This is a memoir writing project created by Ann Dee Ellis. We write 8 minute memoirs based on her prompts. All the cool kids are doing it. Today's prompt: I remember when...
I remember when I laughed at Joey.
We were in 5th grade, standing in line outside the cafeteria waiting for school lunch. I remember holding a green lunch ticket, like the ones that come out of the game machines at Chuckie Cheese. It felt damp in my hand. It was hot, just a few days into the school year.
The boy in front of me started it. The merciless teasing and taunting of a chubby red-head named Joey. I remember that Joey was not adorable or sympathetic looking in any way. It was easy to make fun of him. I was new in school and I wanted to be normal and anonymous, and most importantly, not Joey.
So I made fun of him too, and the boy in front of me smiled.
The next day, I felt bad. I realized making fun of Joey was wrong. It wasn't nice.I didn't make fun of him. I told the boy in line to stop. I was nice to Joey- who reminded me that I had been mean yesterday.
For the remainder of the year I was nice to Joey. I sat by him, played with him at recess, and did not make fun of him.
Girls were vicious- the Ginas, the Meagans, (Hiiiiiii I see you on Facebook girls, and yes, these are your real names.) prank called me on weekends for two years asking if I was sleeping with Joey, or just making out with him. I'd see them standing outside the classroom window during lunch recess whispering about how gross we were.
One time some boys in my ward threw rocks at me as I walked home. (Hi Brad! Hi Jordan! Tell your Moms hiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!)
Joey was not adorable or sympathetic. He would corner me in the halls and try and hug me or hold my hand. He was aggressive and sweaty. He'd back me into the corner of dark gyms during the 7th grade dance and slow dance with me. I remember the first time a boy touched me without my permission and I remember that I was taught to be nice, not to say "no."
I remember when I thought that being "nice" was the right thing to do.
I do not want to raise daughters who are nice.