When I was a kid, we moved out of one neighbourhood and into another. With a new neighbourhood comes a new school, and a new school brings new friends. It isn’t always easy and it doesn’t always work out.
Shortly after my first day at my new school, I was befriended by a girl named Honey. Seriously – I did not change her name to protect her identity. She was a nice enough girl and we came to be pretty good friends; I had dinner and sleepovers at her place and helped her with her paper route. At one point, we had a falling out; I honestly don’t remember what sparked it, but I vividly remember what maintained it.
I guess Honey was upset by the ordeal and her big brother, Dorian, decided to take it upon himself to fix it. And by fix it, I mean pick on me and make my life hell. The pair of them became my bullies.
With names like Honey & Dorian, I guess the only defense is a good offense. Dorian used to hit me, push me down and whip me with rocks tied to string. Again… not making this up. My brother would chase him off, but Danny wasn’t always around. Sometimes it was up to me to fend off this older, bigger, boy. That and his tag-teaming sister. It wasn’t always easy.
My parents tried everything short of my dad kicking the ass of Minor Dorian, or Elderly Max (their dad – seriously, he was so old that he was retired… did I mention I was in elementary school?)
One night my dad took us over to his friend’s place; Dad & his buddies got nice and liquored up. At one point, my dad approached me and told me that this Honey & Dorian fiasco had to stop; I had to stand up for myself. I said that I try, but when I do stand up to Dorian, Honey steps in and then it’s two against one… what else can I do?
Why, learn to fight, of course. Since I was a 10 year old girl, Dad didn’t want to teach me how to actually fight, so he taught me to fight like… well, a 10 year old girl.
He told me to slap him in the face. I laughed and didn’t do it. Dad became more and more persistent. He wouldn’t take no for an answer.
That’s when I made the decision that I was going to have to slap my dad. My first swing was half-hearted at best. I couldn’t very well actually hit my dad in the face, after all.
But that simply wasn’t good enough for him.
My slaps became harder and harder.
Dad was crouched down in front of me accepting blow after blow, never phased. After each and every slap, he’d say “That’s better – but you can hit harder”. Once I became accustomed to slapping my dad, I stopped being afraid and I just started giving it my all. At one point, I wound up with all my might and smashed my tiny little hand against my dad’s face. He was impressed.
This continued on until his left cheek was bright red and I was beginning to enjoy the game. At that point, he thought he did his job and he left me with the following advice: Next time Dorian picks on you, you hit him like you just hit me.
Big thanks to EliseArt for providing illustrations!