Friday, February 15, 2008
"My Head is Like a Magnet"
After 9 years of homeschooling, my daughter started school this year. She's a little more naive than most 16-year-olds and that's why I didn't really believe her when she came home and said people keep throwing things at her head. I mean, she's pretty innocent, but those high school boys are way finished with throwing things at girls to get their attention.
At first it was the hacky-sack boys. During lunch, they play hacky sack in the halls. They did that when I was in college and inevitably, someone walking down the middle of the hall would get hit. She claimed it happened every time. Finally, I gave her some advice that I learned from watching her "Aunt Pat."
When we were reporters in Clearwater, Florida, Pat was terrified of spiders. One practical joker in our office took delight in hiding a rubber spider in places that would startle Pat. She would scream and rave before handing the spider back to Mike, who would hide it again in another place. One day, after finding the spider in her coffee cup, she'd had enough. She took the spider out the front door and stood along the curb, waiting for a break in traffic. Then she threw the spider into the middle of the four-lane street. (Of course, Mike later ran into the street and retrieved the spider, but that's not the lesson I wanted my daughter to learn.)
I told her that the next time they hit her in the head with the hacky sack, she should grab it, run out the front door of the school and throw the hacky sack. (They're allowed to leave school at lunch time.) But before she had a chance to retaliate against the hacky sack boys, other boys began throwing things at her head.
Carrots at a swim meet. Coins and a ping pong ball at lunch. A pencil, part of a pen and a bottle cap during class. "Then he giggled," she told me the other day. "A high school boys giggling is not something you want to hear."
Her friends at school were unbelieving too.
"You're exxagerating," one friend said.
"Watch," my daughter retorted. She stepped into the hall, her friend Lisa right behind her. A hacky sack flew straight for her head.
She glared at the boy.
I think she's becoming famous for her glares, but they don't really serve as a force field to protect her head.
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