I had such a great day yesterday.
Deren and I had breakfast and went shopping on NW 23rd Avenue. We stopped at the Northwest Public House and had lunch. I ate half my salad and boxed up the remainder for lunch today. Then, as I usually do, I left it in the restaurant for the staff to throw in the garbage.
The August heatwave has broken and it was a lovely day. After lunch, we couldn’t decide if we should go to a movie or go home and watch a movie. One reason I love Deren: he said, “we will flip a coin and if it’s heads we go to a movie; tails we go home.” It was heads and he didn’t equivocate and say best 2 out of 3, just we are going to the movies. We parked downtown in a parking garage but forgot our little ticket in the car so Derwood went back up and I went to Director’s Park in front of the theater to sit in the sunshine.
I think I looked well put together for a Sunday afternoon in the city: pink tank top, neutral cardigan, white jeans, and my fave striped Dansko woven clogs. I crossed the street and a fat, drug addled woman said, “ohhh, she’s cute.” Why thank you fat meth-head in a sports bra and low rise black pants. Her two cohorts were sitting looking on, I had sunglasses on so I could look at them without them realizing I was. I couldn’t tell what was going on with them. They didn’t look particularly homeless but she was definitely a bit off. They were all dressed in black and seemed to have some amplifiers with them and luggage. One of the guys said, “Are you related to Dolly Parton?”
BAM! Stupid homeless drug guy takes a shot and hits the bullseye! I hate my boobs and his comment makes me immediately self-conscious. And it’s stupid. I have DDs, Dolly Parton has like J’s! I sit in the sunshine pouting and getting all teary. Deren comes back and I tell him what the guy said. I have sunglasses on so Derwood can’t see my face and doesn’t realize I’m really upset. So Derwood says, “I am not an animal!” I think he said it twice. So now I have the meth head guy comparing me to Dolly Parton and her ginormous boobs; and my boyfriend referencing the Elephant Man.
I immediately go into pouting teenage girl mode. Derwood tries to put his arm around me and I shrug him off saying, “Please don’t touch me.” Pout in the ticket line, up the escalator, snack area. No I don’t want any popcorn! I want nothing! I stomp off to the theater. We get into the theater and sit down and I look over at Derwood. He really is such a good guy, I need to get over this and enjoy our day. I apologize for being so pissy and laugh and smile. “Um, I actually do want some popcorn (as if I’m EVER going to a movie without popcorn).” Second reason to adore Derwood, he holds up his wallet and says, “why do you think I still have this out?” And he got me popcorn.
I have never been bullied. I have never been a bully, except with my younger sisters and that’s what they get for being younger. My children haven’t been bullied and as far as I know they do not bully. I know Annie is particularly aware of children who are having a rough time and is very supportive. There are bloggers on WordPress who write about their painful pasts being bullied. Here I am at 47 and some homeless guy making a pretty bland comment about my chestral endowment really hit me hard. Bullies have that gift for finding the one characteristic you are most self-conscious about, the attribute you detest most in yourself; they aim the dart right there, hit the soft spot and then gloat.
I can’t imagine being a child or young person and persistently being taunted whether it’s about your personality, hair color, smarts, weight, etc. I felt that pain yesterday and I knew it was silly but it definitely stung. Derwood told me I should have said, “Hey dick, why don’t you get a house!?” hahahah! for some reason that really cracked me up. I know that as an adult, I should pity other adults (let’s say these jerks were in their mid- to late 20s) whose lives are so financially and emotionally impoverished that they behave like nasty 10-year-olds on a playground. But I didn’t. I really was upset and wanted to spew insults back at them. I didn’t because what good what it do? My retorts would only show they had gotten to me and that I was willing to lower myself to their level.
I’m 47. I can reason through this silly little incident and I’m okay. It really bothered me enough that I am still thinking about it and writing about it; but I am fine. I am so sorry for those being bullied and those who have been bullied. Please ask for help. Don’t let them win. Simply by being bullies they have let the world know that they are cowards.