In the closet

I met my current best friend in the sixth grade camp. One woman, V, was excited about knowing us both, because she thought we’d get along swimmingly. We did, and the rest is history. We were maid of honor in each other’s wedding. She loves all over my baby girl and we sometimes even get to see each other, even though we live states apart. It’s a happy memory.

During the week of sixth grade camp, we locked one of the girls in our cabin, CA, in the closet. Well, there weren’t actual locks, so we pushed the door closed and used a stick to keep it closed. I wonder if any of the girls who participated in the locking remember. I’m sure CA does, although we went on to be friends later.

I have no idea where our chaperone was, but she obviously was not doing a good job. Of all the times I was the one chaperoning I hope this kind of thing never happened. In some ways, I am positive it didn’t. For one thing, Christian camp doesn’t have closets.

I don’t know why I remembered that. I am decidedly anti-bully now. If I’da caught us I would demand we be sent home: You don’t go around treating people like that. I don’t know why we decided she was worthy of closet locking, but I’m sure it was not a good reason.

CA has gone on to do well for herself. First she became a professor and after that she moved to Los Angeles where she has her own percussion accessories business. She is married to another woman. I truly hope she is happy and in some way I’ve never wished her harm. I didn’t feel anger towards her or guilt. In fact, writing this out has brought out some kind of guilt and distress. I wish I could have had the gumption to stop the other girls from treating her so badly. I was picked on quite a bit in the same class in the same school. Manchester was a breeding grounds for bullies and creeps. I never remember the teachers doing anything to stop that treatment.

In my classroom, every chance I got I jumped on the kids who made fun of the kid who was picked on. I don’t know if I embarrassed the victim or if he felt protected by me. The last time I stopped a kid was in my daughter’s classroom. It was for making fun of a prominent scar on the chin of a classmate the day after her surgery to remove the scar. I’d like to think I nipped that in the bud. My daughter’s teacher seems the type to deem that behavior unacceptable. For that I am glad.


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