In middle school I was fat. I got teased a lot and it was terrible. But ultimately, being a fat kid made me a stronger, more empathetic person.
Or did it? I mean, the empathetic part is true: I remember very vividly how it felt to be called mean names and treated like I didn't matter, and now go out of my way to say positive things to people and make them feel important and at ease (perhaps this is the key to my success as a publicist?)
But I don't know if being fat as a kid has made me much stronger. For example, if mean Jimmy pushed me into a row of lockers and said, "Move it you fat cow," while walking past me in a crowded hallway, I'd pretty much just want to shrivel up and die. My faculties of reason and wit would completely desert me, and I'd just stand there, jaw open, ready to cry, like a STUPID, WIMPY fat cow.
between agreeing with mean Jimmy ("I am a fat cow and everybody knows it") and blaming myself ("why can't I just be thinner? tomorrow I'm going to try that new anorexia thing I've been hearing so much about") and imagining all of the amazing things I could have and should have said that would have put mean Jimmy in his place ("at least my mom's not my sister", "nice rat-tail, Then, I'd spend the remainder of the day obsessing over Jimmy's comment. I'd vascillatedouchebag", all manner of shameless, flagrant vulgarity.) Sometimes I'd practice saying those things in my head, imagining elaborate scenarios that ended with mean Jimmy in tears and a crowded hallway full of people applauding for me, doing their best to hoist my fat ass up in the air to parade me around the school on their shoulders as their hero.
I never mastered the art of the quick, snappy comeback, and no such thing happened.
Not to dwell on yesterday's news, but it occurred to me after I wrote of the Mystery Man that I felt the exactly same way after he called me a bad waitress as I did when getting picked on so many years ago. (And when the post got excerpted on Universal Hub and an "anonymous" commenter said means things about me, I felt the same way again. And so on...)
And I realized that I really use this blog as a way to get back at those people. It's a venue for all of the wonderful, unspoken rebuttals I have for the massive pricks out who keep on pushing me into lockers. Sure, I may stare at you blankly like a stupid fat cow in the moment, but my wrath will eventually be heard.
After all, isn't that what the Internet is for? To help those who were geeks and losers in high school to inherit the earth?