Monday, February 25, 2013

The Meanest Thing

Over the years people have said many hurtful things to me.  In spite of my tough exterior, I am pretty much a cupcake.  I cry easily and my feelings get hurt at the drop of a hat.  I know that not everyone will like me or understand me, but I still would like for everyone to leave any interaction with me feeling like I am at least a nice person.

So many women get caught up in making sure everyone thinks they are pretty and that has never really been an issue for me.  I happily visit Target in sweatpants.  I do use a little makeup every day, but that is more for myself than anyone else.  I have never looked at a magazine cover and felt any twinge of not being good enough.  I know that I am no supermodel, but I do not think I am ugly.  When I was younger, I always felt beautiful.  People were never fawning over me or anything, but I think I had it going on.  In the last few years, I can see the tiredness in my eyes.  I can see the dewiness of my skin fading.  I still feel pretty most days.  I think I can hold my own, you know?

However, there is one incident in particular that sticks in my mind and hits me like a ton of bricks every time I think about it.  Thankfully, I do not visit this memory often, but every once in a while it sneaks up on me.  I was in junior high -- my terribly awkward phase.  I wore big glasses, had an unfortunate perm and I was all legs and arms.  I was rail thin and did not yet know the magic of mascara.

I was at the mall with my mom and we had just parted ways briefly -- I wanted to go visit the animals in the pet store and she needed to return something in a department store.  As I made my way through the nearly empty mall (thank goodness!!!), I spied two boys ahead of me.  They were probably in high school and were dressed in "cool" clothes.  They were carrying bags and kept looking back in my direction.  At first, I thought maybe they were checking me out.  I had no idea what was about to happen.  I heard one of them yell, "Ugly dog!  Ugly dog coming through!"  The other boy whooped and laughed.  He started barking and  pointing at me.  They both began barking again, continued for what felt like forever and then took off running.  I was determined not to cry in the middle of the mall.  I kept walking to the pet store and walked to the back.  I let a few tears fall and then tried to look at all of the cute animals.  But my heart was broken.

Just that morning I had felt like I had on a cute outfit and that my hair was having a good day.  I was having fun with my mom and these boys just ruined my day.  I had never felt like a dog.  I had never felt ugly.  Never for one second.  Until now.

I refused to tell my mom what had happened until we were back in the car.  When I told her, I cried again.  Luckily, my mom told me that those boys were jerks and that I should know better.  We talked about what had happened and why those boys may have done and said what they did.  I knew in my heart that those boys were just being mean, but my heart still breaks a little for that junior high girl who got barked at in the mall.  Thankfully, it never affected me negatively but I can see how that could have really messed a person up.

These days, I mostly wonder about people who bark at other people in malls.  I mean, who does that?!


super jane said...

Ugh. Kids are so, so mean. It's amazing how just a few words can haunt you for the rest of your life.

You are certainly no dog. You are STUNNING and can rock short hair like no one I've ever met. Those boy are now probably balding men rocking a beer gut. I'm sure of it!

MSO Rin said...

I've said it before and I'll say it again: NOBODY is attractive in junior high/middle school. The popular or cute kids are just the ones who are less ugly than the rest of us.

And considering what a swan you grew to be not very long after that, I think the joke is very squarely on those sad barkers.

G Love said...

Aw, sweet Wicked M! Poor thing. Isn't it funny how these horrid events stick with us forever . . .