You’re going to be shocked to find out this, but I haven’t always been this cool. I got bullied as a kid and thinking back on it, I don’t think adults really knew how to help.
My parents told me that if somebody called me names, I could just say that rhyme, Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. And even as a kid I remember thinking, that just sounds like I’m coaching them… on how to hurt me better.
“Hey, Chad. Take a knee. You’ve been calling me names recently, and that works okay. But you don’t strike me as somebody who’s happy to do just okay. You want to be the best. So here’s what I’m going to suggest. Have you tried sticks? Oh yeah. Sticks are so much more effective than name calling. They’re one of my many physical weaknesses. Just spitballing here, but rocks would probably work. Anything solid. Bonus for you, my bones are very brittle, so get me with a stick or rock and you’ll probably break one. Now get back out there and break my bones, Chad. Sticks on three. One two three. Sticks!”
My mom also told me that the kids who made fun of me were just jealous. That’s a sweet thought, but thinking back… I don’t think they were. What the fuck were they jealous of, huh? Do you think Sterling was going home and writing in his diary, “I wish I had Payless shoes and could run a mile in just under 19 minutes, like Alex.”
I don’t think Rick is sitting with a shrink right now saying, “Looking back on my life, I was just lashing out because I was jealous of Alex’s almost playable Magic: The Gathering deck.”
Bonus tip: DO NOT look up your bullies on Facebook.
I had this idea that I would check on them and see how badly their lives turned out and that would be super satisfying. Kinda like the “It Gets Better Project” but backwards. Boy was that a mistake. They are all… fine.
Every kid who was mean to me grew up to be pretty successful and have a beautiful family. It’s such bullshit. Rick’s in finance, obviously. Sterling has a charity for horses? Ugh. And Chad works at Microsoft, which adds insult to injury. They’re taking our jobs, nerds!
Basically, if you’re having trouble getting your dream job or starting a family… you should try picking on me. It works every single time.