Please Don’t Let Me Be A Hypocrite!
“Jenna! Jenna! Time to get up,” said her mother.
“I’m up,” mumbled Jenna.
“That’s what you said the last two times I came in here,” her mother said annoyed as she pulled the covers off of Jenna.
“Mom!” Jenna grumbled as she reached for her covers which were now out of reach. “I’m cold!”
“Then I suggest you get dressed quickly,” said her mother as she tossed the clothes Jenna set out to wear right onto her bed.
“Can I take a personal day?” Asked Jenna.
“Why? Are you ill?”
“I’m fine, it’s just well…personal,” said Jenna.
“No. Maybe you shouldn’t stay up so late blogging,” her mother said.
Jenna opened one eye. “How do you know I was up late blogging?”
“I’m a Mom, I know everything. Now get ready for school, young lady. I don’t want to have to drive you. Come on, I want to see you sitting up with your feet on the floor.”
Jenna moaned and sat up. “Happy now?” She said giving her Mom the evil eye.
“I’ll be happy when I see you dressed and downstairs in five minutes, now shake a tail feather,” her mother said and then left the room.
Jenna flopped backwards on her bed and groaned.
“No laying back down!” her Mom scolded peeking back in.
Jenna got up. “I swear that woman has hidden cameras in here,” she mumbled as she got herself dressed.
Somehow Jenna made it to the bus stop just in time. She was sure the bus driver scowled at her which was weird. It’s not as if she made them wait for her or anything. She made her way to the middle of the bus trying to spy Katie who suddenly popped up. She had been retrieving her water bottle that rolled under the seat. Jenna sat down next to her.
“I was afraid you weren’t on the bus for a minute,” Jenna said.
“I was afraid you were going to totally miss the bus today,” said Katie.
“I almost did. I was up way to late on the B.U.L.L.Y. Blog. Have you checked it out? Mary did an awesome job with it,” said Jenna.
“Yup, I did. Did you study for the math quiz today?” Asked Katie.
“What math quiz?” Jenna asked as she suddenly experienced a mini heart attack.
Katie waved a study guide in her face. “The quiz today.”
“Oh no! I totally forgot. This is not good. I so messed up on the last one I have to do well on this one. Can I see your study guide?” Jenna asked, feeling anxious.
“Chill girl! We can look it over together,” said Katie. “I’m hoping you can help me with number four. When are we ever going to use maps with fractional distances anyway? When I learn to drive I’m just going to get a GPS with Channing Tatum’s voice telling me which way to go.”
“Channing Tatum, really?” Asked Jenna amused. “Hello! Earth to Katie, come in Katie.”
“Oh sorry. Yeah Channing…” smiled Katie dreamily.
“Okay then. Back to math here,” Jenna said as she looked at the study guide.
“So, whose voice would you choose? If you had a GPS I mean,” asked Katie.
“I don’t know, Katie. Someone who could find their way around I guess. Maybe Lewis or Clark,” Said Jenna as she tried to pay attention to the math sheet in front of her.
Katie burst out laughing. “OMG, you are too much. It can be anyone, silly. They don’t have to know their way around. The GPS tells them what to say.”
“Can you please let me concentrate? If I don’t pass this quiz I may never be allowed to get a driver’s license let alone a GPS,” said Jenna worried.
“Don’t worry, I will drive you around in my brand new indigo convertible,” said Katie.
“We can’t ride to school on your dreams. Now, math… focus!” Demanded Jenna.
Katie gave Jenna a look that said she could not believe her best friend doubted she would have her dream car in just a few short years; however, Jenna didn’t see it as she was focused on cramming for the math quiz.
At school, Katie went ahead to her class as Jenna stood at her locker looking at her math study guide. The bell rang.
Jenna grabbed what she needed for first and second periods. As she rounded the corner to head toward her class she saw Mira and she froze. Mira looked so sad like she was about to cry. Right on her locker someone had taped a piece of paper with the word ‘loser’ on it. It looked like there was gum or spit all over her locker too. Eew. Jenna didn’t move for a moment as if she were afraid Mira would run off if she saw her there. Mira just stood there too.
Jenna took a deep breath and quietly moved closer. “Mira,” she said gently. “Are you okay?”
Mira made a noise in the back of her throat as if she were trying to suppress a cry and looked down at the floor.
“Mira, you are not a loser. Some mean girls wrote that just to make you feel bad. You can’t let them make you feel bad, though. That’s what they want, so don’t let them win,” said Jenna. “How about if we take the note to the principal’s office and tell them…”
“No! Just go away… you,” Mira cried.
“Jenna, my name’s Jenna. You have to talk to someone and it is important to tell. If you don’t want to talk to the principal, how about Miss Mackey, or a teacher you like?”
“Just go away. If I get them in trouble they are worse to me,” said Mira.
“That is why you have to stand up for yourself and tell. You have to do whatever you can to stop them. Tell every single time Mira. Have your friends help you. Talk to your parents, too. I will go with you to talk to someone. Maybe the counselor?” Suggested Jenna.
“I don’t really have friends at this school and I don’t want to talk to anyone,” said Mira.
“I’ll be your friend. I’m happy to help you out,” Jenna said reassuringly.
“Oh, you’ll be my friend? You will hang out with a little sixth grader that others call a loser and make fun of? Do I get to hang out with you and your friends? Will they accept me? Can I come over to your house? Are you going to invite me to your next sleepover? Are you coming to my next birthday party with my sixth grade friends?” Mira raged.
“I…uh…” stammered Jenna surprised.
“That’s what I thought!” Finished Mira and she ran off down the hall.
“Mira!” Jenna called after her.
Jenna grabbed the loser note off of Mira’s locker. She decided since she was late for first period anyway she would see if the counselor was available. Miss Atkins was a very nice school counselor. She listened to Jenna and asked her some questions. Miss Atkins had her honestly answer Mira’s questions. That was a real eye opener to Jenna. She was always so annoyed by kids who looked down on others or thought they were too cool to hang out with you. Jenna thought she was so accepting of others, but she had really taken on that ‘middle of the bus’ mind set. She wasn’t cool enough to sit in the back of the bus but she did feel she was too cool to sit in the front of the bus. Did that make her as bad as the popular kids? No, she was never mean to anyone. She wanted everyone to get along. But could she really be friends with Mira? She wasn’t sure. This was not good. She did not like feeling that she was better than others. Jenna was ready to hang her portrait in the great Hall Of Shame.
Miss Atkins kindly told her that she was not a bad person and that no one is perfect. We just need to think about our actions, how we treat others, and learn from our mistakes. In fact, she loved Jenna’s idea for the B.U.L.L.Y. Club. She even said she would check out their blog and talk to the principal about holding club meetings after school once or twice a month. Miss Atkins also said she would talk with Mira and see if she could help her out.
Then the embarrassing /cool part. Miss Atkins let everyone that visited her in her office pick out a sticker and a piece of candy. Jenna secretly loved it. Miss Atkins had the coolest stickers and good candy. She was sure it was NOT cool for a seventh grader to be excited about picking out a sticker or candy. She so loved stickers though, especially the glittery ones! She played it cool though. She would casually say thank you, not tell anyone about it, and when she was home alone in her room she would take it out, admire it, and happy-dance her butt off. Jenna left the office with an excuse note for being late to first period. She took a deep breath and tried to stop smiling, because she got the coolest sticker ever! It was glittery pink with the most adorable little zebra in the middle.
As she hurried down the hall this tall kid came around the corner and purposely (she was sure) bumped into her making her drop her books and hit her funny bone on a locker. Which we all know there is nothing funny about bumping your funny bone.
“Hey! That was rude!” Jenna yelled after him.
The tough looking kid yelled something back that Jenna could never repeat even if she were to tell on him. She stood there with her mouth hanging open and rubbing her sore elbow. Then she picked up her books and papers and continued to class while she told that rude boy off good in her head.
After school, her Mom made her run some errands with her. Boring, with a capital ‘B’. Then she called an emergency meeting with Katie and Mary. When they were all together in her room she told them all about Mira, the counselor, and the tall kid that bumped into her on purpose.
“Oh my gosh, I think I know that kid that bumped into you. He was one of the ones in that physical fight with Cameron,” said Mary.
“But that guy isn’t popular,” said Jenna confused.
“Girl, you don’t have to be popular to be a bully!” Said Katie.
“I know that. I just thought it was some of the jocks picking on Cameron and his friend,” explained Jenna.
“No…well one of them was a jock. The other two were um… slacker tough guys? Rebels without a cause?” Said Mary.
“Fascinating….” Katie said staring at Mary.
“Oh you know what I mean,” said Mary.
“Losers?” Said Jenna.
“Well, yeah. I don’t like to call people that, though. Mira’s note would have been more fitting on this kid’s locker though,” said Mary.
“We should really have a meeting this weekend. We can each invite some friends and meet in the room above my garage,” said Jenna.
“Coolness. I can bring sodas,” said Katie.
“I can bring carrots!” Said Mary.
“We aren’t bunnies, Mary,” teased Katie.
“Carrots are great,” said Jenna. “Should I invite Mira?”
“Yes,” said Mary.
“The worst that happens is she says no,” added Katie.
“I just don’t want her to think I’m going to keep bugging her, you know?” Jenna explained.
“Don’t worry about it,” said Mary.
Saturday morning Jenna put on her socks in record time and shoved her feet into her lace-less sneakers. She ran the brush through her hair a few times, checked her teeth in the mirror, and ran downstairs and into the kitchen.
“Did you make your bed?” Her mom asked.
“Mom!” Jenna moaned. “I’m late.”
“They can wait.” Her Mom answered.
Jenna stomped back upstairs pulled her sheet and comforter up over her pillow, quickly smoothed it out and ran back downstairs.
“My bed is made,” she announced as she sat at the kitchen table with her father and younger brother. She drowned her waffle in syrup and grabbed some bacon. “Can I please eat this at the meeting?”
“No. You will eat at the table with your family.” Her mom said as she placed the orange juice in the middle of the table and sat down.
“I’m so late.” Jenna repeated with her mouth full.
“Don’t talk with your mouth full.” Her brother Steven said mimicking the way Jenna always said to him. Jenna scrunched her face up at him.
“Your friends will wait Jenna,” added her father over his newspaper. He nodded toward the back door.
Her friend Kevin was blowing on the glass making his cheeks puff out. Jenna laughed and motioned for him to go away. He didn’t move. She pointed to her Dad, who slightly smiled and waved. Kevin’s eyes got big. He wiped his slobber off the window with his sleeve and left.
“Charming,” her mother mumbled.
“Can I go now?’ Asked Jenna. “I ate my whole waffle.”
“Go ahead,” her mother sighed.
“Thank you!” Jenna said as she grabbed another piece of bacon and hurried out the back door.
She walked quickly up the stairs alongside her garage out back. A door opened into a large room that could be used as a mother-in-law apartment. This however was Jenna’s club house.
“You’re late,” said Katie from the bean bag chair.
“Sorry, it couldn’t be helped. I believe I get to sit in the big bean bag chair.” Said Jenna.
“It’s so comfy though,” whined Katie as she held out her arm for Jenna to help pull her out.
Jenna sat in the big chair under the white board which had the following written on it in erasable markers:
B.U.L.L.Y. Club
Band together
Understand our differences are okay
Listen to one another
Learn from each other
Yield- as in harvesting helpful ideas.
“Welcome to the B.U.L.L.Y. Club, members,” said Jenna. She looked around at her friends who sat in a semi-circle on various pillows and an old yellow bean bag chair. She knew there were a few kids they asked that couldn’t make it. So far there were six members for sure. Her BFF’s Katie and Mary. Her Good friends Freddy and Kevin. Plus a new member she was afraid would not show up, Mira!
“As I mentioned before, anyone can join. You just have to promise to do the following. Do you all promise to...?
1. Never put people down.
2. Always stand up for yourself and others.
3. If someone is being bullied band spectators together around the victim if possible. Or:
4. Have someone get an adult.
5. Tell your parents, teachers, principal, etc. about a bully that does harm.
6. Let bad bullies know that the world will not put up with their nonsense.
7. Try to understand what a bad bully is going through if possible.
8. See if you can help bad bullies, and get them to become good B.U.L.L.Y.’s like us.”
“I promise!” They all said in unison.
“Awesome!” Said Jenna.
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