It was a normal day on the playground. I walked outside and greeted the crew I started recess with. Most of them were my cousins or my mom’s friend’s kids we played with at Fisherman’s Park on Sundays. They were friends for the most part. The soccer field was where we initially gathered. We didn’t spend much time talking about what we did in class, but typically the conversation would lead to us busting out some beats and doing some kind of step dance routine. We were very popular for that reason, in our little fourth grade minds. I was thankful that I inherited some kind of dance moves so I could participate. It was one of my favorite things to do at recess besides the monkey bars.
“Avery was being a meanie face, and she said some crappy words to me, screaming in my face and making a scene for everyone to see and hear.”
There was a girl named Avery who hung out in our playground circle. She was a lot taller than most of us, had a short jerry curl and wore glasses. I thought she always had an attitude and was loud in conversation, even when we were talking about fun things. My little 4th grade self couldn’t figure her out. It’s like she wanted friends but continuously picked fights and then cried about people being mean to her. She was so whiny to want to be so tough. Anyway, this particular day, I was the one she wanted to pick on. Now mind you, I was the peacemaker, the centered, shy one who got along with everyone. I had no idea what I would do if I got into a fight. I would daydream my action plan if I ever had to defend myself. I would aim for the nose. That sounded painful, and in the movies, getting punched in the nose always ended in a nasty nose bleed.
So that’s what I was planning to do that day at recess. Avery was being a meanie face, and she said some crappy words to me, screaming in my face and making a scene for everyone to see and hear.
Where was my teacher?! I did not want a behavior note sent home, but I knew if she got close enough, I would have to hit her. Uh Oh.
Then she turned and walked away. I took that as a sign that, even though I didn’t say or do anything, I won! It felt good. She had no business getting in my face like that! Now I had something to prove. I wanted people to know that little ol’ goody-two-shoes Lacey can stand up for herself. So I yelled out at her as she walked away, “ YO GREASY, GREASY, GRANNY!”
I immediately thought Avery was going to kill me. She turned around so fast, jerry curl juice flying everywhere. She’s mad as a hornet, yells “WHAT DID YOU SAY??”. Oh shoot! "My GRANDMAMA IS DEAD!!” And she marched right back up to me, fists clenched, and pissed off. Now, I would say I am very thankful for my friends who held her back, but before she almost punched my lights out, they were all standing around instigating the entire thing! So, thanks, y’all but...REALLY?!
I can admit, I was a little bit afraid. A little bit. Behind my shy, introverted soul, I did have the desire to defend myself, to stand up to someone even when they were intimidating and I knew there was a good chance I wouldn’t win the fight. Even 9-year old me eventually took a risk of getting into more trouble so Avery knew that she couldn’t continue putting me down. Now, I can say my choice words were not very nice, but you know, “Yo greasy, greasy granny” was a HUGE insult at the time. I had to do what I had to do, ok? That’s all the ammunition I had, so I used it. Don’t judge me.