“Tell a story from your grammar school days.”
When I was in middle school (grades 6-8), we had dances every weekend. Sometimes, these dances were themed. This particular, unpleasant memory takes place during a Hawaiian-themed dance that I attended in the 6th grade.
But first, a little backstory.
When I was in the 4th grade, I developed a crush on a boy named Billy, who I had several classes with, and always sat near, because our last names were near each other in alphabetical order. He was a skinny boy, with gray-blue eyes and pale blond hair. Billy had an older brother named Bobby (I’m not joking, those are their real names), who was two grades above us. However, Billy did not like me. Despite the popular belief that, when a boy is mean to you in elementary school, he likes you… yeah, no, he didn’t like me. And he made sure to make that perfectly clear to me in the following years, even after my crush had gone away, by teasing and taunting me on an almost daily basis.
Okay, now skip forward to the 6th grade Hawaiian dance.
I showed up at the dance in my black pants, black tank top, and an over-sized, men’s Hawaiian shirt… which was blue and black. I wore a lot of black, even back then. I walked in and was immediately approached by my friend Travis, who told me, “Please, don’t get mad…” I was confused. He told me that Billy and his brother had pulled a mean joke on me, and had hung posters around the hallways and cafeteria, where the dance was being held, depicting a fake AIM/AOL conversation between “me” and Billy. I was mad alright.
We went into the cafeteria, and sure enough, there were white pieces of paper taped up to the walls. Dozens and dozens of them. I tore one down and read through it. Someone had created a fake AIM name, it was “janice95775” or something, and was pretending to be me, saying embarrassing, mean things. First of all, that isn’t even how you spell my name, which luckily, a lot of people knew, because teachers were always saying my name wrong, and it was kind of a running joke. Second, I had always been known for my great grammar and spelling, even in elementary and middle school… and this person did not type like me.
The conversation was vulgar, and disgusting, and mean.
I wanted to cry, but I was too angry. Travis and a few other friends helped me tear down all of the posters, while Billy, Bobby, and their friends, laughed at us from the chairs in the corner of the dark room. They were loving it.
After we tore down all of the posters, I angrily marched over to them, and threw them in Billy’s face. I called him an asshole, or a prick, or something similar, and walked away. The next day, I reported him to the principal, and he was given several days of detentions, since I had ample proof of his mean joke.
After that day, he left me alone. Despite having several classes together in high school, we never spoke to each other again, until our junior year, when we exchanged words during an assembly on bullying. He did eventually apologize, but I could tell by his laughing that he wasn’t serious.
While his joke was cruel and immature, it didn’t bother me as much as I could have let it. I think I found the fact that they thought that people would fall for it made me almost feel bad for them. They wasted all that paper, and so much of their precious time, trying to make me look bad, and not a single person fell for it.
Don’t let bullies get you down, friends. They aren’t worth your time and energy.