Goddamn little bitches, was my first thought. I wanted to hurt them. I wanted to kick and slap and punch them. I wanted them to cry like she was crying. I wanted them dead, the little bitches. Hurt the feelings of my child? I’ll show you! But we live in a civilized world where Moms don’t kill the brats who hurt the feelings of their child. At least, that’s the world I hope we live in. Fred called the coach of her team, and ended up talking to the coach’s wife because he’s out of town right now. She was appropriately horrified, but also bewildered. “When could they have been picking on her? The coaches are always around,” she said. I think she was imagining a scenario wherein the spud’s teammates pursued her, calling her names and pushing her around. That’s ridiculous, of course, because the coachesare always around, and there are always a few extra parents hanging around during practice, so if there were any sort of physical torture, it would have been nipped in the bud. What I suspect happened is that one or more of them made snide comments to the spud when the coaches were on the other side of the field. A smirk here, a rude comment there, and what’s supposed to be fun becomes not very. It makes me sad, because is this when it starts? Is this where the gradual ripping apart of her self-esteem begins? She’s an average student, she’s not very physically skilled (she gets that from her mother), and most of her clothes come from Wal-Mart. And when you’re not good at something, unless you’re hugely delusional, you pretty much know that you’re not good at it. Even if you don’t know, there’s always someone more than willing to point it out to you. Repeatedly. If you’re lucky, that person is not one of your parents. I happen to think that the spud is the cutest kid to come down the pike, but guess what? That doesn’t help her out there in the real world when her bitchy little teammate informs her that she can’t kick the soccer ball worth a shit. Why are people so intent on ripping others to shreds? Why do we feel the need to look at people and point out every imperfection, real or imagined? And it’s not only women, not by a long shot. Fred worked with a man who was completely average-looking, and whenever Fred would say that he considered this woman, or that woman attractive, the other guy would point out every single thing he perceived to be wrong with her, from her hair color to the size of her feet. Why? Because he knew he couldn’t get her? How does putting someone else down make you better than them? And before it sounds like I’m preaching from a self-righteous pulpit, I know I do it too. The Arquette conversation from last night is one very clear example. However, Alexis, Patricia, and Rosanna Arquette aren’t likely to be hanging out in our living room anytime soon, and chances are 99.999% that none of them will ever set sight on this site. I’d never tell anyone to their face that they were ugly or that they sucked at doing this or that. Fred and I both grew up overweight. Do you think, for one single, solitary moment that we didn’t know we were overweight? And yet, I was regularly informed throughout my childhood and high school years that I was fat. What does that prove? Only that the person telling me is a clueless idiot or a total asshole, I suppose. As an overweight adult, do you think I don’t see the people nudging each other and laughing at the fat chick? I’m sure they’re saying “If I ever get that fat, shoot me.” When I was 25, I made the mistake of purchasing half a dozen donuts to take to work with me. The cashier at the grocery store announced loudly that “my goodness, those donuts could feed me and them!” (gesturing toward the three people standing in line behind me). What was her point, that I eat too much? Gosh, thanks for the newsflash. Did I say “Thanks for the newsflash, you hideous old bitch”? Of course not. I took my donuts and scurried away, head down. Just the actual fact of being fat made me the lesser person, you see. And what’s saddest of all is that I feel compelled to tell you, reader, that the donuts were not for me; they were for the whole office. ]]>