Recently incidents of bullying keep creeping into my life. Nothing against me but people I care about have been dealing with different kinds of bullying.
Sitting with my glass of wine a couple of nights ago after a conversation with a friend dealing with bullying, a dark memory came back to me about a bully.
We had just all entered 7th grade and were being bussed to a new school. The most popular girl and the least popular girl from the graduating 6th grade were riding on the same bus.
Ms. Popular had a habit of saying catty things about Ms. Not Popular. Ms. Not Popular’s family was struggling to make ends meet and her new school outfits were obviously from one of the discount stores, you may remember them, Woolworth’s.
We would stand around in the dark waiting for the school bus to pick us up. It was fall so we didn’t need jackets yet.
Ms. Not Popular was wearing a frilly blouse. It was cute but definitely not a Penney’s or Joslin’s blouse…. Definitely from Woolworth’s. I noticed it had a cute frill in the front and the bottoms of the sleeves had a nice frill. It was a good choice and I had a feeling it was picked out with care, that she probably had to agonize over what her family could afford for new clothes.
Ms. Popular started to make fun of her blouse, boldly pointing out the quality and claiming the blouse looked cheap.
I had a decision, as a 7th grade girl who is trying to make her way in society I thought I had two choices: one-I could keep my mouth shut; or, two-I could join in with the teasing. Then I realized I had a third choice, I could stand up to Ms. Popular.
I thought about it for a moment, actually took one of those deep breaths and then I told Ms. Popular exactly what I thought of her and her treatment of Ms. Not Popular. I knew in my heart everyone was cheering me on but my 7th grade girl’s sense told me that no one was going to back me up. Sure enough the other girls immediately stepped away from me, even Ms. Not Popular! I became Ms. Not Popular Too for the rest of the school year.
Yeah, I suffered some bullying from those girls, there may be nothing more vicious than the popular girl scorned and the wanna be popular girls kissing butt. But as my Dad used to say, “Builds character!”
I have always loved frilly blouses and own one in all the colors and patterns you can imagine. Yay for the character building of frilly blouses!