Revenge is a Dish Best Served Cold

There was this boy in seventh grade who made my life a living hell. His name was Kris and he had flaming red hair. He was tall for his age and on the fringe with all the cool kids. I was decidedly no where near that social status with my over-achieving scholastic ways and determination to be the star of every sports team imaginable.

I was a junior high geek. The only way I could have fallen any further into the pits of geekdom was if our school had had an A-V club and I was the club president. Luckily for me, we were a poor school. It saved me from having rocks tossed at my head on a frequent basis.

Kris was a likeable kid, the class clown. He had ADD and couldn't sit still and drove all the teachers nuts with his constant wise-cracking and fidgeting. So they did what any good teacher would do. They sat him beside me, the class brown-noser, in hopes my goody two shoes behaviour would rub off on him.

It didn't.

He took every opportunity to make fun of me, pull my proverbial pig-tails and make me the butt of his jokes. I was skinny-minny Miller, the girl who was flat as a board and never been nailed. In art class he made a collage dedicated to me, titling it 'The Carpenter's Dream.'

How I hated him. I would see him and cringe and pray every day he would fall ill to some mysterious disease and have to drop out of school thereby never having to sit beside me and needle me with his jabs through out the day.

Yet, there were a few moments, generally when no one else was around, when he was completely different. He was sweet to me and thoughtful and almost apologetic for his incessant public torture. It made him almost likeable. Almost.

For three years I was stuck with this boy, the boy who made me the laughing stock of our class on more times than I could ever keep count. On the last day of juniour high, we stood together, alone at the bus stop waiting for the bus that would forever drive us out of pubescent hell and towards greater adventures of high school that waited for us.

He was moving to England and I was heading to a new school, a huge high school where no one knew who I was, no one would know I still didn't have a real boyfriend or didn't need to wear a bra. I was glad to be rid of Kris.

Standing at the bus stop, he looked over at me and said "Hey." I nodded hello towards him and looked at my feet, holding my breath not knowing if he was going to cut me down verbally or be nice to me. Which ever way it went, I knew it wouldn't matter because after this moment in time I would never see him again.

"Tanis, I just want to apologize to you for all the teasing I did to you in school," he said in his deepening man voice.

I just grunted.

"I want you to know, I really like you. I've enjoyed sitting next to you for the last three years. I wish we were better friends." I looked at him like he had just grown horns out of his head and stood there tongue-tied. "I only teased you because I had a crush on you."

Then the bus pulled up and the doors swung open. He stepped onto the bus, turned around and smiled at me and said, "I teased you to get your attention." Then he turned around, headed towards the back of the bus where his friends were waiting for him and I never spoke or saw him again in my life.

At the time I was annoyed. I could have thought of a dozen different ways he could have shown his affection for me, none of them which included stealing the training bra from my gym locker and hanging it up on the back of our class door and decreeing it our new school mascot.

But I've grown older and wiser and I look back on the memory of that redheaded boy who loved his comic books and I see what I was blinded to in the midst of my youth.

Kris loved me. He was just a jackass about it.

Fast forward to this summer.

I met a man. This man found my blog through some happy clicking from one link to the next and landed on my site. The flaming redhead in a bikini caught his attention and my words intrigued him. Men like it when I talk about my boobs.

He started dropping witty comments and soon I was wondering who the hell this guy was that teased me so on my blog. So I went to his site and started reading his words, getting to know the man behind the blog name and a friendship was formed.

From dropping comments on each others blogs, to eventually striking up an email relationship, we talked. We amused one another. My husband delighted in the verbal smackdown this man would unerringly deliver and I would just shake my head and wonder if I managed to find yet another Kris in my life.

Except I am no longer the knobby kneed, flat chested, insecure teen I once was. And I no longer take offense when a boy tugs at my pig-tails to catch my attention. I'm the Redneck Mommy, confident and secure in who Tanis really is.

So if my internet friend, this man, wants to publicly flick my nose and snap my training bra in a desperate bid for a sliver of my attention, I'll roll with it. I'm an easy-going gal like that. Tease me all you like, it will just roll off my back like water on a duck's feather.

But be wary when you tease me. Especially if you decide to take that teasing public and onto the streets of the blogosphere, with my community of internet friends and readers watching, reading and taking pleasure in my public humiliation.

Have fun at my expense on the twitter boards. Tease me about my beloved Edmonton Oilers. Go ahead and write a birthday post where you try and convince the world I'm forty freaking years old instead of the youthful 33 I really am.

I'm a big girl. (About 25 pounds bigger than I'd like to be, but still.) I can take it.

Just know that if you mess with the bull, you are going to get the horn.

And in this case, Shawn, I am bigger than you. I have a bigger, better blog than yours. My stories are funnier and more touching than the drivel you peck out. How do I know this? Oh, my site meter tells me so. The sheer number of readers who lovingly come back daily to read my words let me know this.

(Thank GAWD for each and every one of you. Smooches.)

You see, I am no longer the little girl who trembles in her school desk, fearing the boy who tugs at my pig-tails.

I am now a blogger, with a community of friends and loyal readers, all of whom have my back. So when you mess with me, they sit up and take notice. They aren't about to let you use my training bra as your class mascot.

They may even invent a catchy nickname for you, just for my very own amusement.

Don't worry dude, I know that you are just nipping at my heels like a small puppy because you can't resist me. I am rather irresistable. Wink.

(Apparently, I am also a raging ego maniac. Sigh. Tongue in cheek people, tongue in cheek.)

But know that if you tug my pony tails to catch my attention, I'll tug back. Harder. Because my big brother trained me how to fight dirty.

So cowboy up partner, the game is ON.

Everybody, I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Backpacking Dad. A stay-at-home dad, a philosopher and a man who likes to think he's funnier than he really is.

Otherwise known as Gay Ray.

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Just keeping it real, Burns

Your friends love you, Shawn. Some more than others.


*Big thanks to Gaming With Baby for putting together that lovely photograph. I bloggy heart you, Will.*