I’m Sorry I Called You a Cow
I was only in fifth grade. I was young and immature. I was trying to be cool. I was… blah blah blah. Excuses.
The teacher had instructed us to find a table to work on a new project. We had assigned seats, but for reasons I don’t recall now, we could sit anywhere for this project. Me and my friends immediately hopped on a table together and started joking around, as young boys who think they are cool do.
Marcie, a girl in my class, wandered over and occupied the last remaining seat at the table. It shouldn’t have been a big deal, we were only sitting in this arrangement for an hour or so, but I decided to use this opportunity to show my friends how cool I was.
Now, for context, I was always on the outer rim of the cool circles. I was well liked, but never a cool kid. I was friends with the popular crew, but not on the inside. This was the crux of my stress growing up. In hindsight, it didn’t matter at all, but at the time my world hinged on cracking into the popular crew. Here was my chance, or so I thought.
GO GRAZE ON SOME OTHER GRASS YOU COW!
Seriously, that’s what I said. I called this young lady a cow. A COW!
She was big. Not fat, but just a bigger girl. I had nothing against her. I didn’t dislike her. She didn’t do anything wrong. I called her a cow.
I can only imagine how hard it was for her, growing up. All my stress and anxiety around trying to be cool was probably nothing compared to her worries. Fitting in is hard, especially if you are different. I called her a cow.
I’ll never forget that look in her eyes.
Sadness. Deflated. Defeated. All in her eyes. Time stood still. She didn’t know what to do. Neither did I. As soon as the word “cow” left my mouth, I knew I was wrong. I’ll never forget that feeling. My heart hurt, and I’m sure it’s nothing compared to how I made her heart feel.
She got up and walked to another table. My friends were not impressed. No one said anything until we slowly eased backed into meaningless banter. I wanted to cry.
I hate myself for saying what I did, and I still feel guilty. I have never insulted anyone like that since. I’m a better person because of it, but I hate that my self improvement came at the expense of knocking someone else down.
Marcie, I’m sorry. I was stupid. I hope life brings you extra peace and joy to compensate for the mean things people like me said and did.