Sandra Tsing Loh decides against confronting a boy who made fun of her daughter.
I have a theory that women should BEST have their kids early, let’s say in their TWENTIES, early thirties. Because if you have your kids around 40, like I did, like one of those National Geographic TURTLES washing up on the beach with their last leathery eggs? Unforeseen biological COMPLICATION? You’ll be entering menopause JUST as they’re entering MIDDLE SCHOOL!
For instance, the other week I found myself SITTING on a schoolyard bench at quarter to three waiting for sixth GRADE to get out. In particular, I was waiting for George, FORMER friend of my daughter’s, who had been MEAN to her on facebook. He had CHALLENGED her as being quote-unquote weird because, he said TAUNTINGLY, she was “facebook friends with her MOMMY.”
Of course, because Mommy IS a friend, the whole EXCHANGE had popped up on Mommy’s computer screen while Mommy was at work, or TRYING to work-- Not that Mommy has much CONCENTRATION these days, what with the HOT flashes-- Although what with the rapidly draining ESTROGEN, Mommy WAS able to focus her AGGRESSION with laser-beam intensity ON George, whom she has chaperoned many times to the CHEESECAKE Factory, where he has giddily enjoyed CHICKEN fingers and red VELVET cake on her tab and-- Was there a second Coke? Yes I BELIEVE there was a SECOND Coke.
Plus, I blush to SAY it, for the occasion of verbally TAKING GEORGE OUT, I am in an unusually coordinated COSTUME of jeans, cowboy boots, aviator glasses and even LIPSTICK-- Because for a divorced 50 year old mother feeling TINGLY, if not in a GOOD way, this qualifies as a “date”--
I’m planning my SPEECH-- Should I OPEN with THREATS of COMPROMISING IPhone PHOTOS of George on his facebook page, or posting the STORY of how he peed in his PANTS the first day of kindergarten-- Or maybe cut RIGHT to that Cheesecake Factory incident, DEMAND reimbursement--
When AS I am waiting, I see three teen boys—HAPPENED to be Armenian—talking and laughing in front of the bathroom, and as they do, they continually hit and punch and TACKLE each other, like bulls, not even aware of it. It’s like a tic--
And knowing how much George really DOES enjoy the Cheesecake Factory, perhaps TOO much so-- I knew his problems are ever so much bigger than my daughter’s.
And I realize perhaps I’m—oh, what’s the word? OVERREACTING?
The truth is, my daughter will SURVIVE middle school, having moved ON already to the joy of funny CAT photos. And she has begged me not to hurt him—much—because that would embarrass her and if I DO she says she will UNFRIEND me. Ah!
Middle school really IS forever, especially when you’re middle-aged. Argh! Cue sad emoticon here.