny can understand the simple saying, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say it at all"- I'm pretty sure a grown man can comprehend the same thing. I know that they weren't saying those things "because they liked me" or "they wanted my attention." They truly and without a doubt suck at life. What I don't understand is how in today's society adults still find it necessary to act in such a way. What satisfaction is gained from calling a complete stranger a "fat ass." You know nothing about them. And you certainly don't have the right to come anywhere near my ice cream cone or make me turn my ipod off to hear your remarks.
I believe that men (and women) who insult complete strangers do so because their life is so incredible sad that the only enjoyment they get is through the pain of others. But there is something that I have learned after years and years of bullying: Sticks and stones my break my bones, but I can still pick them up and beat the hell out of you with them. The Lord knows I'm not perfect. But I would never go up to another person and deliberately insult them. Would I have tried to steal the other ice cream cone? Yes, yes I would have. But I would have called myself a "fat ass" and ran away with the cone.
So to all the assclowns out there that have something to say to me about my waistline or the number on a scale I say to you this: If that's what makes you happy then you need to find a new hobby. I'd say move onto someone else and make fun of them but that just continues the cycle. If you're eternally a middle school kid taunting the ugly ducklings, that's your problem not mine. I'm fat and fabulous... and I do book it for a big girl, Bubba. And damn it Broadway Bully... I could eat two ice cream cones if I wanted to without blinking an eye. You should have stuck around to watch. But you didn't have it in you, did ya?
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
|Yes, this is absolutely practical for a day at the office or a first date.|
I recently read an article entitled: "Pills, Injections, and Plain Starvation: The Dangerous Extremes Models Go To For Fashion Week Runways." To even be considered a candidate to model in today's industry you must be at least 5'8", 100 pounds (or less) and no larger than a size 0. Well, let me just say as a 5'3", plus size brunette rocking the double digit pant size: more power to ya girls. While I endure the dreaded weight loss battle with such weapons as the dreadmill and Jillian Michaels' threats, models have found the secret to success. According to one model, Kira Dikhtya, "Packs of cigarettes, daily colonics, laxatives, Phentermine diet pills, Adderal, Rx drugs that suppress the appetite, cocaine, speed, thyroid injections, and a strict 500 calorie diet" are the norm. And here I was thinking that SlimFast shakes were a bit extreme. While crack and speed sound like really healthy options to drop the weight, some women have resorted to eating cotton balls to fill their grumbling tummies. I'm just wondering what the caloric value of a cotton ball is and if it contains any carbs. Models also have to pee on a ketosis stick to make sure they aren't consuming any carbs. The only time my fat ass is peeing on a stick is when I think my tummy is grumbling not because it wants more cotton balls (yum-o!) but because there is something growing inside there.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
So what's the point of this entry you may ask (well, truth be told you ask that every time you read this blog)... to verbally slap the doctor and the parents involved in this situation. They won't read this, obviously, but at least I'm attempting to make my point. And I'd also like to throw in a slap for all the Facebook commenters who supported her surgery and compared it to "parents allowing their children to get braces."
Well... now it's personal kids.
My parents knew what was happening in the classroom and on the bus. They knew I was heartbroken and miserable as the girl who everyone picked on. But they decided one thing: She will get through this. We will provide her the love and support she needs at home and one day she will overcome this horror. It will require years of therapy but we'll get her there. I love them but they could have done without the matching outfits and they could have refrained from putting me on the soccer team. (To this day a piece of me dies on the inside when I see Grimace on tv). They never offered me the option of plastic surgery even when the acne on my face could easily have been confused with a large pepperoni pizza outside the box. They paid for orthodontics because otherwise I would have been forced to graze in a meadow in order to eat.
Change the bullies... don't change your kids. Let them grow into who they are going to be. Don't let them get to the level of despair where they can't see a way out (obviously I'm not advocating ignorance here) but a $40,000 surgery on a 14 year old? Epic parenting and physician fail. But please promise me that if your 300 pound 16 year old tells you she wants to cut off all her hair... intervene. Nothing good comes from that.
Everyone will grow up to be who they are supposed to be and look like they are supposed to look. And the bullies? They'll grow up to be miserable, jobless, wash-up, has-been's that revel in the years they "peaked" in coolness- on the playground in 4th grade and on the junior high football team. The bullied kid will look at them all and say... "how do you like me now?"
|And then your child, seen here with bacon, turns into a vegetarian.|
|Crimping your hair? Everyone else was doing it.|
|Thank you Timothy Patchowski for the short bob. And yeah, I rock the one piece jumper.|
|It took me days to pick out this outfit. Awkward 13 year old? Says who...|
|Really... an intervention would have been appreciated here.|
And by the way... I remember who you were that picked on me. I will never forget your names or your faces. And I will always think fondly of you as I look back at my youth. You're usually being hit by a bus when these fond memories arise, but I still thank you for making me the person I am today. And for teaching me that people truly can suck at life- they're called bullies.
Sunday, July 29, 2012
I'm a simple girl, looking for a simple guy. I don't want a lot of drama. I don't want someone who gets a manicure or carries a man purse. I also don't want someone who is missing most of their teeth and thinks a trip to the Piggly Wiggly for pickled pig hooves is a date. I want someone who loves country music, long drives through the country, has an education, enjoys baseball, is Irish, has a southern accent, perhaps has a Ronald Reagan photo framed in his office, and believes World War II documentaries are fabulous entertainment as well as Monster's Inc.. See, that's not too much to ask for right? I'm not picky. My friend argues the contrary though. She says, "Kristen, if they don't like country music it's not that big of a deal." Really? In comparison, given my job and my passion, that is the equivalent of an emergency room doctor dating someone who doesn't believe in modern medicine. Just saying.
So I find someone to go on my first date with. We will call him Michael. Why? Because that's his real name. Why else? So because I'm looking for a southern country boy I decide to go on a date with an Italian guy from Brooklyn. Makes sense, right? He seemed like a decent guy. The New York thing threw me for a loop but perhaps we are creatures of habit and we go where we feel most comfortable. Perhaps I resorted back to "little Kristen" and wanted a little New York back in my life. Unfortunately, I think my mind was looking for pizza and cannellonis, not an Italian Brooklyn guy.
Our first date was at a frozen yogurt place in the afternoon. My favorite place too. They have a lot of flavors and a toppings bar that will make you physically have to wipe up drool. Do you want Cinnamon Toast Crunch on your cake batter yogurt with a side of cheesecake chunks and sprinkles with a swirl (or six) or whipped cream? You do. Well, then we've got something in common. But this visit to the happy fro-yo paradise was different. My "date" went straight for the vanilla lever- never once taking the time to look at the other flavors in the beautiful dispensers. And then, much to my horror, he walked right past the toppings bar. He didn't even blink.
Now, let me say this once and for all. I skipped breakfast for that damn toppings bar. I was ready for my "Kristen Concoction." I politely asked, "Did you see all these toppings here? Are you going to just have it plain [you psycho mutant freak]?" He responded, "Have you ever just had yogurt without messing it up with toppings and extra calories?" WHAT?!? Have I WHAT?!? You don't simply "mess yogurt up" with toppings. You make something beautiful. You make a masterpiece. You make something that warms your heart and reminds you that God actually does exist. I knew if I put my toppings inside my bowl he would find the nearest "Over-Eaters Anonymous" meeting for me and our date would be over. So I threw one strawberry in the bowl, and whispered to the other toppings that I loved them, it was nothing personal and I would be back for them later. I then went up to the counter where Sargent Vanilla was paying for our order (perhaps with a pout).
I should have walked away then. I should have just seen that the guy had gotten a bowl of plain vanilla frozen yogurt and was satisfied. What did that say about him exactly? What did that say about the guy I had chosen to go on a date with? Frankly, no New Yorker in general would pass up a freakin' sprinkle, so who is this guy and what does he want with me? I started to worry a little bit. He was shifty obviously and without a doubt, I could not trust him. I don't trust people who don't believe in sugar.
My fear of being murdered on a first date goes back many, many years. That's why I always leave a note for the cops to find should I disappear. I leave some of my hair for DNA. I had impressions made of my teeth for dental identification. And I leave a little extra cat food out just in case. As I sat across the table listening to a man go on and on about his love for break dancing (yep, I know how to pick them), I started thinking about that note on the counter. Did I describe my outfit enough? Should I bite this guy's arm so that my teeth impressions are there? Should I pull out pieces of my hair and throw them on him so that my DNA is there too? The moral of the story is simple: if a man can pass up a toppings bar, he can't be trusted and is capable of anything. I've watched "Dates From Hell." This was one of them. When the date was over and I had practically lied about everything I did for living, where I lived, and who I am in general, I walked to my car knowing I had dodged a bullet (or some other form of an untimely death at the hands of Mr. No-Toppings).
So, as if my list of "must haves" for a man isn't long enough, let's add: Must Love Sugar. Any man that does not, in my opinion, is twisted and capable of just about anything. If they can pass up Fruity Pebbles on Cake Batter ice cream, they can make your skin into a suit. I'm just throwing that out there.
Bring on contestant Number 2 please. And he better have a freaking cavity... or two.
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
|The girl on your left? FAT. The girl on your right? FAT.|
Why yes kids, this is the same Upton that was on the cover of Sports Illustrated. The same Upton that has been in Vogue and the face of Guess. I bet you didn't know that when you picked up the swimsuit issue of SI that you were actually looking at the "plus-sized edition" did you? Above you will see a photo of Ms. Upton. She's the one in the green bikini. Please, despite what you have read about her appearance, do not confuse her with the other woman. She is NOT the girl on the right who is striking the same pose. It's hard to tell the difference- I know. But the one on the right is Suzanne Eman. And like all women in America, Eman has a dream to finally make her body what she wants it to be. To look the way she thinks she should look.
Eman is trying to win the title of the Guiness Book of World Record's "Fattest Woman." (In her defense, I am a firm supporter of women with goals and aspirations. This one is just a little odd to me as I try to go the opposite direction on the scale every waking minute of the day.) At 728 pounds, 32-year old Eman is not impressed. She wants to weigh an even ton. If you do the math, that means that she is trying to gain 1600 pounds. Well hell, here I was complaining about needing to lose 100 pounds. I thought I had it rough. I read what her daily caloric intake consists of... let's just say the words "pan of ___" and "bags of ____" were used. If you must see for yourself, http://helablog.com/2011/08/mo-who-hopes-to-be-the-fattest-person-in-history%E2%80%99s-daily-diet/ (she did have a salad... I will give her that!)
So what is the point of this article you ask? Well, I'm pretty sure you may ask that every time you read this thing. Here's the deal. You have Upton who is a healthy weight, exercises, models, and isn't about to die of a massive coronary in the next 15 minutes. Then you have Eman who is literally killing herself to be the heaviest woman in the world. One woman is unjustly being labeled as "fat" while another is going out of her way to earn the title. And then some.
There has always been a concerted societal effort to regulate a woman's appearance and specifically, her weight. Little girls are taught from a young age they need to look a certain way, talk a certain way, dress a certain way, act a certain way and BE a certain way. Unattainable, photoshopped models are shoved down the throats of girls all over this country. While the images are shoved down, food doesn't have a chance to enter the equation. Girls today are plagued with eating disorders and distorted body images. And why? Because they are told that women who are healthy and happy... Are Fat. They are lied to. They are deceived. And they continue the cycle for the next generation in line. The days of Twiggy and Brooke Shields are long gone. Emaciation and depression are all that lie ahead of us now.
Not a day goes by that I don't struggle with my weight. Am I trying to gain 1600 pounds? Not intentionally. Am I going to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated? Not in this lifetime. But trying to find a balance between fat and skinny; obese and thin; "squishy brick" and "brick...HOUSE"- it shouldn't be so hard. I think I need to figure out a way to get the Skinny Gossip blogger alone in a room for 10 minutes. With me. Her "starvation tip for the day" better be one that helps her take on a 5'3" plus size Irish girl with a Yankee temper. Her hatred for fat people and personal insecurities will only add to her weakness against me.
I'm not Upton. I'm not Eman. I'm Kristen. Did I sit and eat a bag of trailmix while writing this? You bet your ass I did. Do I hate myself for it? Not on your life. I'm single... and I'm hoping that there is a man out there who looks past what society labels "fat" and "thin" because the line is growing increasingly blurred and out of focus. I have a Masters Degree and a million dollar smile (literally, the orthodontist now owns 4 houses thanks to these chompers). And I wake up every day knowing that someone will find flaws with me no matter what. And you know what? You can be a SI model and be accused of being fat... or you can spend your life trying to be fattest you can be. At the end of the day- you can't please them all.
This trail mix on the other hand... :)
Friday, July 6, 2012
10) The person you were in high school is not the person you will be when you are a “grown-up.” The 10 years that pass from wearing that cap and gown to your 10 year reunion are filled with lessons that could never have been taught in a classroom. It’s called LIFE and that is what makes you who you are. (By the way, you’ll never fit into American Eagle again, so throw that whole “I’m the same as I was in high school” idea out the window.)
Now... what to call the blog since "27 and Perhaps a Little Crazy" is outdated. :)
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Up front, right here, right now, I am going to announce that I am never going to be that girl who can put on a white shirt in the morning and not have a stain on it by night (um, noon... fine, 10am). Once people accept that minor detail about me I think there will be fewer perplexed looks and less questions about my sobriety at that present moment. But the older I get and the more run-ins I have with my inability to live life as a "normal" human, I'm starting to think I may never grow out of it.
It's no secret I'm single. It's no secret that I live in a tiny apartment with 2 cats who, but for the grace of God go thee, are still alive (feeding them is such a hard thing to remember). It's no secret that I have spent the past 21 months trying to lose weight while balancing my love (obsession? addiction?) for sugar and hatred of the gym. I live in a world where cooking dinner means there's a risk someone two buildings over might get hurt... Where straightening my hair may result in 2nd degree burns... Where a simple walk on a treadmill could result in crutches and a boot... Where vacuuming will result in losing at least 1 cat toy and a pulled, unraveled rug... Where a staircase is literally a risk to my life... Where driving in reverse usually causes people to flee... And where I will stand in front of my apartment door and use the button on the car key to lock it.
I had a conversation with my mom not too long ago. Somehow we got on the topic of her "grown children" and I asked which was one her favorite. This question should always be expected when speaking with the middle child. She advised me that she loved us all the same and in very different ways. But out of all of her children, I kept her up at night, worrying, the most. Well that was news to me! She has a daughter who is a mother of a 2-year old and a son who is a police officer. Yet, her impoverished grad student, historian daughter, 1221 miles away, brings her the most concern. That comment really got the wheels turning in my mind. Then, last night, after accidentally ingesting two Benadryl instead of Tylenol, and waking up this morning with a ring pop in my hair, I realized: I am "that special kid."
I'm that child that parent's proud of but not because they accomplished great feats like birthing a child or fighting crime on the streets of Texas. I'm the kid who made a "pretty picture" with crayons and stickers that can go on the fridge. I'm the kid who can proudly say, "I went the whole day without forgetting to take my Ritalin and I actually remembered the way to drive home after work." And I'm the child who parent's look at and say, "It's your fault she's like this."
Don't get me wrong, I am not complaining in the least. I think being someone that stands out of the crowd a bit is a good thing. Now, I'm not about to show up in a meat suit like Lady Gaga to prove "I'm different, notice me!" That is definitely not who I am. But you'll most likely be able to identify me by the bruises or the band-aids or the cream cheese on the steering wheel and the ring pop in her hair. I'm just the girl "that can't have nice things." And that's ok, because one, I've come to terms with that fact and two, I can't afford them anyway.
So if you see me on the street with a stain on my shirt, just know that I didn't pay a lot for the shirt and I'm completely aware that it's there. Perhaps this complexity to my personality plays a great factor in why I'm still single. But at the end of the day, if a guy isn't going to put a ring on my finger, I can always find a great big sweet watermelon one embedded in my messy ponytail. And for now, that works for me...
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
The Top 9 Reasons Why Being Single is Fabulous…
The Middle of the Bed- It’s a place where comfort resides, his snoring is absent and the risk of rolling over and falling off at either end is non-existent.
Beer. There is no one to count the number of beers you drank. And with that, I don’t have to hear him say, “Did you leave me any?” Why ask that when you already know the answer?
Movies. Do I know every word to Coal Miner’s Daughter? Why, yes, I do. Can I sing every single lyric in Urban Cowboy? You betcha. Do I cry at Steel Magnolias,
The Rodeo. I can watch it and while shouting out the score “I think” he got given his time and form, I can also yell out comments such as “I’m adding 1.3 points for the Wranglers!” and not hear “What if I wore Wranglers?” Um, are you on a bull? No, you’re on my couch. Shut your face.
The Repeat Button the i-pod. That moment when you hear a song and realize, “Wow, I want to hear that another 53 times in a row.” He is not there to say, “I’m tired of Keith Whitley right now, can you turn that down?” And I don’t have to deal with the consequences of saying, “I’m kind of tired of hearing your voice and seeing your face, but did I say anything?”
Baseball Season. Don’t talk to me during a game. I don’t want to discuss your day at work or what your mom said to your aunt about your second cousin twice removed. I don’t want to hear about your plans for the weekend or the cute little bistro you think we should try. For 9 nine innings I can yell, scream, curse, clap, happy-dance, and make inappropriate comments about a Short-Stop without having to hear any other noise. Bliss.
Fine Dining. What’s for dinner? Whatever. I. Want. Easy Mac with a Ringpop? Why not? Cereal straight from the box without a spoon? Who is going to say anything? Sitting on top of the kitchen counter verbally reasoning with myself that Skittles count as “fruit” and therefore are a complete meal? Absolutely. It’s my food pyramid and I don’t have to conform to the so-called “eating habits” of another human being.
Framed Photographs. A photo of the Core Four holding the 2009 World Series Trophy. An 8x10 glossy of Chris Young personally signed. A photo of Jason Aldean in his cowboy hat and button down shirt. The Brunettes. The Opry Stage. These are all things that I enjoy having framed in my apartment. I do not enjoy hearing, “Let’s take more pictures of us so we can put them on your nightstand, desk and bookshelf.” Again, don’t you have your own home you can decorate Martha?
Showering. Simply put, I can shut the door to the bathroom. I can put on Chris Young’s “Gettin’ You Home” very loudly. And then I can close my eyes and pretend that this is what is ACTUALLY occurring outside the door while I get ready. J http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWP7ZtVLPd4&ob=av2e
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Every morning news show, night time news program and shows like 20/20 are highlighting it. Lady Gaga (who still frightens me) advocates against it and I think the Beibs may have started some kind of petition. Nevertheless, Bullying has gotten more attention in the past year than I have ever seen before. And with the release of the new movie, aptly titled, Bullying, I think it’s about time a little insight into this behavior is given.
First and foremost: I have zero tolerance for bullying. None what so ever. I truly believe that if you are a bully that there is something psychologically wrong with you. To feel you need to inflict pain on someone else just to garner attention and enjoyment is not “child’s play”- it’s abuse. Note to the wise, find a hobby, get on some meds, talk to a guidance counselor, tell Mommy and Daddy to love you just a little bit more but don’t torment someone else. Whatever the reason behind your behavior- fix it. If not, someone will fix it for you.
Secondly: Yes, I was the victim of bullying from pre-school until high school. I may “forgive” those who bullied me but I will never “forget” them.
I couldn’t stand at the bus stop by myself and had to wait in the driveway with my Dad until we saw the bus coming and then I would run as fast as possible to just get into one of the seats and open a book. There were several times that I remember my Dad following in his car behind the bus because the bus driver actually found it funny when they would start taunting me. In grade school, I was tormented because of my teeth, my weight, my grades, that damn cartoon that came out called “Bucky O’Hare” (which I am still planning on suing the makers of), and my clothes. Going to the principle was useless because it was her daughter who was the main culprit. I would cry myself to sleep. My parents were extremely close to pulling me out of school and attempting to home school despite the fact that both of them worked more than 40 hours a week.
Starting in pre-school, I can vividly remember this kid taunting a little girl with glasses and an eye patch. He tormented her. He made fun of me too but I was so upset at the way he treated her. So one day, in the play kitchen, I took a frying pan and hit him across the back of the head with it. Of course I got in trouble, but I think I was clear in my intentions and reasoning. In 2nd grade I had beautiful long brown hair. My mom would brush it and restyle it in true
I was tripped in the hallways. I was poked. I was pushed. I was cheated off of. I was spit on. I was mocked every time I walked to the blackboard. I would eat my lunch most of the time solo or at the teacher’s table because I knew the minute I put any kind of food in my mouth kids would say something. In 6th grade I sent out invitations to a birthday party and no one rsvp’d. My parents were faced with the heartbreaking dilemma of what to do for their daughter’s birthday. I treated others as I wanted to be treated. I excelled in my classes. I tried to be involved in outside activities but I was “different.” I spoke the same language. I lived in the same town. But I was the center of everyone’s entertainment… and although I wanted to physically fight back, I learned to use my sarcasm and intelligence to defend myself. While not always successful, at least I made the effort, right?
I turned to country music and books as my distraction from everyone around me. I stayed loud and used my humor as a defense mechanism from those who tortured me continuously but inside I was broken. I didn’t let them see it, but it was obvious I’m sure. A kid can only take so much.
After entering high school, my freshman and sophomore year were plagued with comments such as “fat ass” and “lard ass” and whatever other comment you could make to an almost 300 pound 16 year old. It wasn’t until my junior year, when my friends showed me how to use the machines in the gym that I started to lose weight. By senior year I had lost enough weight to finally “be worthy” of the attention of the popular kids. I did have amazing friends who supported me, but there were those kids who knew just what button to push, what to say, how to say it and who to say it in front of.
Today, as I sit here, I am almost 28 years old. I no longer have to worry about what I will face during the day or live in fear of other kids. I dare someone to make a comment to me about anything because I have learned to love myself, my flaws and most importantly, I found a little thing called confidence. I also have the ability to defend myself through maturity and education. And one day, when given the opportunity, I would love to sit down with every person who ever looked down upon me and just say, “How do you like me now?” (Of course, Toby would be playing in the background and I may have some back up dancers to punctuate the point, but still, the message will be sent).
I have made it a goal of mine to teach any kid that I babysit the importance of befriending that classmate that doesn’t have anyone to play with on the playground. That being their friend is more important and more special than being “popular.” That title of “popular” is short lived and anti-climatic. Befriending the bullied kid will lead you to a more fulfilling life while the bullies will spend their adulthood holding onto that beloved letterman jacket and reliving that Friday night touchdown that brought them 2 games closer to the state championship. Yet no one remembers their name… Or really cares.
I didn’t write all of this for sympathy or pity or even judgment. I wrote this for two reasons.
1) Highlight bullying and what effect it has on kids. It’s not a “phase” or “child’s play.” It’s abuse and it has to stop immediately. Stand up for those who are constantly beaten down. There is no reason not to. Teach your kids the importance of not just being “kind” to another person but understanding tolerance, acceptance and that they aren’t all that perfect themselves. (Timothy Pachowski- your ears were larger than your head and you chewed your pen until your lips were blue. Did I say anything? Nope.)
2) To show that kids who spend their life being bullied do not always turn into Eric Harris or Dylan Klebold. They don’t live in their parent’s basement and hide from the world. With the love and respect from their family and a few friends, they learn to love themselves. They take all of those years of ridicule, cruelty, exploitation, manipulation, and being laughed at and they turn it into motivation- Motivation to make something of themselves. To prove those kids wrong. And to say to them: “Look who’s laughing now.”
Talk to your children. Keep an eye on their behavior. Give them the love and support that they need. Stand up for one another. Give a voice to those who don’t have one. Protect those who can’t protect themselves. And for God’s sake- respect yourself enough not to hurt another person for your own enjoyment. Look in the mirror and see if that person looking back at you is someone you can be proud of…