Boy Oh Boy: Original 3.7.11

 

In order to help us get better acquainted… I wanted to hit you up with this old piece written in March of 2011…

In todays day and age, school can end up being a very intimidating place for a young child. With major advances in technology and the advent of social media, kids of today’s generation can no longer find comfort in the fact that they’re safe from bullying and cruelty once they leave the classroom. Back in the good old days, when you you pissed your pants in the art room, shat your pants on the bus, or got caught doodling hearts around your name (your first name followed by the last name of your latest crush) you really only had to worry about the bus, recess, and hallways for excessive taunting.

Now, you get to go home and read about it all over the internet, probably accompanied by a photo of the scene of the crime. At least you have the option of getting a nice and concise summary of it in the form of a 140 character tweet.
Without even taking into consideration the horrific lunch menu options, the abundance of teacher pedophiliacs, and the school nurse that believes all ailments, (whether broken bones, bloody noses, or cases of influenza), can be healed with an icepack…school can be an extremely traumatic experience.
The first culmination of all these pressures… Kindergarten. Forget the easels and the coloring books of preschool, now you get to play with scissors. And so accordingly, as children are forced further out of their comfort zones, and start to gain a tiny bit of independence, it is essential that parents equip them with all the skills and resources at their disposal to help ensure their offspring’s success. This includes going above and beyond, figuring out what the latest child trends are, and springing for them.. because the consequences of not fitting in are extreme.
It’s crazy to say, but a lot rides on what you put your kid in on their first day of school. If you pick out the perfect dress with matching shoes, and a sweet little headband with accessories to match, you might have just paved the way for your baby girl to become the homecoming queen.
Sending your daughter off to their first day of school looking like this however, might be grounds for social services…

[Note the dime piece in the reflection]
And so, off I went w/ all the false ideas of confidence provided by stories like “Thomas the Tank Engine” and all the other illusions of reality that are imprinted on you from the second you exit the womb.
HOWEVER, Immediately upon arrival, my fears seemed to drift away as I had no problems finding people to sit with. I learned that as long as I wasn’t the one with the unibrow and sideburns, didn’t have a name that you couldn’t pronounce, and wasn’t black… it would be smooth sailing from here on out.
Sidenote: I really wonder how the new trend in naming offspring after things like fruits, places, and measurements is affecting the bullying epidemic. You hear stories all the time about parents changing names on birth certificates because of how the name would look on an invitation, or sound in the work place. My friend Carly was originally named Maxx until her mom feared that she’d be gender confused, and I have friends that have never once been called their given name except for on attendance lists and passports (and court hearings).
[Pretty obvious that I’m the leader of this pack]
Fast forward to lunch. Adorned with my brand new lunchbox, I entered the cafeteria with a sense of belonging as I looked over what would soon be my new kingdom. I obviously wasn’t in the slightest bit surprised as the cutest boy in the class began to approach me. And then it came, the 7 words that would change my life forever…
“Are you a boy or a girl”
Clearly my parents didn’t share the sentiments by Carly’s mother concerning the confusion that can stem from giving your child a unisex name. Cutting my hair into a bowl cut… perhaps a little over zealous.
Conclusion: Now I know why I was the only girl on the boys side of the classroom.
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