Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Words Hurt More Than Sticks & Stones

I’ve always wanted to be that person who doesn’t care about certain things. The person who shrugs sh*t off easily and doesn’t remember different conversations and comments for years to come.

I remember my first year at summer camp. Our troop was walking to the lake and this cruel gaggle of girls were walking behind me and loudly making fun of my shorts and sneakers. I had gone to camp with whom I thought was a good friend, she turned out to be just as mean as the other chicks. I was alone to fend for myself against these creepy snobs. Needless to say I switched camps the next year and made sure I didn’t invite my "bestie" gal pal to tag along.

Fast forward to seventh grade. My friend Serena and I were meeting up for a slice of pizza with our friends, Danny and Sean – the least “threatening” boys anyone could ever meet.

When we returned from our brief outing, her mother went completely ballistic on us. I honestly couldn’t figure out why. What did we do wrong? My mom always let me hang out with Danny and Sean.

She called me a "tart" and told my mother how we went to meet boys. I always remember that day and her screaming, “You are a tart!” And me thinking a tart was gay but what’s gay about meeting boys?

I had a crush on Pat in college. I had always wondered what it would be like to kiss him. Finally one night it happened while watching a movie. His reaction? “Wow, just like I thought! It’s like as if I were kissing my sister.” The only positive thing about that response was that he did not actually have a sister.

Another awesome memorable comment happened a few years later. I was at my college boyfriend’s home getting ready for a wedding he had invited me to. I had recently lost a significant amount of weight. (Wow, do I miss phentermine, the wonder drug.) In an attempt to compliment me, my boyfriend’s mom poked at me and said, “Ohmigod, you lost so much weight! Look, you actually have a waist!” A few weeks later he told me that she told him, “You better start losing weight yourself or else she’s going to leave your ass in the dust.” He jumped to it and lost like an astonishing 40 lbs in 30 days and I believe we broke up soon after that massive confidence boost.

So many things people have said to me over the years stay with me like a mental fungus I can't cure. I wish I knew how to rid my memories of these incidents. I often wonder if anyone else out there remembers the many dumb things people have said to them and feel the same way. Why do words cut so deep? Why are people so effin harsh? Do they know they’re jerks – who lets them get away with this? My dad actually once told me that the meanest people have the most friends. Funny thing is, I always thought that was true in high school. They really did. The nice kids were considered band nerds or the smart kids.

Today in fact, this came up in conversation with a coworker. She was feeling a little sensitive about something. I mentioned someone we both know and said, “Now what would she do if that happened to her?” I knew the answer, but wanted to hear her say it. Her reply was something along the lines of, “That person would just simply roll with it… ‘Oh well, such is life,’ is what she would say and wouldn’t think another thing of it." That must be so awesome! I think that individual was born this way. I don’t think you can learn to be a cool cucumber type who dances through life ignoring cruel people or cruel words. I envy her. I would love to wake up one day and live life the way she does. She’s so positive and upbeat, doesn't let anyone break her. It’s almost inspirational.


Unknown said...

Dude... I would just assume that you were one of those "roll with it" people.

Although the ones who admit that the little things bother them always seem more human, don't you think?

I remember certain things that probably no one else gives a second thought, and yeah, it sucks.

Then again, I have insulted people completely unintentionally... like the time I was poking fun at my friend's little sister's retainer. She was doing something weird like drooling into a bathtub as she tried to adjust it. I mean come on, that was too easy to pass up!

In any event, I found out she was upset that I mocked her and I became so disturbed over her hurt feelings that I started crying!

Ahh, what are you gonna do?

Your Friend,
The Band Fag

Ally said...

Great story, Dina. Yeah, sadly I'm not a roll-with-it kinda girl :(

kimber said...

How about this, on the subway: "The fat one's HOT!!!!" I remember every strange things that people say to me over the years. That one is at the top. Great story. XO

Ally said...

Kimber, yes, yes, yes. One day this guy Nick Milillo called me a whale. For no reason. And it was so odd because I thought he was such a nice kid until that day. He was with another guy so I guess he had to look cool. People suck.

RainyDaySaver said...

Ha, "band fag" -- me too, Dina. Colorguard, actually. I had the pleasure of being a band geek AND in the smart classes in HS. But for some reason, no one could seem to peg what "group" I fit into, overall, not even one of those two. I was either considered "cool" or made fun of, simultaneously.

I learned not to let that crap get me down, and I actually enjoyed school. Some of it sucked, but you have to let it go sometime.

chrissy said...

Wow Ally, you hit the nail on the head with this one.
It's such a shame that certain people don't care what affect the things they say have on people. It's also very sad that a few of us actually tried to stay under the radar in HS, walked with our heads down so as to avoid comments we thought others might make...I think I missed out on some things in HS because I never "looked up"...


Share |