I realized early on that it’s usually the little things that hurt the most. That the seemingly insignificant words can sometimes be the most lasting. That a tiny piece of mechanical pencil lead, not only hurts like hell- but will stay embedded in the palm of your hand for 22 years.
I’ve always been a little sensitive, and that’s something that I think that I have really made a conscious effort to improve on in recent years, and I think I’ve really come a long way.
I remember when I was young, I was never really bothered when I wasn’t invited to a sleepover, or that I wasn’t the most popular girl in school. The things that had the most effect on me were the words that I suspect that no one else would remember or that others would have brushed off as a joke.
When I was in Elementary school I sometimes had to wear an eye patch because I had a lazy eye. I only had to wear it a few hours every day, so my parents usually allowed me to do my time after school hours. I also fell off a slide onto concrete and shattered my right arm so I had to have it attached to my body for several months. For the most part, neither the eye patch or the cast that made me look like I only had one arm were really a big deal to me. For the most part.
Back in those days they used to line the kids up for lunch or recess alphabetically. I’m not sure if they still do that, but it always really blew if your last name started with a letter in the middle of the alphabet, because you never got to be the leader. I always wished that my last name was “Adams” or “Zookeeper,” so that I would get to be at the front of the line. Why that was such a big deal back then, I can’t remember… but it was.
One day, I believe it was a Tuesday, my mom had forgotten to force me to wear my eye patch the afternoon before, so instead I had to wear it to school like an asshole. On this particular day, since I was in fact wearing a flesh colored patch (not even a cool black one) and was half gimp and my teacher must have felt extremely sorry for me, because for the first time in the history of my life- she decided to line us up starting with the letter “Mc.” (That’s me!)
So there I was, standing at the very front of the line, smiling my little booty off- when all of a sudden I noticed that the line that had formed in the classroom across the hall were pointing and laughing. At first I didn’t think much about it, because surely they were just laughing because someone had tooted or something, but it still made me a little self conscious. It wasn’t until I hear “It’s a one armed pirate!!!” that I knew for sure that I was the topic of discussion.
It still hurts a little.
As life went on, there are several other instances that I remember being particularly hurtful that I would (hopefully) laugh off today.
Like when my teacher asked us “how do you figure out (insert silly little word problem here)? Andwhen I called upon to answer, I replied “Well first you take a calculator….” At that point, the class erupted into laughter, and my teacher told me I should have been blonde. In present time, I think that was a perfectly smart reply, because duh I’m going to calculate that shiz on a calculator. But at the time I really felt stupid. I even went home and cried about it.
I also remember a time when I threw up because Curtis Mack had a bloody nose at the lunch table, and everyone accused me of spilling my chocolate milk. I don’t know why I was so much more embarrassed about spilling my dirnk than I was of throwing up, but I was.
And then there was also the time when I was inexplicably jealous that Steven, who I had a crush on, threw up on my friend Kelly instead of me. Yeahhhh…. that was just weird.
But even now, as much as I’ve built up my armor, it seems that it’s still the little things- whether physical or verbal- that hurt the most.
Like…A couple of years ago, LA and I decided to paint ourselves up like Indians with a cactus fruit that we found at my farm. Who would’ve thought that we would have little pricklys stuck in our faces for months to come?
And then just this weekend, I got into my car to drive to meet my friends to get a margarita- and just happened to sit on a penny. A tiny little penny… well that fucker had been sitting in the Texas sun for 8 hours and branded the hell outta me!
This picture really doesn’t do it justice…
Happy Weekend people!! Let us all go out and create new wounds.