Monday, September 12, 2011

Mean Girls, Mean Boys...this one's for you!

While looking through Facebook pages yesterday I came across one of my friend's old high school pictures.  This friend and I haven't spoken or seen each other face to face since elementary school and as many people do, we found one another again through the miracle of social networking.  His senior picture quite honestly blew me away.  I mean, sure I've seen current day pictures of him.  Nothing unexpected there.  Both he and I are in our 40s now and look like it.  He's balding and middle-aged and I'm fluffy.  We have extremely similar tastes in humor and politics.  On a personal level, I don't know him as well as I'd like.  I'm sure if he ever came out to Denver we could hang out and have a great time.  Perhaps hit the driving range together.  I'd love for this to happen. 

The reason that this high school picture so unnerved me was that he was breathtakingly handsome (my dear friend, and you know who you are, feel free to blush if you read my blogs).  You see, in grade school, he was the butt of every mean girl's jokes.  I went to a private Catholic school where cruel things like this never happened.  We were taught to be decent and loving towards one another.  Yeah, right!  (Sarcasm on the highest level!)  We were awful.  Probably more so than public school kids because we were one class of children who stayed together from 1st through 8th grade.  We were 30+ kids and out of this number there were a couple of very mean and nasty cliques.

I was in the lowest of the low group of girls who were teased.  I wasn't picked on as much personally but my friends were and I loathed the mean kids for it.  This friend, who I'm writing about today, was in the group of boys who were teased incessantly.  I remember how dreadful it was for him.  I won't go into detail but there were times I would watch him in class nervously fidgeting around and feel both sadness and curiosity for him.  I didn't understand.  Now with my two Aspergian/ADHD boys, I do.

I hate mean kids.   You know the ones I'm referring to.  The ones who are so full (or no so full of) themselves that they must tear everyone else down around them.  If their parents have a bit more money, or if they're pretty or good-looking, or just generally popular, they can be so cruel - and they were.

As I mentioned before, I didn't receive a lot of bullying in school.  I was a "middle of the road" kind of kid.  I minded my own business and seemed to get along with everyone.  But with the girls I hung out with, I saw and felt their embarrassment; the painfully shy one, the klutzy one, the girl with the high squeaky voice, the one with the freckles and green plastic glasses, the overweight one, and last but not least this boy with horned-rimmed glasses who couldn't sit still in his desk.  I felt redemption when I saw his high school football picture.  I felt a certain amount of pride that he survived those nasty jerks in grade school and seemed to thrive once he left them behind.  He went on with his life.  Of course, we all have.  I haven't given the mean kids much thought until I saw his picture or when the subject of bullying comes up.

My sons, my eldest in particular, are always telling me that it's different today than it was when I went to school.  I just shake my head sadly and know that it's not.  The forms of bullying may have changed a little but the bullies haven't.  They're the same mean kids that I went to school with except for now it's their children who are doing the bullying.  My advice to my boys is always the same; stay strong and above the nonsense.  I'm guessing Bill Gates was bullied and I can only imagine how stupid those jack asses are feeling right about now. 

1 comment:

LadyDreamer said...

All the truly good kids are bullied. It's because they make the bullies feel insecure. Small comfort in the moment, but it pays off big later.