Have you ever been asked out on a date as a joke?
I have. More than once. But there’s one time in particular that sticks in my mind.
I was a high school freshman at the time. It was midday, so I was at my locker changing out my morning textbooks for the ones I’d need in the afternoon. A gaggle of infants, or “teenage boys” as they’re more often referred to, suddenly came up behind me. One of them taps me on the shoulder and says, “Hey, you wanna go out with me?” This was not my first rodeo. So I spun around and simply said, dryly, “I’m not falling for that.”
But it didn’t matter. Before the words were even out of my mouth, these five boys were rolling around on the floor in uproarious laughter. They pointed, they laughed, they yelled things like, “As if!” and called me names. I just stood there confused. To this day, it was one of the most interesting moments to witness, and arguably a turning point for me.
That was the day I realized it didn’t matter how I responded to people like this, they were going to get their jollies either way. Until then, I’d always thought my response (or the response of the person being bullied) was paramount. That if you responded with apathy, the bully would lose their power. But these boys weren’t even listening to my response. For them, the glee came entirely out of mocking me, whether I ran away crying or turned around and looked at them like they’d all lost their minds.
Why they thought it was so funny to mock me, though, is beyond my comprehension. I prefer to open lines of communication between people, so I’ve never been one to mock others–that’s the fastest way to close down a conversation and any future conversations. But what was it about me that made it so fun? Heck if I know. I can’t even accuse these boys of bullying me for my single status–I didn’t even know them! I could’ve had a hot, jock boyfriend for all they knew. But they took one look at me, quiet, studious, and decided that (1) I must be “alone” and (2) I would be so damn excited to get asked out by one of them, that it was just too irresistible not to get my hopes up and dash them for their amusement.
I don’t get it. I never will. But let me say this. People like that? FUCK ‘EM. I don’t mean literally, I mean they can fuck off because YOU are amazing, complete and whole exactly as you are. And people like that, who get their jollies out of tearing other people down, haven’t even figured out what love is yet. I feel sad for them, I truly do.
So keep being amazing, keep changing the world, and keep ignoring the fools that aren’t listening anyway.