Middle-Grade Memories: Teasing. The bad kind.

And then there’s teasing, the bad kind. The painful kind. Jr. High is riddled with this kind, no? Somehow, a group of boys thought it funny to lie to one of the um, nerds (and the teasing continues) in our class that I liked him. For some reason, he believed this.

This poor boy. Shaggy mop of hair. Thick-rimmed glasses. And he skipped everywhere he went. He was an easy target in the days of awkward moments.

One day in PE, our class was sitting outside on the field, obviously doing something athletic I can’t remember. And I see this group of boys coming up to me, nudging this poor boy towards me. There were snickers. And points. And my heart started racing. He stood before me now. In a daze, I heard him say something about liking me or hanging out sometime. Now, I don’t remember exactly what happened next. Probably repressed the memory of whatever “truth” I gave him. But I’m sure it was along the lines of “No.” And, “I don’t feel the same.” (All said with a preteen-girl grimace on my face.)

What I do remember is feeling mortified. Red in the face. The “lightening strike me now” kind of desire to just disappear in that very moment. Not only for myself, but a teeny part of me must have felt it for the boy who was now skipping away from me. I must admit, a couple of the boys who encouraged this nonsense did apologize to me for what they did. Pretty mature for junior high boys. I’m sure my mom told me they only did it because they liked me. But I like to think boys at that age are all boogers. And it was just a booger of a thing to do.

Then again, I was a bit of a booger myself. Oh how I wish I could have spoken kindly to the poor boy who was mislead. Chances like that come and go. More often they seem to go. But, it’s one of those life lessons you gotta learn.

So, here’s my opportunity to reconcile with the shaggy haired boy with the thick-trimmed glasses at Huntington Junior High. Sorry I was such a booger. Let’s be friends now, mmkay?


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