National Bully Awareness is not about learning how to be a better bully. It is about being aware if you are being bullied what to do. It is also about recognizing if you are the one being a bully.
Gladys was bullied. Did it end in elementary school? Did it end in High School with Ali MacMeangirl and her legendary bent arm hang? Did it end with the Loser gang dumping her in the trash can everyday and stealing her lunch money? Why of course not. You see Gladys probably encouraged it with her smart remarks and pithy comebacks. You know there would be comments like “hey skinny Minnie, you have to jump around in the shower to get wet.” Gladys would eye her attacker up one side and down the other toss her brillo pad hair back and say “well at least no one was trying to save me by pulling back into the ocean SHAMU!” The next thing Gladys was upside down in the waste receptacle less her fifty-cent worth of lunch money.
This leads me to the topic of grown-up bullying. Oh you know what I’m talking about. It happens everyday. It might be in your home or in your office or perhaps in the supermarket, but it happens. We all experience it. How you handle these situations make you either a victim or not. Gladys spent most of her life as a victim. She experienced many heartbreaks and headaches from being victimized. She allowed it to happen. She allowed herself to be a victim. My story is an example of this.
One day Gladys was in the supermarket on post, better known as the commissary. Gladys was married to a serviceman and thus had commissary privileges. Gladys’ husband was a bully. He bullied and belittled until she felt she had no control in her own life. This spilled out of her house and into her everyday life. She acted the victim, she believed she was the victim, therefore she was the victim. Let me interject something; ignoring a bully will not make them go away it just pisses them off. Back at the commissary Gladys was shopping for her weekly supplies unfortunately so was a million other military wives. She rolled her basket up to the meat counter and began perusing the pitiful selection of meat. Gladys was unable to get to the supermarket early that morning because her husband didn’t give her permission to leave the house so the goods were picked over. She spotted her husband’s favorite, a package of thick cut pork chops. She reached and snagged it before another woman grabbed it. Gladys rolled her cart down the line, waited for an opening in the next aisle and slid in to procure some flour from the top shelf. She felt what was happening more than she saw it. There behind her the dark haired woman who had been shadowing her grabbed the package of pork chops from Gladys’ basket and made her get away.
Gladys turned just in time to see Ms. Porkchopbully round the corner. Gladys weighed her options. Go home to her husband without pork chops and get the thunder or confront Porkchopbully. Gladys grabbed her cart told her baby to hang on and took off after the porkchop thief. She spotted her in the toilet paper aisle grabbing the last four pack of Charmin out of another lady’s cart. Gladys decided that she was going to make a stand. She gathered every ounce of her being and she ran down the aisle and slammed her cart into the Porkchopbully’s cart. Gladys reached over and took the package of pork chops from the woman’s cart and plucked the Charmin and replaced it into the other shopper’s cart. She glared at Ms. Porkchopbully who was standing mouth agape. “You don’t take items out of other people’s carts” Gladys yelled at the Porkchopbully. Then she gathered the rest of her groceries and proudly marched to the check-out counter.
Gladys felt vindicated. She felt a wrong had been righted. She would proudly return home with her package of pork chops and tell her story to whoever would listen. Her baby daughter sat in the cart, eyes wide with fear at her mother’s actions. Gladys waited in line and told her daughter why she had done what she had done. “You see that woman was taking items out of other people’s baskets. She was being a bully and a thief” she explained. The bell rang and Gladys advanced in line to see the woman that had taken her package of pork chops was in line in front of her. She was not the woman she had just crashed into and taken HER pork chops. In one moment of mistaken identity and one self-righteous act Gladys had become the bully.