you’re blue in the face and they’re still never going to hear you”. I learned that from my dad. Weird for a mini-teen that it made sense to me the 1st time he said it to me. Here’s that story.
When I was 12 or 13 I had a steady, summer baby-sitting job 3 times a week on the south side of Apple Valley. Walking back and forth enough times and walking past a pretty cool looking park, of course, gave me the idea that we, from my neighborhood, should go have fun there sometime. So we did. The kids in my neighborhood and I all rode our bikes to that park one day. We had a great time! Okay, we only had a great time till Amazon Queen and her minions showed up. That title is giving her way too many kudos, sorry to mislead. Fine, this was a teen my sister’s age, Bernadette is two years older than I am. This …. okay, if I have to say “girl” again I will but I’m not comfortable with that word either. So anyway, this person was 2 years older and apparently only one grade ahead of me so take that math where it belongs. I can honestly say that she was ugly as shit, scary as all get out and was 3 times me, size-wise. Twice as tall and had me, by weight, at least 3 times. I think her name was Mary Jo, but I’m gonna call her ugh-girl since I’m not certain…okay, that and it fits.
Small town, suburb, relatively new suburb…we just weren’t raised with a thought of “territory” and had no idea that there was an overlord of that particular park. So there we are, having fun at this fun park and ugh-….okay…I’m not comfortable with the “girl” term here in to trying to describe this human (from my 12 or 13 year old point of view). What I’d really like to call her is a fucking angry, ugly and overly large teenage girl with serious…SERIOUS anger issues. What would ya call that? Okay fine, in this story, from here on in she shall be labeled the creature and no, don’t feel the need to use caps for that title. Back to, we’re at the park, playing and having fun. Then the creature and her minions arrived. It turned out that her minions were her younger half-siblings. They were kids, I was a mini-teen. Massive, ugly, creature claimed that this park was hers and demanded that we leave. That didn’t make sense to me and now I understand where Samantha got her don’t-fuck-with-me attitude from. Well right, I still wasn’t entirely aware that there are bad things and bad people in the world. Haha, that didn’t really hit till my 30’s. That day, to me it was an injustice. Public parks were just that…public. Who the hell was she to demand that we leave? I was sitting on some sort of apparatus, can’t tell you what but coming from a short person, I know I was a tad elevated. It was way before I thought swearing was “cool” (give it up, we all know that age) and I may have flavored my response with a colorful word or two just to drive my point home that I was certain she was in the wrong. Well com’on, everyone else who came with me froze and shut up. Somebody had to so something!
I really can’t remember who all, from my neighborhood was there. Apparently Bernadette was, she brought this up the other night. Her story is that we had gone to the park before and had an minor altercation with the creature. I don’t doubt that. I only remember the big one though. My neighbor, Kevin, is the only one I can absolutely swear was there. The creature demanded that we leave “her” park. Everyone who was with me stopped in their tracks and just looked at the creature. Fine, leave it to me, I lipped off and catch this…she had her little sister…little, I was small, this girl was half my size…she had her little sister punch me or throw a rock at me or spit at me or a combination of 2 or all three. She sicked her little, little sister on me! Are you kidding me? No, I didn’t attack the little sister. I jumped off whatever kind of apparatus I was sitting on and punched the creature in the face. I had to reach up very high to do that.
I understand standing up for one’s rights but apparently that’s not a very good way to accomplish what you mean to say if the human you attack is someone who can literally kill you. I was on the ground in no time. It was that point that Kevin peddled his bike faster than he ever had in his life, back to my house to get my dad. I bit her. I know, not a gentlemanly thing to do but I wasn’t a gentleman, I was a mini-teen getting the shit beaten out of me. Any defense is better than no defense. My recollection is that I blocked out everything, the blows, the beating, the pain and threw all of my concentration into the bite. Sometimes it helps to be attention deficit, it’s all about focus. Focus and the rest of the world does NOT exist. It would be helpful if we could pick and choose our focus but that’s another story for another day.
So, there’s the creature beating the shit out of me while I was literaly latched onto her leg like a rabid dog. I know, embarrassing as it is, that was the fact. At some point the creature’s little sister ran home to get their mom. I didn’t let go until the mom showed up. Surprise to me, the mom wanted to beat the shit out of me. Didn’t know that mom’s did that. Chalk that one as a new discovery. Luckily and embarrassingly for me another mom showed up (the kid I had a crush on, his mom, yep embarrassing). This mom had no idea what was going on and didn’t care, her point was…you cannot beat up a child. Any child, doesn’t matter the issue. That was simply not going to happen that day in her neighborhood. She was my guardian angel that day, no doubt. I was still sitting on the ground getting an earful from another neighbor on how human bites are worse than dog bites but my attention was on the 2 mom’s argument. Whole swirl of altered reality and too much going on at the same time when I saw my dad pull up. I hadn’t realize that that Kevin had left. God bless Kevin.
There he is! There’s my dad! He’s my hero! He’ll tell the mom of the creature this and this and that….nah, didn’t happen like that. My dad pulled up and got out of his car and of course I ran over to him. The creature’s mom, duh…did the math that that was my dad. She and her neighbor (the one letting me know how awful human bites are) both ran over and started bitching at my dad. My dad completely ignored them. He instructed me to get in the car and then he grabbed my bike to put it in the car as well. I was as indignant as I was astounded. What? What? WHAT? You need to stick up for me and put them in their places! Nah, he didn’t. Apparently when my dad got there I was spewing my case. He took in the reactions of the people I was trying to talk to and saw it. Nobody wanted to listen, they just wanted to be angry, argue and beat me up. After witnessing that few moments my dad told me to get in the car I looked at him like he was a martian. It was when he was putting my bike in the car that I started up my “but dad, but dad, but dad…dad! She said this,she did that, her mom said this and that and that woman saved be because the creature’s mom was gonna do that to me. DAD! DO SOMETHING!”.
He did do something. He paused while he was putting my bike in the car and said “Jacqueline (yep one of those names that you’re only called if it’s important) , you can talk to some people until you’re blue in the face and they still will never hear you”. Cha-ching! Giant cha-ching! As much as I’d been trying to argue my case to the creature’s mom and the evil neighbor….neither one of them had heard anything I had to say. When he said that a huge light bulb went off in my head and I shut up and got in the car.
I must have been 13 because I started high school that fall. Ran into the creature in a remote stairwell in the high school and of course, me being me, spewed verbal abuse. Are you kidding? Throughout my entire life, being small and the runt, that was my only defense. I’d have bruises but I’d be the one in trouble because I’d made Bernadette cry. Really? What I got in return for my verbal abuse from the creature was four long, deep scratch marks from fingernails, across my entire face. Other people started entering the remote stairwell and it was left at that. Sometimes believing that the powers that rule the land will aid you doesn’t exactly rule true. Words were exchanged yes but, I had physical proof that I’d been attacked. K, here it is, you attacked me (even though I provoked it) and I have proof and you are in so much trouble. I went to the principal’s office.
Yeah, her being in trouble didn’t happen either. The powers that were in charge were totally sucked in at my story and just look at my face, there’s the proof. I informed them (from my 13 year old point of view) of the circumstances of the previous summer’s altercation. The office people were all about this can’t happen and it won’t happen again and we’re so glad you told us and pretty much whatever. Okay, pretty much WTF ever. I left the office and they called the creature’s mom and got a different story and I was called back into the office and told to make sure that “nothing else happens”. They did not call my parents. Really? I kind of trusted them. Total let down by those in authority. One more reason to not trust the school system. Bottom line, I was told to shut up and deal with it. That and someone can physically hurt me, which is acceptable, but it’s not acceptable if I verbally abuse someone as my only defense. That pretty much told me that it’s only acceptable to defend ourselves physically or get the shit beaten out of us. Um…what? Actually, what the fuck?
I know, I’d like to be humorous but some things just don’t tabulate that way. That was when I discovered politics in the school system and injustice in the school system and apparently, if one’s only defense is verbal abuse, one should shut the hell up and deal with getting beaten up. Still don’t get that one. Eh, what are ya gonna do?
As a parent I have an answer to that question. Fight like hell when something stupid comes up that your child is in trouble for (as far as school goes) or isn’t in trouble for has had an injustice done to them. Unfortunately for me, I still am not listened to and usually had to bring the big gun into the picture, Rob. The school doesn’t care about that 2nd thing. That 1st thing is kind of like when I got a call at work one day from the principal of the Jr. High letting me know that Samantha had beaten up a boy. Another story. Samantha completely rocks and the parents of the boy….eh, they should have just put the kids up for adoption. They just don’t make good parents. Shouldn’t there be a test one should have to take 1st? It’s all politics. Which ever parents bitch the most, they get the most attention paid to them to keep the waters smooth. Back to WTF ever?