I Like Big Butts

July 2, 2009

Confession: There was a girl in middle school that I was mean to. Like, really mean.

I feel like on the whole, I was a pretty nice kid and teen. Of course there were sleepovers at which I made fun of someone behind their back and the occasional boy that I tormented with my girlfriends. But I can only remember a couple of times, being out right mean to someone. Both times were aimed toward this girl. I will call her Macy* (I went through a serious phase in second grade that I would have paid my parents to change my name to Macy).

As an adult looking back, Macy was one of those kids whose parents probably (hopefully) thought they were helping her out, but really they slowly destroying her self esteem. Instead of teaching her to love the way she looked and that the “cool” crowd is way over rated. They bought her anything she wanted to help her fit in. They pushed her to have people over that she felt uncomfortable around and have parties that no one wanted to come to. They were those parents that either were the in crowd and couldn’t’ stand the thought of their daughter being anything less or they weren’t the in crowd and were trying to vicariously live through her.

So here is my confession. I thought she was okay, but she wasn’t my favorite person to hang around. Honestly, I felt sorry for her. She invited me over to hang out, so I went. The entire time, she was taking me around her house and showing me all the “stuff” she had. The tour ended in her walk in closet, where we went through all her name brand clothing that still had the tags on it (it actually was pretty impressive). I went home and later told all my friends how weird she was and how my mom made me go to her house (which wasn’t true at all). I don’t remember everything I said, but even as I was talking I felt that ache in my chest that you get when you know you are doing something horrible. I wish this was where the story ended. But no, I (with the help of some friends) decided it would be a wonderful idea to later that week, eat lunch then wait outside the lunchroom doors and when Macy came out, we would sing “I Like Big Butts” at the top of our lungs. And we did it. We waited with a big group of girls and when she came out we sang our little hearts out. Then we followed her down the sidewalk just to make sure we could get the whole song in, and then we just laughed like we were the coolest thing to hit Jenks East Middle School. It was cruel.

At the end of that year, I switched schools. I heard for her sixteenth birthday her parents got her a boob job. Randomly through out the years, a moment will pop into my head. That moment in the middle of our torment when she looked back with a bright red face and tears in her eyes. It has always been one of those moments that I wish I could go back in time and fix.

A couple of weeks ago when Mike was out of town, I got a babysitter for a couple hours one morning, so I could take a break. I was in Starbucks waiting on my coffee and next to me was a girl about my age. She had big (fake) boobs, huge collagen lips, a new nose and had obviously already started in on the botox. I was trying not to stare (I have a major staring problem), but I just couldn’t help it. I got the vibe that I knew her from somewhere but I couldn’t place her.¬† I noticed she kept looking at me out of the corner of her eye, but I thought it was because I was staring at her. Then they called her name. “Macy- your blah blah blah blah is ready.” And it all came flooding back. She looked me in the eye grabbed her coffee and left. I was frozen, once I unfroze I was so mad at myself for not walking up to her and saying “I don’t know if you remember or not (of course she remembers, who forgets being serenaded to “I Like Big Butts”) but I was mean to you and I am really sorry.” Once I got over my annoyance that I let my big moment to apologize slip away, I was struck with another thought. She isn’t happy with herself and I helped her feel that way. No one who likes themselves gets that much plastic surgery by the age of 29. I contributed to her pain. I really want to run into her again. I would love to tell her I am sorry, not that she would probably care at this point, but at least I would have acknowledged that I know I was a brat.

I hope¬† I am able to instill a healthy self esteem in my kids. I know kids will be mean to them at some point in time (which makes me hyperventilate just thinking about it), but I hope deep in their hearts, they know they are perfect just the way they are. I hope I am able to keep a little spot in their hearts safe from the world. I hope our home is one in which they can completely let their guard down and be themselves without judgement. I don’t ever want to look at my kids and not be able to recognize who they have become.

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