Memories are made of This
AKA "Chicago in the 70's
Living in inner city Chicago even in the 70s was not exactly a thrilling or safe experience. After a false accusation from a boy in my 3rd grade class that I had stolen some of the teachers play time costume jewelry (the court case is still pending; I may be going up the river anytime), the other girls in my class decided that I, the token white girl in my very large school must have been the one that stole that danged barbie doll way back in kindergarten. No, that is NOT racism... I WAS the only white girl and they actually said it had to have been me because I was white...racism works in all directions sad to say.
Thus began my history with toilet stalls. Fascinating things, toilet stalls. One can learn a lot of new words from the graffiti written in them; to this day, I STILL don't know if some of the things described in that legendary writing is even physically possible but as an adult I can say now that some sure sounded interesting *grin*. It sure makes me a hit at cocktail parties though when we play word games and I try to describe them. Now I can see you scratching your head and saying "toilet stalls; what IS this woman talking about?"
Well, think back to your own school days; remember that one child in every class that was heckled, spit on, tortured and tended to hide in the toilet stalls every day after school to avoid the daily thrashing that she/he knew was coming for looking at someone wrong? Though mind you, I can speak for all those kids and say they never looked at anyone wrong simply because that's difficult when one is constantly keeping ones eyes downcast out of fear. Well, in my school, I was that child; thus the thing with toilet stalls (I still cautiously peek out of them when leaving to make sure there is no one waiting with a rock).
I remember my first black eye. I didn't wait long enough that day (I guess I had read everything and was bored) and ended up cornered by 2 boys and 3 girls who wanted either the 13 cents I had, my very long blond hair as a trophy or for me to give back the stolen Barbie I had never taken. I am fairly sure that I have since seen them all on repeats of Americas Most Wanted and if memory serves even back then they were all six feet tall and about 250 pounds (remind me to tell you about the fish I caught.)
Have you ever had your face stomped on? Not a pleasant experience as it happening but for an 8 year old it DOES have a good side effect; it leaves a hell of a sweet black eye to brag about! I remember running home and as the eye was so swollen I could see it without benefit of a mirror, running in the house grinning from ear to ear, and screaming "Hey mom look at my eye!" She wasn't thrilled with the blood dripping on the carpet; after all we WERE renting; but she was impressed with the eye. I still have flashbacks of her piercing scream saying "OMG, your EYE!!! EWWWW, watch out; you're dripping on the *&^*#&*%^* carpet!" Even now, I hear someone scream and I hit the floor and start crab crawling towards the nearest bathroom.
There is little more humiliating though than having your mother chasing a bunch of kids around the next day pulling you behind her while she screams threats at them. Well, other than going to school in kindergarten and forgetting to wear underwear under my dress but that entry will have to wait. I don't undress unless I know you better. I still have a cartoon vision of myself flapping in the wind on my mothers hand while she ran after all the laughing kids in the schoolyard with me trying to keep up and breathlessly answer her questions of which kids did it. But that did NOT help my popularity any I'll tell you. For weeks after that, I had to listen to a plethora of "yo mama" jokes as they beat the tar out of me.
Anyone who wants to help save future generations from such torment should send a donation to www.scaredflushersunite.org. We are a small but proud group. Union meetings are held every other month in varying members bathrooms. Bring Your Own Tissue.