It was third grade and I had just come to a new school.
My father was in the Army and changing schools was nothing new. The tight knit group of girls at the new school viewed me as a dangerous stranger.
The bullying was particularly vicious.
A very young Bad Eventer didn’t take the mistreatment very well and lunch time was definitely the worst. They would tease me & I would get MAD. Then they would say things like, “Don’t give me that evil eye!” “Look at that lemon lip!”
Funny, I don’t remember half of my college experiences but I can still remember what I was wearing at lunch in 3rd grade while being taunted about my pouty “lemon lip.”
I developed a deeply ingrained loathing for mean girls.
I met someone once who used to say, “It doesn’t COST anything to be nice!”
I’ve always liked that. It sure doesn’t……….
40 years later, I was at the American Eventing Championships, and I was having a wonderful time.
I was thoroughly impressed with the quality of the horses & riders. I was standing by the arena with a rider’s parent and we were commenting about how we could definitely tell it was the national championships. The quality of the riding was terrific. Horses were obedient and polished. Riders were accurate and poised.
It was a pretty noticeable difference from the average horse trial.
Later I found myself sitting at a lunch table with a group of women who were chatting about their impressions of the competition.
Immediately after introductions they started with some choice words about the ABYSMAL quality of the riding.
I was shocked and wondered if they were watching the same show………and learned in short order that NONE of them were competing…………
Then….. they started in on the cutest little girl in warm up. She was counting her strides loudly and praising her horse.
It was the cutest pair ever!
This group collectively thought she was ghastly.
“How could ANYONE count out loud??!!”
“What an idiot she was, and what on earth was she doing????”
I felt like I was in 3rd grade at the lunch table all over again.
I looked at one of them and said, “What’s wrong with counting out loud?”
…….as I’m remembering vividly my last jump lesson………my ever-so-successful-4*-coach had told me to count every stride and, he admonished “it had better be loud enough for me to hear you!”
The reply to my query was something like, “I would NEVER EVER count out loud!! It’s sooooo stupid.”
………well, thank you honey for that affirmation……………..
I said something like, “For the record, I count out loud.”
And I’m not ashamed to admit that I BOLTED.
The derision and out and out meanness from a group of women……….. who were NOT competing in the championships drove me from the table in haste.
I briefly stood up for the young lady who was counting & having the time of her life……..
and then I fled!
I guess those mean girls from third grade…….. turned into mean adults.
And I’m pretty sure not one of them has jumped around at Intermediate.