Thursday, November 17, 2011

Times I Made People Cry

It's not a long list.

The first was Amanda Wetherbee. In seventh grade, I was not very cool. I'd just moved across the country and was trying unsuccessfully to fit in to cliques that had formed when my classmates were fetuses. After a few months of eating lunch alone, I was befriended by one of the misfits groups. Luckily, these were the smart-and-wholesome-albeit-totally-socially-inept loners because let's face it; I would have pledged allegiance to anyone that wanted to sit with me during lunch.

[And I have to interject here, because I've had this quote written down for months- MONTHS- waiting for the right moment to share it, and I think this just might be it. This summer, Corinne was saying how this one girl ruined sixth grade for her, AND I QUOTE: "She stole all my friends, so I had to make friends with the goth kids because they were the only ones that would take me halfway through the year."]

My middle school cafeteria served Dominos pizza daily and I'd sit with my awkward group of misfits, all of us ripping our pizzas into bite-sized chunks and dipping them in watered-down ranch dressing. A girl named Sarah who was very nice but decidedly more socially inept than the rest of us (and that's saying a lot) had been sitting at our table for about a week when I made Amanda cry, AND SHE DESERVED IT.

Before I get to the meat of it, I need to set something straight. I'd be lying by omission if you thought I was some valiant person in middle school, always on the lookout for people to stick up for, because I was not. I was a scared, sad little bird, just trying to get through each day. But when Amanda Wetherbee, completely unprovoked, loudly asked Sarah in the most poisonous tone imaginable why she was sitting at our table when none of us liked her, something inside me snapped.

I can't quote myself verbatim, but the essence of it was that we liked Sarah!! and we HATED Amanda!!!! and SHE was the one we didn't want sitting with us!!!!!!! and there was definitely the word "walrus" in there somewhere. When I finished, I realized I'd been yelling. Everyone's mouths were open. Amanda pushed back from the table, burst into tears, and ran for the bathroom.

I was pretty sure I'd eventually be called to the principal's office, once she told her parents the horrible things I'd said, so after school I fearfully explained to my mom what had happened, and that I'd probably be in trouble, and that I was so ashamed, and that it would never happen again. She shocked me by telling me how proud she was that I'd stuck up for someone else. Up until then, it had honestly not occurred to me that I'd done the right thing.

The second incident was my junior year of high school and I can't explain the story without giving out some personal details, so sorry if it's TMI. I'll try to put it delicately. I was having some "female issues" that involved losing copious amounts of blood for months on end. When I finally told my mom, she immediately booked me with the gynecologist, who put me on birth control so that I wouldn't, you know, bleed to death. [OH MY GOSH I almost forgot! When I stepped into the lobby after my first appointment, I came face to face with the nine-months-pregnant Mia Maids advisor which resulted in one of the most uncomfortable greetings of my entire life. I'm sure she wasn't expecting to run into one of her Young Women at the gynecologist's office, and I wasn't going to tell her why, exactly, I was there. Let's just hope she gave me the benefit of the doubt.]

Anyway, there was this girl in my seminary class. We'll call her Alexa, because that was her name. She was the type of person to take a guideline from For the Strength of Youth and run it all the way to the other end of the field, then judge you against her invented standard, which is just the sort of person I have zero tolerance for. She was adamant about not kissing before marriage. KISSING. Actually, how she put it was, she could never kiss a guy before marriage any more passionately than she'd kiss her dad, which I thought was wonderfully creeptastic. Anyway, she caught wind that I was on birth control, WICKED, IMMORAL BIRTH CONTROL, and took matters into her own hands.

She confronted me in the commons between classes, and it did not end well for her. She told me that birth control was against the church and that it was sinful of me to use it. She thought she was saving my soul. I lost it on her, and I honestly do not remember a single thing that I said. I must have blacked out from rage, because I typically have a great memory. I never actually saw her cry, but she was visibly upset when I concluded, and during the next break between classes my concerned friend Andy asked me why Alexa had been sobbing after our conversation. I happily explained.

[To non-Mormon readers - the LDS church in no way opposes birth control. We're certainly a family-oriented religion, but, from the church's official website, "The decision of how many children to have and when to have them is a private matter for the husband and wife". In Alexa's defense, there is no mention on there of teenaged girls using birth control as prevention from bleeding to death, though, so. Maybe she was right after all.]

And there it is. Two people. SO FAR.


  1. I would say that both of those situations were fairly justified...

  2. I think you would be a lot of fun to have as a friend. You're really funny.

  3. wait till you havekids. Your numbers will definately to up!
    Aunt Mariann

  4. That's "go up and definitely"

  5. and me. you have made me cry. FROM LAUGHING.

  6. I was a wuss up until after I graduated high school. I'd have probably stuck up for Sarah, but in a quiet way that didn't offend Amanda. And I'd have just run away, mortified and in tears myself, after the Alexa incident.

    Then I grew a backbone sometime during college.

    I like having a backbone. I think you were justified in both situations.

    (Also: still laughing that the word "walrus" was used against Amanda. Not sure how it was used, but one can only imagine. No girl would like to be compared to one, surely! :)

    And also? Good for you!