I never really got bullied in school, but I do remember the first time someone really hurt my feelings. It was the first day of jr. high. My friend and I were walking to home room when all of a sudden an older boy (8th grade. ooh la la) pointed in my direction and yelled, “OH MY GOD! LOOK AT HER NOSE! IT’S HUGE!” He and his friend nearly fell to the floor laughing while I stood there confused wondering why he was looking at me. ‘I don’t have a huge nose.’ I thought. But it was confirmed when my friend gave me pity eyes, put her arm around my shoulder, and said, “Your nose isn’t that big.” My big nose was also legitimized later that year by a boy who called me a “big nosed bitch” (still not sure what I did that pissed him off ). And then again by my first love when he attempted to romance me by saying, “You know, you have a big nose, but it fits your face.” (Thanks for that little gem, John! Yeah, I’m totally calling you out on it! :))
It’s just funny that even though I didn’t believe I had a big nose, it still really hurt my feelings. And when I think of that day now, I can easily recall how it felt. It felt like shit. I felt like shit. I felt like the world was making fun of me. That everyone had a perfect nose except me. I was just waiting for the mob of attractive 14-year-olds to bombard me with tissues and nose spray and chant “RACHEL HAS A BIG NOSE! RACHEL HAS A BIG NOSE!” Sure, that’s not as traumatic as the scene in Carrie with the tampons, but for me, it was close!
So, when my son came home from school and told me an older kid (a 3rd grader. ooh la la) said something mean to him, I could definitely relate. Well, first I went a tiny bit crazy and vowed to hunt the shit down and kick his…well, that’s not important. What’s important is I knew how my son was feeling.
“Well today in the gym there was this kid with a black muscle shirt on and I had to stand by him and I said, ‘hey dude, nice necklace.’ and he said to me, ‘stupid necklace. stupid shirt. poop face.’ and it made me really upset cause I don’t know why he would say something so mean and…” he choked on his words as his eyes filled up with ginormous crocodile tears.
“Oh honey, I’m sorry. He really hurt your feelings, huh?”
“Well some people are just hateful. Even in 3rd grade. And even if you don’t know them, their words hurt.”
“But your shirt isn’t stupid. And you don’t have a poop face.”
“And he said your necklace is stupid?”
“But you’re not wearing a necklace.”
“So he’s kinda dumb then, huh?”
I couldn’t help myself. Anyways, it worked cause he smiled. I waited till then to wrap my arms around him and pull him close. Even though I didn’t want to coddle him, I still wanted to hug the shit out of’em.
“And you say he was wearing a muscle shirt?”
“Yeah, and he had curly hair in the back and only a little hair in the front.”
“Wait. He had long curly hair in the back and a regular short haircut in the front?”
“He had a mullet???”
Now I know Tommy doesn’t know what a mullet is, but he nodded anyways.
“Well Tommy sounds to me like the kid sucks. And the next time he says anything to you, you just look him up and down and tell him 1985 called and it wants its haircut back.”
Steven turned and gave me a look…a look that I get quite often…and said, “No. Don’t do that. Somebody like that, you just have to ignore. Don’t talk to him or react to what he says. Just ignore him.”
I should mention that Steven was a good-looking football player in school and therefore has no idea what it’s like to get called a poop face. So I chimed in, “And if that doesn’t work. Kick him in the…”
I was stopped by the look.
“I mean, if that doesn’t work, and he continues picking on you, tell your teacher or me or your father and we’ll handle it.”
That seemed like good enough advice for him. He hopped up and got ready for his Cub Scout meeting and never said another word about it.
I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to turn into a thing, but, if it does, I’m totally prepared to take down mullet boy. Alright, that might just be the mom talking. But, I am prepared to share my big nose story with Tommy. Cause in the end, no one ever chanted anything about my big nose…eventually I grew in to it (sorta)…and once that happened, that boy who started it all asked me out on a date! I turned him down, of course, and ended up marrying the handsome football player and raising the 3 most awesome kids in the world. Bullies suck, but Happy Endings Rock!
Thanks for reading!