Failed Taunting

Sun 4/22/2007

I have been super stressed out all weekend, running around, trying to get stuff scanned and printed and mounted and labeled for the Pratt Show, while also creating a comics syllabus and cover letter for my big interview tomorrow at BMCC.

My only calm moments have been on the subway, while reading King-Cat Classix, which is totally hillarious and touching and great.

This afternoon though, while riding home, these six huge teenage guys walked into the car, making a ton of noise. They sort of settled, standing up, right by where I was sitting. They were all cracking jokes, swearing a lot and making a TON of noise. It was annoying, but I thought, "I was totally like this as a teenager" so I tried my best to just ignore them and keep reading.

At some point though, I realized they were all making fun of me.

One guy leaning against the door was looking over my shoulder and saw that I was reading a comic book. So he started teasing me about it. They were all taking verbal jabs and reacting loudly and egging eachother on.

It was strange, because it's a situation I've been in before plenty of times and usually I would just get embarrassed, start blushing and try to ignore them. But this time, I thought to myself, "They're trying to make ME feel ashamed for reading a comic book? THIS comic book, which I've been eagerly awaiting for the last 6 months???" I mean, they could probably get the balding, morning rush-hour, 43 year-old guy in a suit who's always reading a Batman trade paperback to feel bad. But ME???

The guy by the door said something to the effect of, "Man, that looks like the stupidest comic ever!" and after their laughter died down I looked up at him and said, "It's actually a really amazing book. It represents almost 20 years of one man's hard work."

They were all silent for a moment, looking at each other. I think when you are taunting someone, you don't really expect them to talk back, but just to sit there and take it. As I went back to my book, I could see other people on the train looking at me with pity, as if to say, "I'm sorry they picked you!"

The guys quickly regained their footing and mimicked my own words back at me in a "white-boy" voice, and then really started laying in to me. But again, it was kind of funny. Everything they TRIED to make fun of about me, is something that I'm either very proud of, or totally comfortable with about myself.

They made fun of my glassless glasses (which I openly admit are totally weird), which somehow led them to reading Harry Potter (which I love) and I was wearing a Star Wars shirt, so they went down that path (whatever!) and then started making fun of my clothes, etc. etc. etc. (They also made fun of me for NOT having any kids... ???)

I was sort of laughing along with them, because really, they had me pretty well pegged. That only made them angry though and I started getting "we're not laughing with you, we're laughing AT you" and "what's so goddamned funny you nerd?" etc. etc.

They were probably harrassing me for like 15 minutes and when the train finally got to my stop I put my comic away and stood up. I looked around and saw that the other New Yorkers no longer pitied me, they pitied the TEENAGERS.

Me too! Remember that feeling? Of being so insecure and unhappy that sometimes the only way you could feel better was trying to belittle someone else? Man, I wouldn't go back to high school if you PAID me! Sometimes it is really okay, getting older.

As the train pulled in, the guy by the door said mockingly, "So what? You just go to COLLEGE and ride around on your BIKE and read COMICS?" and I said, "Yeah! It's actually a pretty great life!" and left.

4 comments on this entry

Their powers are useless against you!

Arlene Apr22

Man, you are the coolest guy of all time! Way to go!! :D

fetjuel Apr22

Ha ha! Man, I *wish* I could go to college and ride my bike and read comics! It would totally be worth the taunting.

There were a couple times on the subway when I could tell that some asshole teenager was about to start something with me, but my response was usually to get my standard New York face on - the one that says "I Look Angry But I Might Actually Be Crazy So It'll Be Best Not to Fuck With Me." As a short woman, the possibility that I might be totally insane was the only real deterrent I had. I haven't had to use that face since leaving the city, come to think of it...

Laura Apr23

goddamit that pisses me off!!...
there's nothing worse than ignorant, halfwit monkeys who can find nothing better to do than throw feces at people walking by their cage...
i f-ing hate hearing stories like that...i'm glad you were able to handle the situation with such grace alec...

jason Apr24

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