Daily Prompt: Bumble
‘Come on Bumbles, you can’t break it, get in there and have a crack,’ he said loudly, throwing me under the bus again.
I hated woodwork, it wasn’t my thing and in fairness to Sir the machines made me that nervous my hands would shake at the thought of using them. So yeah, I dropped things, a lot.
As an adult looking back I can see he was probably trying to be funny and have the rest of the kids think he was cool, he wanted to click with them on their level. He was looking for a way to connect. Picking on me, and giving them something to laugh at was, he thought, his key to gaining their trust. Or maybe I’m being too generous and he was just an arsehole. It was the 70’s things were different then.
Whatever his reasons, he started something that would follow me throughout my high school years. He had given kids permission to treat me as he did. And many of them did. I became ‘Bumbles’ and you may think that sounds cute – it wasn’t. A simple word, it was used to make me feel small, often, by those who needed to feel big, and in the end they won – sort of, in the short term.
I felt like a very square peg being smacked into a round hole day after day, with no real understanding of why I didn’t fit in. With hindsight I don’t think there was a reason, I just seemed to be the easiest target at the time. As soon as I was old enough, I forwent my education and found a good job in sales.
At the tender age of 15 I left my childhood behind to become a young, confident working woman. And to this day I credit Sir for that. As it turns out, sales worked for me. I enjoyed the work and the people I worked with, and eventually opened my own store, before moving on to become the CEO of my little family as a thirty something Mum. I made good choices, and have had and continue to enjoy a wonderful life.
So I guess I should say thank you Sir, you were the catalyst for the change I wanted to see in myself. I did continue to drop things and stumble when I was nervous, and even sometimes when I wasn’t! But not once after leaving my high school years behind did I ever feel small again.