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01 May 2008 @ 10:51 am
Things that remind me of other things  
(This is from 30+ years ago and doesn't really bother me anymore, but I do still remember it.)

When I was in grade school, I was not popular. This was mostly my fault; I was short, fat, and wore glasses; I was younger than my classmates, having skipped a grade; I had transferred back to my neighborhood public school after three years at a private school and was perceived as stuck-up; and I was generally not easy to get along with. I probably also had undiagnosed depression, which didn't help matters.

One of the fun things to do, when I was in 5th grade, was to steal my bicycle.

The first one that was stolen was my fault, I admit: I was in a hurry and just ran the chain through the front wheel. When I came out after class, the wheel and chain were there; the rest of the bike was gone.

The second one I made a point of locking through the back wheel and frame. Until the day I came out and the front wheel was gone.

The third one, I got a longer chain and always wound it through the front wheel, the back wheel, and the frame. Until the day I came out and the handlebars and seat had been taken.

After that, I gave up and walked to school.
Fat Fred the Otter and Skippy: iotterfatfred on May 1st, 2008 03:24 pm (UTC)
Nothing like the cruelty of children.
Right there with you.
guppiecatguppiecat on May 1st, 2008 04:15 pm (UTC)
I was not popular in grade school either.

I would have electrified the bike.

I wonder if those two statements are somehow related. ;)
Tobietrcabbage on May 1st, 2008 04:19 pm (UTC)
I was usually on the outside edges on the 'in kids'...never quite there but always close enough to be pushed away.

madshutterbug: Expostulationmadshutterbug on May 1st, 2008 04:25 pm (UTC)
The stealing of your bike was not your fault; you did not make their choice to steal the bike. Now, I will go with you made it easier, but even that through the ignorance side of the learning curve. My granddaddy used to say, ignorance is correctable, stupid gets you dead...

Kids in my school used to like to bug me to the point I'd get angry, because I'd get all red in the face. That went on a long time, until I kicked one kid in the nuts. After that, it still went on, but with a less physical aspect. They didn't want to get close to me.

One of the things they used to bug me about is I kept stuffed toy animals. Now I'm making the occasional sale of photos of Ottarz Mob. Hmm, wonder who won that one?

Edited at 2008-05-01 04:42 pm (UTC)
aedificaaedifica on May 2nd, 2008 03:36 pm (UTC)
Well, ignorance can get you dead, too. But it's correctable if it doesn't kill you before you get the chance to learn.
starcat_jewelstarcat_jewel on May 1st, 2008 04:27 pm (UTC)
No, the first one being stolen was NOT your fault. They had a choice, and they CHOSE to steal it. And where were the school authorities in all this? Those thefts were taking place on school property; they had some responsibility to pursue the matter.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on May 1st, 2008 06:17 pm (UTC)
The administrators were in the office; the bikes were in the parking lot.
starcat_jewelstarcat_jewel on May 1st, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)
Sorry, expressed myself poorly. What I meant was that it was the responsibility of the school administration to file a police report and pursue the issue, not that they should have seen and stopped the theft. And perhaps to install some kind of security measures to prevent more such incidents from happening.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on May 1st, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
Well, as I said -- this was probably 35 years ago, when such things were considered the just deserts of being unpopular, and school security consisted of a crossing guard morning and afternoon.
Apel Mjausson: buddhaBWapel on May 1st, 2008 04:37 pm (UTC)
Reality check, Janet. It wasn't your fault that you were bullied in grade school. If, today, you saw a kid that was short, fat and precocious, would you say "Well it's the kid's own fault that they're being bullied. Of course the class mates are going to steal the kid's bike (parts). This bullied kid should really grow taller, get thin, become the same age as the class mates and stop being socially awkward and all problems will go away. Totally their own fault."?
Lolleelolleeroberts on May 1st, 2008 05:43 pm (UTC)

None of it was your fault.
Ruth Lawrenceruth_lawrence on May 2nd, 2008 03:12 am (UTC)
Not any of it.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on May 1st, 2008 06:16 pm (UTC)
Any other kid? No, of course not! I'd feel sympathy and concern.

Me, though? Pah. Totally my fault. Except maybe the private school part; that was my parents' decision.
fatcook: Rosesfatcook on May 1st, 2008 05:52 pm (UTC)
Been there, had the eggs thrown.
What really helped the most was running into on of the "popular girls" much later in life and to quote Billy Joel "she peaked too early". We both still blooming and I plan too for a very long time.
Peter Engdornbeast on May 1st, 2008 06:05 pm (UTC)
If a woman is wearing a short skirt, low-cut blouse, and high heels, she isn't "asking for it."

If a kid is short, fat, and wears glasses...
Janet Miles, CAP-OM: Dariajanetmiles on May 1st, 2008 06:15 pm (UTC)
"A kid" -- no, of course not!

Me -- of course! Obviously!
seawaspseawasp on May 1st, 2008 10:28 pm (UTC)

... Is not the victim's fault. Even if you're bullied because you're a jerk, that's still not your fault.

What were your PARENTS doing? My dad and mom would've taken the school apart for that kind of stuff. And I, as someone else said upthread, would've electrified the bike with a Ford coil.
gh4acws on May 1st, 2008 11:13 pm (UTC)
I clickedthrough to the comments topoint out that these things were not your fault.
Now I want to know why you still think they are.

Electrification of the bike sounds like a good idea.

Otoh - at the 25 years reunion one of the bullies said into my face how much fun it always was to needle me. To this day I have no idea why I did not break his nose there and then. ( on the gripping hand I hear that meanwhile he has left job and family , shaved his head and turned gay [if 'turn' is the right word ] so possibly he has had a lifechanging experience without my breaking his nose.)