I will never forget that night. My clothes were hung on the knob of my door, and a new bright
pink purse with a gold chain pulled delicately on the hanger, The anxiety and shame were
present before I even went to sleep. I may not have slept at all.
My mother and I had gone shopping at Wal-Mart for 3 pair of jeans and a few shirts. The shirt
hanging on my door was lemon yellow, sleeveless. I had a bright pink tank top to wear
underneath, over my Sears bra handed down to me by my mother. I loved that shirt. On the
front, outlined in white, was a glass of lemonade and ice.
The jeans were another story. They were cheap, and they had the Playboy bunny on the front
pocket. I was maybe 12. I had bad hair, worse teeth, and I wore those 80’s granny style upside
down glasses. I had the ugliest haircut my mother made me get, and none of this was anything
I actually wanted.
I am not sure I slept at all. I remember putting on my Wal-Mart version of Keds, missing the
label, and covered in the letters of the alphabet. I went to school, anxiety set in, and I knew
I was going to be a target.
There is a certain level of cruelty you never face again after being poor in school. It is the only
time I ever walked into a building and knew that I was ugly, I was poor, and I was wearing a
Playboy bunny on my jeans.
No one deserves to be harassed or bullied.
This was a time in my life that I hated. I hated school, I hated me. That self hatred was
because of harassment.
I am pretty sure it started the minute I walked in the school. There was no way to hide that
bunny. And, having a sleeveless shirt, someone had seen Sears on the tag. All day, I endured
ceaseless comments about how ugly I was and shopping at Sears. The hair was bad, yes, but I
was also 12. I honestly think that was one of the worst days of my life.
I do not want to go into what was said to and about me, how many times I was tripped and hit, I
just want to remind you that as your children go into this school year, teach them better than
this. Teach them to be kind to one another. No child deserves to be bullied.