Scary people are bad for you.
I had a teacher in 8th grade—Mrs. Schwarz—who wore a beehive hair-do and 4-inch heels to English class like a pruned-up Joan Collins.
She commanded complete silence. And demanded perfection in diagramming sentences, which is a form of medieval torture, in case you didn’t know.
What the heck is a gerund anyway?
She would call us up individually to the board. And there—in front of everyone—she would put us on the spot and we’d have to start diagramming.
She shamed Jenny Toons. “IDIOT,” she yelled.
She humiliated George Clarence. “GOING NOWHERE IN LIFE,” she’d chide.
And she destroyed Eric Carmichael because he didn’t know where the dangling participle went (seriously, where does it go???).
Because of this singular woman…
My throat would close up.
My pits would be soaked.
I was too scared to cry.
One day, I had one of those persistent tickles in my throat—
I needed water.
I was too afraid to ask permission to get some.
So I silently looked in my backpack for something that would quell my scratchiness.
I couldn’t find anything. I was getting desperate.
And there, at the bottom…was my only option…
Shiny and gleaming at me, I knew my only option was to suck on….a quarter.
Something to make spittle in my mouth.
And then that stupid Eric Carmichael bumped my desk with his chair.
And I swallowed it.
I swallowed the WHOLE DANG quarter.
If you are 12 and you swallow a quarter, your mom has to call poison control to find what to do next.
Know what they tell you?
WAIT. IT. OUT.
Yes, I had to poop out a quarter because some woman scared me so much.
It’s not healthy to let people stifle your voice.
It raises cortisol.
It lowers serotonin and other happy hormones.
And you live in a constant state of flight or fight.
And you might yourself pooping out some currency at some point.
If you’re reading this…I ain’t scared of you anymore!
And don’t be correctin’ my grammar, sis!
Not worth it, my love.
Scary people suck.
Drop ‘em like 2020.
Dr. B 💕