Friday, April 16, 2010

FLASHBACK FRIDAY: Matlock Corrupts My Youth

I knew that would get your attention. I'm will be talking about Matlock, and how as a sweet little girl I was charmed by his elderly wit into committing a devilish deed; but first:

I have a new professional website. Thoughts? Concerns? Airborne tomatoes? (Whatever, this site is a helluva lot better than redirecting people to my film blog constantly. I need to grow up sometime, people.)

Speaking of growing up, I shall now continue doing the opposite, and tell you all a little tale for...

(the colors make it super-fun!)

As most of you might have already figured out, I wasn't very popular in school, and so even elementary days were tough to get through. This may have been completely inside my head, given that I was extremely shy and thought everything was my fault, but I'll opt to play the childhood pity card today.

I remember sitting in my 2nd grade art class doing some sort of sculpture and generally talking about things that probably seemed really important at age 8, but most likely weren't.

The two "most popular" girls - each with the same letter in their first names (birds of a feather flock together, especially the bitches) - were sitting across from me. "Popular" meaning: one had a training bra, the other an acting trainer. (I could say I had the training pants, but not sure of the bed-wetting timeline here...)

At some point during the conversation, things got ugly. I don't remember what we started arguing about, but it didn't matter:
they were right, and I was stupid, ugly, worthless and, of course, wrong. After the two had thoroughly beaten my self-confidence into a quivering mass of worthless scraps, the familiar saltiness of tears began to resurface in my throat, while almost simultaneously my head fumed like Mt. Vesuvius. But which emotion to act upon?

I was tired of being the shy one, the easygoing one, tired of being put on the spot and then laughed at because everyone knew I wouldn’t do a thing about it. It was time to fight back.

Most people might t
urn to Jesus at times like these, but at home we had our own religion: television. Every night at dinner, we would all gather round the table completely ignoring eachother while we watched the small B&W TV mindlessly, entrapped within the world of 90210. One of dad's other favorites was "Matlock;" that rapscallion of a lawyer with his smart wit and snow white hair! He must have been the perfect role model for an 8 year old - after all, we had so much in common: we both wet the bed and were generally grumpy about life!

In that moment, when I was up against my vicious classmates, unable to defend myself, I thought, "WWM[atlock]D"?
Earlier that week, Matlock had lost a case to some stuck-up lawyer, and he had felt the same sense of shame and anger. And what had he done? He had called him a jack-ass.

So I turned my eyes away from the girls, so the fear in my face was hidden, and muttered: jack ass.

They stopped talking. "What did you say?" they gasped in disbelief. At first, I was overcome with triumph! They would have never though to use such a clever word!

But almost immediately afterward my stomach nearly dropped to the ground. No second grader uses that word, because it's BAD.

Jack ass fail.

They were already telling the art teacher by the time I realized my fatal mistake. Once my homeroom teacher came back, I performed the walk of shame as I faced them both, hot-faced and ruined: all my exemplary elementary years (about 2 of them) flashed before my eyes in a taunting whirl. They were stunned at my language...I had never caused any trouble before. By the time word got around to my mother, I was done with the incident. I never wanted to talk about it again. It was a mar on my record, and it was only the beginning of a youth full of embarrassments.

The worst was that I had tried to stand up for myself, and yet still failed. I was the bad guy somehow. It appeared to me that keeping quiet was the safest way to get through life.

It took me a long time to learn that keeping the anger inside was like trying to hold in your shit. One of these days, it's bound to hit the fan. Nowadays I curse people off all the fucking's become part of my daily language. And it makes me feel better.....sort of.

What else did I learn? That TV really does influence kids.
And don't trust lawyers; they're jackasses.

3 thoughts:

mylittlebecky said...

that is hilarious, i love it! damn matlock giving innocent children crazy ideas :)

Tiffany said...

I think we all have a story like that.

When I was in 2nd grade, I was taunted non-stop by this little boy on the play ground about being short, being a girl, everything! One day, he made fun of me because I could not jump rope - so, I decided to kick him in the knee. This would have worked, except he dodged my kick and instead I kicked him square in the groin.


He told the teacher and, interestingly enough, HE got in trouble and the teacher just told me next time to avoid kicking people to vent my frustration.

Tara Rose Stromberg said...

@Becky: Yes. Matlock clearly had secret agendas.

@Tiffany: Girl, you did what every teasing victim DREAMS of! Kudos!

The groin is the absolute point of weakness. I think this would also ring true for women, which might be good to keep in your back pocket for the future - you know, just in case.

(Can you tell I got picked on a lot? I'm a vengeful soul.)

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