Monday, December 21, 2009

Too Bad The Merchant of Venice Didn't Sell Calvins...

My youngest had a bit of a melt down the other day. Minor really, but made Mom think and smile and giggle and hug the little princess because, being at least thirty two steps ahead of the girl on the path of life, Mom knows it is only a foreshadowing of at least a few more such instances. She had had a substitute teacher that day in Mrs. G's normally efficiently run, well oiled, chaos free second grade class. The sub however was not so fastidious. Princess's table was noisy and disorderly and Miss R is one 7 year old who does not stand for such nonsense and told her friends as much. When she got home she flopped on the couch, stared out the window and with tears starting to run remarked softly, "I wish I could go back and start this day over."
Boy howdy girl...I hear ya! Day? I have whole years I wish I could take a mulligan on. 1984...Do over! 1996? Puhlease! 2007...Don't even ask!
If I could go back and redo most of jr. high I know exactly where I would start. Nikki Whatserface! I am pretty sure her primary goal of the 7th grade was to make my life miserable. You remember 7th grade right? Ya, her. Why did I let her do that to me? Destroy my self esteem, make me feel small and insignificant. I should not have given her the power. One of my big life regrets is not standing up to her the day I had a chance. Math class. She asked loudly, backed up by her little toady, Christine Somethingorother, "Are those the ONLY pants you own? You wear them everyday!" They were in fact my only pair and she made me feel ashamed of it. The next morning I dug through my mom's closet and found a pair of dress slacks that fit my frame but not my age and I wore those with some of mom's shoes because somehow I thought that wearing tennis shoes with a pair of women's dress slacks was the silly part. Of course the next day my only reprieve came in the mocking my shoes instead of my jeans.
Over the last 25 years, I have written and rewritten what could have been my triumphant soliloquy rebuking every adolescent tyrant and tormentor spewing vitriol and insult from behind the shield of perfectly pressed Calvins. "Nikki, what is it that makes you so insecure about yourself that you feel the need to break others down in order to build yourself up? What part of you is so passed feeling that you have no empathy for those around you who may be hurt or afraid. I may not have the right clothes or hair but I am a nice person! We all have something to offer! Everyone in this room! We have friends and families. We live and laugh and love. If you prick us do we not bleed? (By now I am standing on the desk for full effect) If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us, do we not seek revenge? I am NOT AN Animal!!!" Ok you get the point...I hope. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. Mr. Coleman's math class really missed out, eh?
In all reality once I started thinking about it, I decided to keep those years. This is my life. This is me. Warts and all. The good and the bad days, weeks or even years, have shaped me. Molded me into the fine upstanding lady you see today. Ya, I know, I have a tendency to exaggerate. But I guess the long and the short of it is we learn from our experiences. I will never make fun of anyone's clothes. I will always try to find something I like about people I meet. I am nice. Sarcastic, opinionated, stubborn and sometimes temperamental, but nice. And in the end mean people are just mean.
Quote of the Day: "All I can do is be me-whoever that is."
--Robert Zimmerman


  1. Oh my yes, that was my worst year too - and we went through it together! I think you should name last names though, L. No protecting the guilty parties! :-)

  2. Those mean girls obviously had "issues". I think that Junior High can definitely be a self esteem killer for kids. I've got one there now and it makes me a little nervous. I think that you can have the last laugh at those girls. Look how you turned out.....totally awesome!

  3. Amen. I don't think anyone could pay me enough to go back and redo jr. high, though. I'm happy where I am, warts and all. Merry Christmas!!

  4. I agree that all experiences help mold us and that bad experiences help us to be more sensitive to others. But . . . there is still one year of my life I would love to live over. I would be happy to not have been shaped by the experiences.

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