The other day I was having a conversation with a dear friend about boys and the mean things they said to us when we were growing up. Her story was about a foreign exchange student from Scotland with whom she was madly in love with at the ripe old age of 11. She adored him and his accent. Yet, one day an embarrassing mishap sent her flying into a pile of doggy dunk and her shoe became encrusted with excrement. For the remainder of the summer, she was known to him as “shitty shoes”.

Years later she found her Scottish brute through facebook and recalled the tale for him. He had no idea he tormented her with that name for the whole summer and couldn’t even remember when it happened.

This shitty shoe comment was one she carried with her all this time and this dude didn’t even remember it.

I have one such story as well.

I was in fifth or sixth grade and I was madly in love with one boy from the neighborhood. We rode the same bus to and from school every day and my heart would flutter every time he boarded the bus. I would hope today would be the day he sat with me or at the very least just said hi.

Well, apparently I must have been quiet the little stalker because one day, he turned to me and said, “I don’t like you and I never will. Stop liking me. I think you are ugly and never talk to me again.”

Cruel, right?

Through the power of facebook, this man found me and was so happy I was on facebook. I was more than perplexed. This was the boy who said I was ugly and I should never talk to him again. He was confused why I never talked to him in high school and I was confused why he would have been confused. He told me to stay away from him and I did. Why was that so hard to understand?

Well, it turned out, he had no memory of the interaction on the bus in fifth or sixth grade. He was also surprised he was so rude to me and then he understood why I stayed away from him.

I was always so hurt by what he said and yet he couldn’t even remember he did it.

I know kids are mean and they say horrible stuff to one another, but it starts my mind churning. How many other life changing events do I remember that the other person involved doesn’t? Are there people out there who remember the time I said something truly mean and I have forgotten it?

I find it very interesting the age in which this happened. Both situations, the girls were 11 or 12. What is it about that age that makes this kind of thing a rite of passage? Is this a universal thing, or does it just happen to girls who are writers?

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