What I’m Laughing About Today

The other day over dinner, my friends and I were having book club and talking about bullying. I remembered being bullied in fifth grade, which was pretty bad and still isn’t laughable. But, I also remembered this other instance even further back when a girl used to tease me. I was having trouble recalling just what about.

But then I remembered it this morning. And I started laughing. Well, laughing in my head anyway. Didn’t want my coworkers to question my sanity. Although, most undoubtedly, they probably already have numerous times.

Anyway, it was probably about ’92, second grade. Or maybe ’91, first grade.

Point 1: I hated PE. (Still do, although the gym and I have more of a love-hate relationship now). Girly-girl that I’ve always been, I was never very good at sports. So this girl used to just torment me during PE. Softball, volleyball, whatever ball, she’d just laugh when I ducked and screamed and tried to avoid the ball. I do think I might laugh if I could go back in time and watch myself, but at the time, it was a crisis, I tell ya. A CRISIS. Underline, italicize, bold.

Point 2: The girl always tried to get me in trouble with my mom. After school, she’d go over to my mom and tell her something like I hadn’t done my homework or something stupid like that. I used to get so nervous that my mom would actually believe her, but she never did. And when my mom simply smiled knowingly, the girl would storm off, stomping her feet and huffing.

Point 3: My class seat partner was this Asian boy. Don’t remember what he looked like, ‘cept he was kind of awkward, studious, and polite, and he loved math. *ahem, nerd, ahem* (OMG, I had a type, even then) Oh, another thing was he always asked to borrow my pencil even though he had tons, and I could never understand why. Anyway, the girl would always tease us that we liked each other. I would get so mad and then cry about it after school. “Boys are yucky,” I’d tell her. But the more I insisted it wasn’t true, the more she said it. “And you know how I know?” she’d laugh, “Because he told me so.” Poor boy probably did like me because he looked pretty sad when I said I didn’t care and ignored him.

Point 4: Now this one requires an explanation from present day. One of my current friends, hereby known as E, was at book club this past Saturday when we were talking about this.

She turns to me when I ask her if she remembers that little girl.

“Oh shit, that girl was my friend,” E cringes and says to me. “Then she moved away.” She laughs, half comforting, half joking, “That b*tch.”

I kind of already knew they were friends though. Because back in elementary school, the girl asked me if I knew E. I said I did. She said, “But you’re not friends with her like I am. You don’t even know if she’s Korean, Chinese, or Japanese.”

I ignored her. Because at the time, I couldn’t say I was friends with E. We knew of each other, but we didn’t play together. And no, at age seven, I didn’t know for sure what kind of Asian she was. I didn’t even know why I couldn’t be blonde and have blue eyes like my friend who was moving away to Utah. I have since expanded on my knowledge.

It’s really funny and ironic though. Twenty something years later, there I am chatting with E, and we are friends.

My point, I guess, is it’s really crazy how something you’re going through can seem so sad and gut-wrenching and horrible at the moment. And then you look back later and wonder why you stressed out so much over something so trivial.

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