Friday, September 10, 2010
Bright Red Lipstick
Sometimes wisdom sneaks up on you and bites you on the butt. That happened to me yesterday. I noticed a few more comments on the blog that I wrote about Ruby's first day of school and went to read them. Mike had left a comment in which he reflected on the fact that he and I were both teased at school, that we both turned out 'ok'. Then he said something quite, for me, profound: I guess the bullies were wrong.
Well, slap me in the belly with a wet fish!
You know I always knew that it was wrong for the bullies to bully me. Always. From the get go. I understood that they were mean, nasty, kids - drunk on their own popularity. I got all of that. But somewhere deep down I thought that while they were wrong to tease me, they weren't actually wrong about me. That they just shouldn't point out my obvious flaws, failings and flab.
Even to this very day. Coming come a couple days ago we passed by a patio bar with a bunch of young men. All sitting with their shirts off displaying tattoos up and down arms and back. Why eagles are instinctively driven to land on men's nipples I'll never understand - I need to watch more 'Discovery' channel. We were almost by when one of them shouted, for me to hear, 'Hey, look at the big fat dude.' Instantly I was twelve years old, instantly I was back in a hallway scented with sweatsocks. Instantly I was angered. I knew what he thought about me. I knew he was right I AM a big fat dude. I just thought he was mean to point it out.
But he wasn't pointing out my weight. He was pointing out my decreased worth. He was pointing out that I wasn't worth his respect. That I wasn't worth the respect of others. That I had less value than him and his chums.
And you know what ... he's wrong.
The bullies from my past weren't just wrong to act hatefully. They were wrong to devalue me. They were wrong about my worth as a human being. They were just plain freaking, fracking, fucking wrong.
They should put on bright red lipstick and kiss my ass goodnight.