From Wendy Lyn Watson's Mysteries a la Mode
My mom and my Aunt Tally always say that I can do anything if I just put my mind to it. But they're wrong. There are three things I absolutely cannot do (and believe me, I've tried):
- I can't make my boobs any bigger.
- I can't make my mom less crazy.
- I can't be cool.
I'm a geek, and I'm proud of it.
It isn't always easy. A skinny, flat-chested, braniac who couldn't drive until after she graduated from high school and wears clothes from the thrift store? I may as well have had a target on my back. I got used to the teasing, but then, my senior year, this cute boy named Mike Hardigan needed help with his algebra homework ... and his girlfriend, Missy Parker, did not take kindly to our tutoring sessions.
Geez. Like Mike Hardigan ever in a million years would have made a pass at me. Or like I would ever fall for a meathead who could barely add. But Missy Parker and her gaggle of empty-headed minions declared me Public Enemy #1. They started calling me a slut, taping pancakes to my locker (a clever jibe at my physique) ... they even created an online slam book on a social networking site and posted all sorts of messages about the guys I supposedly slept with.
I cried a lot, and I got sick to my stomach just about every day. Being bullied feels like someone kicking you in the gut over and over and over again. You can't get away; you can't defend yourself; and it feels like it's never going to end.
Me, I was lucky. I had my mom and my Aunt Tally to stand by me (mom's crazy, but she's not all bad). And I got to get out of high school a little early, head to college. Suddenly all the things that made me dorky--the things Missy Parker made fun of--made me edgy. Not cool, really. But geek chic. I can live with that.
Not everyone is so lucky. Some kids get bullied and they don't feel like they can turn to anyone. Or they get to college, and it's just not any better. So if you see someone who's getting picked on, don't wait for them to ask for help. Offer it.
Were you picked on or teased in school? How did you handle it? Any advice for kids who are being bullied?