Getting to know me Monday

I’m going to start sharing stories from my youth every Monday. We can get to know each other like friends do sharing stories from our past over coffee. Feel free to join in I would love to read about some of you as kids-crazy stuff you got into.

I got picked on a lot growing up, so I learned pretty early how to stand up for and defend myself. There were many fist fights before, after, and during school. Many suspensions and black eyes, but I never lost a fight. Probably the most memorable of those fights happened in 7th grade.

A new family moved into our neighborhood. The family consisted of a Bobo mom, step dad, big Bobo sister, middle Bobo brother, and little Bobo sister (Bobo is my generic term for people who suck). Big Bobo sister was a year older then me and already attending my school. Although until her first afternoon on the bus I had no idea she existed. I don’t know what made me stick out but she wasted no time singling out my not so cool clothes or my not so teased hair. She poked and taunted me the whole way home. One of the hardest things I’ve ever done was to sit and bare it. You see if I got kicked off the bus my mom would have surely beaten me within an inch of my life. So I waited. Plotting how I would beat the day lights out of her the minute we stepped off the bus. Sure enough she stepped off right on my heals still spewing evil remarks into my neck. I turned around and punched her right in the nose. It started to bleed and she ran away. I thought, “Ok so that’s the end of that”. Boy was I wrong, it only made her teasing more fevered and cruel. Everyday we did the same dance. She teased me. I beat her up. Now I must tell you, I never felt fighting was the only way to solve my problems and always tried to talk things out first. Even if the talking only resulted in intimidating the other person enough to leave me alone. Sometimes though it just came to blows. The teasing and fighting went on for a few months, until one day she got off the bus and tried to run home. Well that just really pissed me off, oh no I just sat through all you’re teasing now it’s your turn for a beating and I chased her down. This time our fighting was dangerously close to our parents catching us only being a few houses from both our homes. But more dangerous then was Bobo girl’s dog-Bobo dog, also known as “dog who roams the neighborhood looking for kids to pull of bikes and maul” dog. Evil shaggy dog, who instead of being white and fluffy was grayish brown with hair matted in big knots all over him. Never would you want to pet this dog-maybe that’s why he was so mean. We in the throws of punching (me) and hair pulling (her) when Bobo dog ran over and sunk his yellowed, decaying teeth into my thigh. At that same moment Bobo girl let go of my hair so that we were both now up right and the pain of the bite sent a power through my final punch I didn’t know I had. My fist hit her mouth so hard that her braced teeth broke through her top lip and scraped my knuckles. She whimpered then ran home with Bobo dog. This time I ran too, as my leg bled all over my jean skirt (one of the few cool things I owned). I came through the front door like a freight train no longer afraid of being caught fighting, now afraid of dying from some disease that I was sure Bobo dog had given me. In the midst of my frightened explanation (my mom trying to stop the bleeding) someone knocked on the front door-and woooohooo did the afternoon get interesting.

It was Bobo mom with an unleashed Bobo dog. My mom stepped outside and the wind began to blow, the sky clouded, and you could hear thunder in the distance. I was sure she was about to conjure the powers of manah and have this woman sucked into the depths of hell. Before I go any further, you must know, my mom is all of 5 feet tall and barely a 100 pounds. She has long blond hair and angelic blues eyes. But she’ll knock you on your ass if you cross her. It was this faithful day that I learned every curse word I know…and let me tell you it went way beyond a few f-words and the like. After each sentence to add emphasis, she kicked Bobo dog-who just stood there and took it-I mean you would have thought he’d run away…nope kick after kick just stood there. The conversation ended unresolved with my mom banishing her from our yard. Boy and you’d think that would have been it. But by this time my dad had come home from work and happened to be standing at the front door as Bobo step-dad drove by. Well of course he threw his truck into a screeching reverse and stopped back in front of my house. My dad went out to see what he had to say.

Instead of talking Bobo step-dad walked right up to my dad and threw a weak way off punch-which didn’t even come near my dad. While he tried to catch his balance my dad pulled a wrestling move out of his butt and quickly swept Bobo step-dad onto his back. So there they were in the middle of my yard…my dad sitting on this man’s chest telling him over and over again “look where you are”. By that time my yard was full of neighbors not at all keeping their distance. Everyone whispering, pointing, laughing. Way before Jerry Springer there was this day, in my yard. Eventually my dad let him up and he got back in his truck and we didn’t seem him around for a long time. So you’d think the story ends here, not so…

I spent that night in the military hospital emergency room getting a rabies shot-real fun. Then the next morning at school as I got books out of my bottom locker it slammed on my head. I whirled around to see none other then Bobo cousin (why do Bobos always come in packs) Still a little off from the locker door I stood, reared back and punch her in the gut as hard as I could and as she doubled over I kneed her in the face. It was like something out of a movie. We were escorted to the principle’s office and sent home. That was the last time the Bobos messed with me, but not the last time I messed with them.

Bobo brother picked on my little sister as his sister did me. When he started high school I caught up with him that first day at lunch. A couple of friends held him down and I beat him pretty good. The rumor spread like wild fire and as quickly as it spread so did it change. People quickly forgot the guys holding him down and remembered only that he was the guy beat up by a girl. Yes I know – all horrible…but really I wouldn’t go back and change a thing. I’ll tell you though I will be teaching my boys that just because someone dresses or acts differently doesn’t mean they aren’t cool or that they’re weird – any less worthy of friendship. It will never be expectable to tease or be cruel to others. I have learned many times over it is always better not to judge a book by its cover. Hopefully my boys will be secure enough as they grow to never feel they have to belittle someone to make themselves feel better.