Posted tagged ‘bullies’

“We are our choices.”

February 21, 2016

The house is colder than outside. After I got out of bed, I ran downstairs and turned up the heat. Making the coffee was first in my morning routine then I went outside for the papers and was surprised to find the air warm or warmish I suppose is a bit more accurate.

The trees are quiet. The breeze isn’t strong enough to sway the creaky branches of the scrub pines. On the way back to the house from getting the papers, I stopped at my front garden because I saw the most welcome surprises. Green tips are above the soil. I know one is a hyacinth, and I suspect the others are the crocus and the dafs. The bulbs know spring is coming.

Living in New England means to expect cold, bone-chilling cold sometimes, and snow, but it doesn’t make me long for Florida or any sunny climes. I can’t imagine being so excited by a green shoot if I lived where flowers always bloom.

When I was a kid, I thought dandelions were flowers which grew on the grass instead of in the garden. My mother always made a big deal of the bouquet of dandelions I gave her. She’d put them in a glass filled with water. I even remember the glass. It was one which held small shrimp in sauce. I have a couple my mother gave me. I use them for orange juice.

I can’t think of anyone I ever hated when I was growing up. Some kids deserved a punch in the nose, and I was happy to oblige, twice. I was never reluctant to step in and tell some bully to shut up or else, the same with name callers. I had a sense of fairness which was just there, a part of me. Where it came from I have no idea. My brother was a bully, but I didn’t know that until I was an adult. A former elementary school classmate of his told my sister not that long ago. We were all surprised. We never saw it, but I don’t find it difficult to believe.

We go through so much while we’re growing up and make all sorts of choices along the way which help decide who we’ll be. I’m still making those choices.

“Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke.”

May 17, 2012

It’s chilly but still a beautiful and bright sunny day. It’s also nap time for the animals. The cats are on my yet to be made bed which they love, and the dog is on the couch snoring as if she were a bulky man in a tank top who fell asleep in his chair watching football. Those animals inspire me!

When I was growing up, there were good kids and bad kids, and we all knew the differences. Bad kids were bullies. They were name-callers and they were sneaky. All of them hung together in a sort of gang because the rest of us, the good kids, wanted nothing to do with them so they were stuck with each other. I didn’t know many bad kids. I know I punched one in the face at recess when I was ten, but I don’t even remember his name. I do remember the satisfaction of that punch. He, the nameless one, deserved it for making my friend cry by constantly calling her names. He wouldn’t stop when I asked so I punched him. We both ended up in the principal’s office, but I told her why and she let me go. I don’t know what was said or done to him but he stopped name calling.

In high school, on the bus, one kid got teased all the time. His name was Billy Marrota, and he always took it from the other guys as if he were the designated target. I think there were three or four other guys, and they always sat in the back row. It was a public bus as we went to school in a different town to a Catholic high school. The ride was a long one so I used the time to study. The boys in the back didn’t, and they annoyed me with their noise and laughter and their teasing which was always aimed at Billy. I couldn’t understand why he didn’t tell them to stop. It seemed humiliating, but he laughed with them, probably out of self-defense. I spoke to the bus driver and made him the bad guy. He yelled and told the guys he’d throw them off the bus if they didn’t behave. They did.

When I was young, I believed that most people were good and they were. Even the bullies stopped when confronted (or punched). We were all so innocent back then.


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