One of the most important things I learned before I got here is that you won’t always get the satisfaction that George McFly gets at the end of Back to the Future when Biff is waxing his car.

We have been led to expect this.  We have been led to believe that if we are patient, we will eventually get to see our tormentor tormented, or at least humbled, by our ability to overcome whatever it is they tormented us about.

The best thing we can do is not even wait for it; not even think -with the most remote neuron in our brain- that someday we will walk into a party and the Prom Queen will be the one standing there with ketchup on her blouse and a big honking zit on her nose.  Even if it happens, this will not empower you…

My aunts used to say to me that being beautiful is a burden.  Yes, yes, of COURSE it is a burden to get a date for prom, have boys like you, look good regardless of what little effort you’ve put into your appearance.  All these years later I realize they were right…a beautiful woman has a longer distance to fall than a regular-looking one, and -if they are not careful- the fall will be rather catastrophic because they might be tempted to grab on to ANYTHING to break the fall.

I’ve learned to not live my life waiting to feel vindicated.  If I’d opted for holding my breath, I’d be dead.  The people who bullied me are neither miserable, unsuccessful, repentant or even remotely aware of what they did and how they affected me.  If I went up to them and said “you were horrible to me,” they wouldn’t remember what I am talking about because to them it wasn’t anywhere as important as it was to me.

I suppose what I am trying to say is that I’ve learned that you can’t live waiting for closure because sometimes, well, it doesn’t come from anywhere other than your willingness to move ahead with your life.  This is a bitter pill to swallow, but if you have the proper amount of liquid to wash it down with, you’ll be able to consume it and feel its effect on you.

I have children…and adolescence (which should come with a warning label tattooed on the side of your hip, visible the first moment those first hormones peak) hasn’t been easy.  My oldest son is gorgeous, and I’m not saying this out of motherly love, he is seriously good looking and has a beautiful soul (NOT code for he’s ugly but he is beautified by his kindness)…he had to go through all the same pangs of rejection, bullying, teasing, picking on, whatnot as everyone else.  At the time, of course, I did the motherly duty of telling him “some day you’ll show them.”  His response was “I’ll show them what?”  I had to be truthful: I have no idea, dude, I’m just telling you what they told me, and -quite honestly- I haven’t shown anyone anything.

He started laughing and that’s when he realized that he couldn’t just sit around and wait for the world to refund his misery with happiness at a 20% interest.  That was the time I realized the same thing, and was -surprisingly enough- liberated by the idea that I didn’t have to wait anymore.

“Happiness is the best revenge…”  really?  If you’re happy and satisfied with the person you’ve become, you won’t really be thinking to yourself that you’ve risen above so-and-so who cut your hair with blunt elementary-school scissors or whathisname who called you “bubblenose” all through high school.  Quite frankly, I’ve seen these people in Facebook pictures and they look pretty normal to me, pretty run-of-the-mill, not “compared to me” but “just like me.”

Bullying is horrible, and I don’t condone it and have been very vocal about this to the parents of children who have picked on my kids.  “Your kid is an asshole!”  “Who are you to call my kid an asshole?  How dare you?”  “Well, I am an asshole so I obviously know one when I see one.  Since your kid called my kid a retarded fag, does that mean your kid is retarded and a fag and so has the expertise to properly assess my child’s retardation and homosexuality?”

I don’t recommend this approach because the authorities do not necessarily get involved, but there’s a lot of recrimination going back and forth in the principal’s office afterwards and they make notes of it and they follow you around the district if you move.  However, on the plus side, it does make your kid laugh when he’s in his early 20s and you’re having Thanksgiving dinner…

The point, and I’m getting to it, is that if you wait for the moment when you shine in comparison to that person who stomped on you, you might just miss a lot of good crap that happens while you’re waiting.  You might not notice that, well, you’ve been rocking life all along.  If someone’s picking on you, tell your mom…she will surprise you, believe me, because there is this chip they implant when you’re in labor…

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