Monday, February 20, 2006

tales of a six-year-old shrimp

when i was a kid, i was small. pretty tiny, really. in fact, when i was a six-year-old in Mrs. Bryan's first-grade class, these boys thought it'd be cool to call me 'shrimpy' out on the kickball field as some kind of intimidation tactic. it pissed me off so much that other kids thought it'd be fun to join in. soon nearly the entire class was on the bandwagon. i'm not sure how long this went on -- in my memory it stretched for eons longer than it should have -- but you know when you're in first grade, an afternoon is an eternity.

i had always been kind of a feisty little girl. i didn't take any shit from anybody, even my parents, and in my opinion, being ridiculed on the playground was simply intolerable. my recollection of the following incident is a little fuzzy, but it was related to my mother later that afternoon during a phone call from my teacher. Mrs. Bryan and my mom were already pretty good pals since she had called my mother to out me for hiding summer dresses in my bookbag and changing in the girl's room every morning and afternoon. (i despised being forced to wear jeans or corduroys, especially with long underwear underneath during the winter; i'd rather wear a crumpled frock any day.)

After recess, Mrs. Bryan had left us alone in the room gluing little crepe paper squares onto construction paper off the ends of our pencils to make daffodils or fish or something of the like. absence of authority was a perfect opportunity to start the 'shrimpy'-taunting again. but by this time i had probably had enough, so i cleared my desk, climbed up on the table and screamed something to the effect of, 'i might be small, but I'M SMARTER THAN ALL OF YOU!' at the top of my lungs. and while the other kids looked at me, stunned, i climbed down and calmly went back to my perfectionistic crepe-gluing. Mrs. Bryan came in a second later, having seen the whole thing from the window in the door. i think i would have remembered if she had said anything to me, but no one in that class ever messed with me again.

the other day, my mom was telling me about some of my other childhood antics. we were remembering how bossy i was when she'd brush my hair because it had to be done just so and though i demanded to keep my hair long, i wanted her to be fast about it. in the middle of laughing, she sort of paused and said, 'it was always your way or the highway, cadiz. you knew what you wanted and you never put up with anything less. what happened to that girl?'

at that point i couldn't do anything but shrug. but to be honest, i think about that little girl all the time. i really miss her.


Jon said...

Based on what I know about you, you are a very intelligent woman that is quite capable of making proper decisions. You should always do what’s best for you. Make sure you look at it from all the angles though before you make your decision. Of course, I know you’ll do that too.

*~mad munky~* said...

i'm sure she's still in there, somewhere :o)

Ale said...

oh cadiz... sounds like someone wants her mo-jo back! ;)

Guyana-Gyal said...

I read somewhere that pre-pube girls are feisty, bold, tougher than little boys, assertive.

Then society teaches us 'don't do this, don't say that, girls don't behave that way, blah blah blah...'

Bring back that little girl standing on the desk, Cadiz!