When I was 10, I used to spend my free time sitting in our basement at my mom's old architecture desk she gave me, a chalkboard hanging behind me that I picked up at the neighbor's garage sale for $1.25 and a gradebook with made up names of students that were in my pretend class that I was teaching. Madison O'Neill, Steven Harrison and Kimberly Smith were my top students. I mostly taught basic math and spelling because these were two subjects I knew well. I had a mason jar in front of me filled with red and black pens to correct assignments that my fictitious students would turn in and would promptly enter them in the gradebook. When I was finished playing school, I would ride my bike to the local park to meet some friends that were a couple years older than me. I would watch them smoke cigarettes, drink a half of a can of beer and light smoke bombs that we would throw under the concrete turtle in the sandbox. The purple and green colors would flow from underneath this creature and, at the time, we thought we were pretty badass. I think everyone else thought we were future delinquents. It's funny how childhood is sometimes.
At some point, I said goodbye to Madison O'Neill, Steven Harrison and Kimberly Smith and headed for the railroad tracks with a carton of eggs and Danny Hibner. He had brown feathered hair and a white washed blue jean jacket with holes in the elbows and was in my grade at school. He lived right around the corner from me and would ride his skateboard down the sidewalk to my house just to see if I was home. The train tracks were a half a mile from where we lived and we would sit on the grassy hill and throw eggs at the train as it went by. It was also the same spot where the trouble makers hung out. You see, Danny and I were part of this group that would always help out people that were being picked on. We were called the Fabulous Four. The group originated in response to my older sister running her mouth at the wrong people (something she hasn't quite learned how to stop doing). She'd get picked on, pushed down, and bullied...mostly at school. It happened so much that she finally would just shout out 'go get the Fabulous Four' at recess as she was being shoved into the ground. I'd rally the troops and we would come to her rescue. We saved her from Shelly Hanson, the babysitters daughter who jumped on her back with a horse whip after my sister flipped her off...the playground bully, Pam Speck, who I gave a bloody nose to and landed in the principal's office for the afternoon and Robby Guilina who, really, was just an ass. Luckily for my sister and I, we moved a lot, but there never seemed to be a shortage of mean people and at the time, I had a lot of aggression to work out. But I never lost the protective nature for the people I love. With that said, I am not spending my afternoons in the principal's office anymore but I am still standing up fiercely for those in my little circle...mostly with words, thank god.
And still, I am finding that years later, there is no shortage of assholes out there. Maybe I am one of them sometimes. Maybe you are too. We all can be, but I have a tendency to look at the overall picture when it comes to assholeness. A sliding scale of how mean people are. Now I know I am probably not the best judge of this as it is well known to the people who know me well that I am a bit of a sensitive girl. I personalize, overthink and process everything you say to me...sometimes for hours on end. I write stories of how things will turn out before we even have experienced chapter two. Or three. I have conversations with you in my head about situations that have never happened...maybe they never will...but I am prepared either way. My whole existence is based on feelings and if something doesn't 'feel' right to me, it most likely isn't (I mean after I spend half of the day overthinking it anyway). So when someone comes into my little world and isn't being nice, everything feels disrupted. I don't understand it. I don't like it. I don't entertain it. And I will build my walls to protect me, my friends, my love, and my children so that they don't have to experience you being an asshole either. Seems fair.
And I know you do the same. I feel it from you. The protective side you have that acts like a shield in our little world we are living in. The strong arms that never seem to not have me wrapped up in them. The words you give me. The words you give others. The peace. The sanity. The love. And for all of this, I am grateful to be creating something with someone that is as protective as I am.
And that is the key, right? To have a Fabulous Four to defend against the Pam Specks of the world. And the Robby Guilinos. And the people that just can't seem to mind their own business. And the people that bring drama into your little world. The bullies. The mean people. The assholes.
In the meantime, put on your WonderWoman bracelets. There is no shortage of mean people headed your way.
I should know. I have overthought it to death.