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Boys I hope karma serves a beat down

Middle school was by far my most unpleasant time in my educational career. For non-Americans, middle school consists of 6th-8th grade which you take between the ages of about 11-14. If you had to hang out with gangs of 11-14-year-olds, wouldn’t you be miserable too?

I started to get fat around 4th or 5th grade and remember weighing 160 pounds sometime during my middle school years. At the time that was a completely devastating number for me, which is beyond ironic now since it’s my goal weight.

One of my more wretched middle school memories occurred in the morning before school started. All students had to wait in the school gym until 10 minutes before the first bell, so we’d all congregate in the bleachers. At least two or three times while I was waiting for the bell to just ring already, a boy would come up to me and say something like “My friend really likes you.”

Now, if I was a hot chick or an athlete, I might have bought this. But even as naive as I was as a kid, I knew better. Their friend did not like me. No, they wanted to make fun of their friend by going up to the fat girl in school and saying he liked me. Oh wow, that’s so hilarious! The fat girl thinks you like her! Those adolescent comedians, where do they get this grade-A material? Who knew they were capable of anything but fart jokes?

I’m not sure how they wanted me to react, but I just ignored them and secretly seethed about it. I typically just ignored anyone who made fun of me. That seemed like a good, non-violent and socially acceptable idea at the time, but in retrospect I wish I’d stuck up for myself either by verbally smarting off to these assholes or by introducing their faces to the sidewalk. You shouldn’t let people treat you like trash and so frequently in my youth I let people treat me like they were the garbage collector.

Shit like that really sticks with you too. I distinctly remember walking across the school courtyard freshman year of high school and hearing two boys behind me say “Doesn’t PastaQueen have the biggest ass you’ve ever seen?” I’m sure they thought nothing of it and wouldn’t recall it if I saw them again, but their careless comments hurt enough that I still remember them today.

Sometimes I wonder if I’ve ever said or done anything that hurt someone so badly they still remember it. I hope not, but who knows? Here’s an open apology right now: If I ever said anything malicious that hurt you, I’m sorry. I know how it feels.

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9 Comments

Fatslayer • December 16, 2005 at 11:03 am

If your blog content is at all indicative, I’d seriously doubt that you’ve ever hurt anyone intentionally or said anything with wilful malice. In my experience, people who have been on the receiving end of thoughtless cruelty are very seldom cruel themselves – they know all too well how hurtful it is, and how long-lasting the damage.

I, too, was (and remain) a silent sufferer, biting my tongue and not retorting either verbally or physically to insults. I wish I was braver and more assertive, but I’m just too polite (and cowardly) to stick up for myself properly. You can’t help your nature.

One day those little fiends will get their comeuppance, though! I’m a firm believer that what goes around comes around…even if it takes a lifetime for the wheels of justice to turn.

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Kathryn • December 16, 2005 at 2:21 pm

Oh yeah, I used to get that too. And it isn’t restricted to adolescent boys either – I’ve gotten the sarcastic wolf whistle from grown men. I think it’s one of the cruelest things, it’s like saying that you are so undesirable that the only way someone would like you is if it’s a joke.

You just don’t learn to deal with that kind of stuff as a kid. I was like you and just ignored them because if I reacted I think I’d have just drawn more attention to myself and copped it worse.

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Dee • December 16, 2005 at 5:04 pm

And I know exactly how you feel too. It’s horrible way to treat people and I remember feeling so hurt and ashamed of myself. I actually grew out of my ‘baby’ fat by end mid-highschool and the taunts from early years made me not believe guys when they liked me – even when they came up and told me to my face. I refused to let anyone get close to me.

Like you and Fatslayer and Kathryn I never stood up for myself and now I kinda wish I did. It hurts knowing how much I could have saved that girl by having the courage to be as mean back. But then I guess, we’d be no better…oy vey.

And I agree Kathryn – that is the most horriblest thing to make someone think they’re only attractive if it’s a joke.

I’m a big believer in karma too and what goes around comes around.

P.s. As mean as the guys were – I don’t know if anyone eles had this problem but the girls were 20tims meaner.

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Steve • December 17, 2005 at 12:17 pm

you’ve a lot to be proud of, let those bad memories go along with all that excess fat.

Keep striving for your goals!

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M, the fat girl • January 23, 2006 at 1:36 am

Now, finally, I’m starting to catch up to posts a little more current. I’ve read through your entire archive this afternoon. Anyway—on the “sarcastic wolf whistle” point: the peril of this becomes the fat girl’s isolationist tendency. I have often refused to take a genuine compliment on my appearance, or believed that someone who was really interested in me was somehow mocking me. The signals get scrambled.

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Joan • March 1, 2006 at 12:44 pm

I have spent the whole day reading your archives, but this is the first post I felt compelled to comment on. I think I weighed about 165 by the time I was in 7th grade and in grade school was contantly being made fun of. However, what I remember most about grade school is that I used to beat up the boys. And I always think GO ME. In fact when I think of grade school, I think MORE about the GO ME part of it, than what started me beating them up in the first place, which was of course the name calling.

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PastaQueen • March 1, 2006 at 11:06 pm

Joan – Ha! That’s awesome! I wish I’d had the nerve to beat up some boys back then. Sometimes violence really is the answer :)

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Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog JenFul.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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