Children don’t quite grasp the concept of If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say. Truth is, they are really just being honest and have no idea that what comes out of their mouths may actually be hurtful sometimes.

Here is a story about how a child was in shock to see my face – my skin looking like melted wax with craters as deep as the moon.

In the thick of my stripping career – the ripe age of 24 – I was on the receiving end of a verbal punch so powerful, I still hear this little boy’s words like it was yesterday.

A visit to the neighborhood frozen yogurt stand next to the shopping mall gave me an excuse to rest my tired feet. Sitting in the corner, looking out the floor-to-ceiling glass walls, I began to zone out while enjoying every spoonful of my vanilla-chocolate swirly loveliness.

A little bell attached to the door rang and my focus shifted to the woman entering the shop. She was fresh-faced but tired, holding hands with (what I assumed was) her son. He was an adorable little boy, about nine years of age. The woman and I made eye-contact and realized we knew one another from the club.

“Oh hey!” I put my spoon down and stood up to give her a hug.

“Oh hi there!” She let out a sigh, blowing her bangs up with her bottom lip.

“Just come from shopping?”

“Yes and ready for a nap after our treat.” She leaned in to the little boy in confirmation. “Oh, this is my son Jason…”

“Hi there” I extended my hand.

“Mommy, why does she have a thousand holes in her face?”

“Jas!”

My heart stopped beating for a second.

“I’m so sorry…”

“It’s okay. I’ll see you later – nice meeting you.” I stood up and walked out, smiling in embarrassment.  

It took a couple minutes to get to my car but I held the tears until I was safe inside. I sat in my four-doored security chamber and cried until the tears wouldn’t come.

Needless to say, the show did not go on, as scheduled. I did not show up for work the rest of the week.

Not to end on a downer, I must say I adore children.

They bring light to a room and, as I am sure we all have a story, honest questions!

8 comments

  1. What? Seriously? Kids say so many things before they think, and I'm sure that was a gross exaggeration. But I remember my kids staring at heavy-set people and saying things out loud that I don't even say in private. Kids!Oh, plus, when I was 11, some little boy said to me, "You look like a witch. It's your nose." Yeah. Kids! And I still produced FOUR of those little buggers.

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  2. I was in a movie theater lobby when I was young. I saw a man wrapped in gauze. I asked, loudly, why there was a mummy in the movies. I think he'd probably been some sort of burn victim. My mom made me apologize. I am not one of those people who remembers all the details of their childhood, but this has stuck with me. I am mortified now to think that I did that.

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  3. I know how you must have felt. I had an awful acne when I was in my teens, and my father never let me forget it. Nasty comments from people I didn't know were tolerable, but I can still remember my dad's words almost 30 years later, and still hate how my skin looks now.At least with kids we know that they don't (usually) mean to be nasty, they're just clueless 🙂

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  4. It's not just kids who say unknowingly unkind, hurtful things that can stick with a person for years. Let's talk about high school girls who do it on purpose. In high school I was bullied by several popular girls because I was a cute, athletic girl but was not part of their popular click. These girls would slander my name, spread rumors that I slept around, and would gather their friends to bully me for reasons I can only assume stemmed from jealousy (over boys-who knows?); they were just downright mean. As if being a teenager wasn't difficult enough. All this from girls who knew literally nothing about me. Attending my reunion I found that some, if not most of these women still made the choice to cling to the perception they had of me. These same girls who bullied me in school greeted me with the same disdain so many years later. I've learned over the years not to take things personally. Choosing to enjoy life, having a long lasting, happy marriage to a gorgeous man, having beautiful children and still having a great body like I did in school (and seeing the look on their faces) was enjoyment (and payback) enough for me. Life is about the choices we make. You can choose to be nice and happy or mean and miserable.

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