Tragic Sandwich

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Bullies Come in All Shapes and Sizes, Part III


I just came across this post on GeekDad about a first-grade girl bullied for carrying a Star Wars lunchbox. It’s a couple of years old, but it resonated with me.

Why? I didn’t carry a Star Wars lunchbox. I’m old. I pre-date Star Wars. But I was an Adam-12 fan, and I carried a lunchbox from that show.

One morning, as I was walking to my class, two boys started to taunt me. It went like this:

Boy #1: You’re a boy.
Me: I’m a girl.
Boy #2: No, you’re a boy. Only boys watch Adam-12.
Me: That’s not true. I’m a girl, and I watch Adam-12.
Boy #2: That means you’re a boy.
Me: No, it doesn’t. Look, I’m wearing a skirt.
Boy #1: That just means you’re a boy in a skirt.
Me: . . .

Look, if you’ve been reading this blog, you know that this is where the conversation ended. And it didn’t end because I ran away crying, or because a teacher put a stop to it.

No, it ended because I hit Boy #1 in the head with my lunchbox. Which was full, because it was morning. And made of metal, because that’s what lunchboxes were made of.

You know what happened? Nothing. I didn’t get in any trouble, either at home or at school. I’ll bet neither of those boys was willing to admit that someone they saw as a victim was completely unwilling to fill that role. And maybe, just maybe, they thought better of pulling that kind of crap with some other little girl. The only thing that happened was that I got a dent in my lunchbox.

I’ve always been proud of that dent.

Photo by Andrew Baron, via Flickr.


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14 thoughts on “Bullies Come in All Shapes and Sizes, Part III

  1. Good job! I was always terrible about sticking up for myself, but I did defend my little brother by whacking a bully over the head with a hardcover book. I also may or may not have used my fingernails to good advantage on the back of said bully’s hand. F*cker deserved it. And nobody got in any trouble, because grown-ups didn’t care.

    • Today, you and I would be suspended.

      Mr. Sandwich and I have already discussed how we will handle punishment for bullying (extensive, regardless of the school’s response) vs. self-defense (none, regardless of the school’s response). In the latter situation, we may, depending on circumstances, deem it appropriate to lecture the principal.

      Neither one of us is in favor of aggression. We are equally opposed to promoting victimhood.

  2. good for you for standing up for yourself and you are right, just maybe he learned to not mess with people. I was bullied all through grammar school and it wasn’t till I met my hubby that I realized just how special I was.

    It’s horrific how kids are bullied today, that is one thing that scares me about Dinosaur going to school.

  3. Staci on said:

    The only problem with hitting bullies is that sometimes they show up later with their 10 bully friends and beat the crap out of you. This happened to my husband once, although he did say the bullies never bothered him again.

  4. Hey! I hit a boy in the head with a lunchbox, too! It was in first grade. I got in trouble, though- sort of. Apparently, the teacher said the boy deserved it. I can’t remember what he did, but we still laugh about it.

    My lunch box was a Star Wars lunchbox. With Luke Skywalker and R2D2!

    • I can’t remember whether I was in kindergarten or first grade–it was a K/1/2 class, and while I started the year in kindergarten, I wound up in first grade and started second grade the next year. But it sounds like we had similar instincts.

  5. Good for you! I remember two instances when I stood my ground against potential bullies and my determination made them turn around and walk the other way. I seriously can’t stand bullies and hate that kids get bullied all the time. It’s such a huge issue that’s not just about popularity but about their own insecurities.

  6. I would be proud of that dent, too. A coworker told me about how when a boy threw a frog at her, she caught it and threw it back. The boy screamed and ran away. Pff.

  7. I used to be all “no one should hit, blah, blah, blah.” As my kids grow older, I realize the value of standing their ground. Sometimes you have to. I’m glad you did.

  8. Pingback: Splish, Splash: Pools I Have Known « Tragic Sandwich

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