Monday, November 10, 2008

Stupid kids are happy kids

There was a thing on the Today Show last week about giving growth hormones to perfectly healthy but relatively small children. As someone who was definitely a small child (and, yeah, a small adult), I thought, "What the shit, where was this when I was being called a 'shrimp' on the bus?"

I then realized that I don't have much memory of getting picked on. I believe this is because I've either blocked out any of those memories or because I was too dense to know when I was being insulted. The "shrimp" story is a perfect example...

When I was in first grade, I took the bus to school with all of the other kids. The scariest kids on our bus were the Big Bad Third Graders.

I grew up knowing I was a lot smaller than the other kids, but my mom always told me that "good things come in small packages." Not only was I comfortable with this characterization, I'm pretty sure I walked around with an inflated ego actually thinking my height made me better than my taller peers.

The Big Bad Third Graders disagreed.

One afternoon, I was boarding the bus after school, patiently waiting my turn in the line as we all shuffled ourselves (and our Jansport backpacks) onto the bus. Out of nowhere, two third grade boys ran up JUST as it was my turn to hurl my tiny self from the curb to that first step.

"Outta my way, shrimp," one growled at me. The other laughed as they pushed past me.



I had no idea why he would say that to me, so I decided that he was just stupid and shrugged it off. But I couldn't help asking my mom about it when I got home.

"Mom, what's 'shrimp' mean?" I asked her.

"'Shrimp?'" she repeated, a little confused. "Well, honey, you know a shrimp is a little creature that lives in the water --"

"Yeah, but what does it mean?" I implored.

"That's what it means..." she trailed off, studying my face, probably wondering if I needed to go to "special" classes.

"No, I mean if someone says it to you," I continued.

Her expression changed. And no, she wasn't going into Protective Mommy Mode. She looked a little amused. "Did someone call you a shrimp?" she asked, trying to hide a smile.

"Yes," I answered. "And I do not know why because I do NOT live in the water."

At this point, my mother burst out laughing. Not because what I said was funny, but because she apparently found this entire scenario hilarious.

"Oh, hon! A shrimp is very small, so he was calling you that because you're small too," she explained.

"Yeah, I am small. So why did he say it all mean-like and why did the other boy laugh?"

That's when my mom had to carefully explain that I was being insulted. Whatever she ended up saying must have been great because I still chalked the whole thing up to the boy being a moron.

Ignorance really is bliss, huh?


Anonymous said...

Oh I swear, bullies are complete shits. I got picked on not only for my last name but also my curly hair. What a mom you have too :) Very cute though the story considering you still thought they were morons and didn't get upset. Look at you now though and just think, both of those guys are probably locked up somewhere with butt buddies. HAHAHA

Anonymous said...

I think we've both probably been called worse!

surviving myself said...

I used to get bullied by the bigger dudes in my classes because I was always thin.

Of course now they're all fatties, so I think I know who won that battle.

Marie said...

I'm still called a shrimp. I just turn around and tell people they are a monkey's butt.

Paula said...

I was the opposite of a kid, completely oversensitive - someone would probably have COMPLIMENTED me and I'd have taken it the wrong way. Like you say, I guess ignorance really IS bliss!

The Alleged Ringleader said...


Andy said...

Your mom was a filthy liar. But, it happens. Now, where can I get those growth hormones?

elle michelle said...

Curly Sue: I have curly/frizzy hair too, but I straighten the shit out of it now. Back then, not so much!

HP: You got that right.

Surviving Myself: You win!!

Marie: Maybe that's what I should have done.

Paula: Aw, that's kinda cute though. SO many people could use a dose of that humility.

Ringleader: I know, kinda sad, right?

Andy: My mom IS a filthy liar. After her "hot dogs grow on trees" nonsense, I should know better.

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