The first time that I learned to laugh at myself and not take life too seriously was when I was about six or seven years old. Growing up was difficult, especially since I was a giant butterball that had to ROLL everywhere I went. Being such an easy target, naturally, I was teased, picked on, and bullied often. Usually this would happen on the bus rides to and from school by the older kids. Little did they know, they were just adding fuel to a fire of fury that would build up to the levels of the Hiroshima bomb. Not that it would actually DO much when I unleashed it, but I would feel SO much better. One day, after an extremely extended amount of ridiculing, I uncorked my bottle. I was no longer in control of my body or limbs as they proceeded to WAIL of the kid behind me. I can still see the shocked look on his face as I boxed him about the ears, nose, and throat, all the while crying and shouting, "Fucking stop it! Why are you doing this to me?! I HAVE FEELINGS, TOO!" After the storm died down and I was told to re-take my seat, a sense of calm washed over me, like a blanket fresh from the dryer. I smiled. I felt that I finally got my point across and that my days of bullies was behind me. I thought that word would spread all around the schools "Don't fuck with Brandon Sharp! He'll kick your ass!" Little did I know, that was not the case. Little did I know, I just gave them another reason besided my portly frame to pick on me. Little did I know, I had just become a meme. A meme before memes were a 'thing'.
The next day on the bus, I noticed a flyer being passed around and giggles erupting when it reached the next intended person. I caught a glimpse of it. It was a picture of a local children's television show host smiling next to his puppet dog companion. "BJ and The Super Ones". I shrugged it off with an "Okay, I don't know what's so funny about that one particular picture, but whatever floats their boat." Later that day, as I boarded the bus, outright laughter in my direction was not only audible, but visually obvious as well. Not knowing what was going on, I took my seat. A minute later, a crumpled ball of paper hit my head by an unknown assailant. I un-crinkled it to see BJ staring at me with the perma-grin... but something else was added. There was a cartoon word bubble coming out of his teeth with the phrase "I have feelings, too!" For anyone else, the rage would've taken over and another bout of limb flailing and cry-shouting would commence... but thankfully I was born with an astute sense of humor. The only thing out of my mouth was immense laughter. I mean, c'mon. That was funny as fuck! This must've confused and scared the other kids because all was quiet save for my giggle-fit. I can only imagine that they thought they pushed me over the flippin' edge and that the next day I would get on the bus with a machete and show them my Jason Voorhees impersonation. After that, the teasing, taunting, and bullying never got to me again. I could actually point out what was being made fun of and join in with my own rapier wit which was worlds beyond the immature ribbing they attempted! That usually took the steam and fun out of the bullies' taunts, and they eventually just stopped all together thinking "What's the point?" I never realized that is what the ultimate outcome was; I was just laughing along and enjoying a joke!
So, yes, it DOES get better... but ya gotta meet better halfway and actually TRY to make it better. Don't just sit and wait for better to come to you... it may get lost on the way.
Now I leave you with a clip that I found of Cartoon Clubhouse/Good Time Gang/BJ and The Super Ones/or whatever the fuck it wanted to be called. Hell, after that day, I called it the "I Have Feelings, Too Show". Thanks, BJ, for helping me laugh at myself. ^_^
Brad: Wow, Unicorn Booty just posted about another gay teen taking his life due to bullies. Yep, I commented with a link to my blog.
Stacy: Well, it *does* get better.
Brad: Am I a bad person for not really sympathizing with these kids that are taking the easy way out instead of dealing with it like I had to do? I mean, it does suck that it happens and I DO wish it could stop all together, but dammit homo, man up!
Stacy J. Sciarra: LMFAO! "Dammit homo, man up!" is just not something you hear everyday!