A bullying story with a happy ending
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BY APRILL BRANDON
I've said before that if there is one thing that unites us all as human beings, it's that we all despise Paris Hilton.
But if there is a second thing that unites us all as human beings, it's probably the fact that at one point or another, we have been bullied. In fact, even most bullies have been bullied. Seriously. Ask anyone within your immediate vicinity right now if they were bullied in school, and I'll bet you $10 they say yes (Note: Should you find someone who says no, send your money requests to Editor Chris Cobler c/o of the Victoria Advocate. If he acts confused, don't worry, it's all part of the plan. Just keep demanding money).
Yes, everyone has a bully in their past and I am no different. And now, thanks to all the recent media attention surrounding bullying in schools, all those memories I worked so hard to suppress and turn into stomach ulcers are coming back up for air.
Oh joy. (Can you feel the sarcasm dripping, kids?)
Now you may or may not know this, but in general, bullying and playground warfare fall into two distinct categories.
Bully Type 1:
Kid No. 1 calls Kid No. 2 a name (like "Boogerhead" or whatever the kids are saying these days). Kid No. 2 gets mad. Kids proceed to physically fight. Fight ends. Kids become instant best friends.
Bully Type 2:
For some indiscernible reason, Kid No. 1 gets mad at Kid No. 2 (most likely for some scrunchie-related incident). Kid No. 1 then decides to get Kids No. 3, 4, 5 and 6, mad at Kid No. 2, which they all willingly do because they are terrified of Kid No. 1. No one will tell Kid No. 2 why everyone is mad at her. This continues for three more days, in which Kid No. 2 is miserable, until Kid No. 5 makes some elementary school girl faux pas (like wearing orange socks with her pink Nikes). Kid No. 1 decides to get mad at Kid No. 5 and lets Kid No. 2 off the hook so that she may too join in the ostracizing of Kid No. 5 and her hideous socks. Repeat process until high school graduation or emotional breakdown.
Now, I'm not one to gender stereotype but I'll give you three guesses as to which type of bully mostly affects girls.
For me, it all started in third grade. Despite what movies like "Mean Girls" would have you believe, cliques start forming much earlier among girls than in high school. In some cases, they start forming in the maternity ward, where the alpha female baby will get all the other female babies mad at the Smith baby because she wasn't wearing a scrunchie.
As such, I was in a clique at the age of 9 and our leader was Michelle. At only 4-feet tall, she ruled with an iron fist and with a mesmerizing power that had us all scrambling for her approval. As for myself, I was at the bottom of the totem pole. I was shy, awkward and prone to crying in uncomfortable situations.
Naturally, Michelle smelled blood.
I was her favorite whipping girl and went home from school crying more often than not. And just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, she ... (ragged sigh) ... she kicked me out of the ... (sniffle) ... Dinosaur Club.
But here is where my story differs from most girls who are bullied via the clique method. I'm not sure how it happened or even exactly when the mind games and torture stopped, but by the time we got to junior high, Michelle and I were legitimate friends. By high school, we were best friends. By college, best friends forever.
And when I got married in February, she was by my side as maid of honor.
So what's the moral of this story? One is that the Dinosaur Club was stupid and I didn't even want to be in it anyway. So there.
And two, some bullying stories have a happy ending.
Aprill Brandon is a reporter for the Advocate. And OK, fine! She still wants back into the Dinosaur Club.