So I was bullied.
You might be thinking to yourself that being bullied in middle school or high school (or both) is a rite of passage and happens to everyone. You might have also been bullied, or have been a bully… and you might be of the opinion that whatever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger. I agree with all of these statements.
But, no. This was just a few months ago.
I signed up for a comedy writing class at a popular comedy school in Los Angeles, to learn more (not less) about comedy and writing.
The first class went well. Everyone was shy, and on their best behavior. We all said our names with a sweet smile, and sipped our drinks softly.
Our teacher was a dude. He was in his early 20s, and claimed to know something about comedy. He drank a lot of soda and burped at least 50 times every single class. He would be in the middle of a sentence… “I want you to establish the who, what, (insert big gross BURP here) and where.” Then he’d move on, like it was no big thing.
The second class was less good, because it soon became clear who the Heathers* were.
Let’s call them Karen and Angela (because those are their real names and I’m definitely not trying to protect them). Karen and Angela were both in their mid to late 30s. They knew each other. They sat together. They shared snacks and drinks with each other. They knew why the other one was late (“flat tire”). They also passed notes, whispered and laughed out loud throughout the class, which I found incredibly distracting and (also) rude.
Each class would begin with the dude talking about comedy writing for several minutes, then we would take turns reading our comedy sketches aloud and give each other “constructive criticism”.
While my sketch was being read aloud by other members of the class, I looked over at the Karen and Angela. Karen jotted something in her notebook, and then drew an arrow pointing directly at me. She then nudged Angela, who read it, laughed, and followed the arrow with her eyes… directly to me.
I stopped paying attention to my sketch being read aloud, and started wondering what on earth these two ladies (I use that term loosely) had to say about me? What had Karen written, and why had Angela laughed? Why were these ladies (or: sea cows) targeting me?
1. They are talking/pointing/laughing at something just behind me (the wall????)?
2. They are jealous of my comedic and writing abilities.
3. They are mad because I am way cuter than either of them.
4. They have never been loved by another human.
5. I have something on my face.
After checking my face in the mirror on the break, I resolved that the next time those b****es drew an arrow in my direction, I was going to call them out.
I mean, come on! I’m over it. I’m over being self-conscious. I’m over feeling intimidated by other women. I am over. IT.
For the remaining six classes, Karen and Angela continued to be terrible. They took turns writing notes, drawing arrows (seriously), and laughing out loud at different people in the class. They were overly critical (read: mean) about people’s sketches and had a bad attitude when they received constructive criticism from others. The dude teaching the class didn’t seem to notice, or care (unless he ran out of Coke Zero).
Strangely… I started to feel sorry for Karen and Angela.
Obviously, Karen and Angela are very sad, lonely people. They have probably never been loved by another human. They probably pick on people to make themselves feel better about their sad, lonely lives. They probably look in the mirror and cry (because to be honest, neither of them are very attractive).
I realized that Karen and Angela didn’t deserve contempt, they deserved pity. (They also deserved a good spanking, but I digress.)
If you are a Karen or Angela, please STOP being a Karen or Angela.
If you know a Karen or Angela (obviously not just people with the names “Karen” or “Angela”, but people with the aforementioned traits), don’t let them get to you! Remember that they are sad, lonely people with sad, lonely lives and they deserve your pity.
Try giving them a hug, or spanking (or both).
*If you don’t know the term, Heathers… OMG, what? Heathers is a 1980s classic movie starring Winona Ryder about a clique of mean girls all named Heather.