Thursday, July 20, 2006

Growing Up

We were talking last Saturday about Ramon Salvosa, a person we went to grade school together with and who recently passed away. I don’t remember him myself, though my other friends do.

An article by Juan Mercado in the July 13, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, entitled “Bullies with Diplomas”, explained that he suffered a deep depression from intense teasing and bullying back in the 7th grade. This was back in 1988-1989, and he reportedly carried it with him since. Naturally, the article contained statements of regret of not helping Ramon enough to deal with the bullying, or that he should have been taught instead to fight back.

This brought up the relationship my friends and I have with one another. We’ve known each other, on and off, for decades. A couple of the guys I was with that evening, one I first met in 1981, and the other in 1984.

We didn’t always get along. Some guys were picked on. Some others did the picking. Some, like me, just kept out of the way and managed to avoid helping or hindering either.

One of the guys present last night knew he was one of those who liked to tease others. Even back in the mid-80’s. He likes doing it now. During the discussion, he did get a bit defensive about his. Naturally, as any group of children would have, we ganged up on him and told him that no, he wasn’t funny at all, that he made life terrible for everyone around. All exaggerations really, but it was amusing to see his wife slap him around for being a bully.

I know I myself can be cruel. I recently found out that a couple of colleagues of mine got really upset with me for some remarks I made. And I always thought that I was being nice to these two.

My friends and I aren't always so nice to one another. We pick on one another even now.

We accept it though, now, as part of who we are individually and together. We don’t have to like everything about one another. And, we don’t have to pretend we do. If we can criticize each other and still be funny, well, that isn’t too childish at all.

1 comment: said...

i wanted to post this under your post about bangkok and it's slimness but something is wrong and it won't let me... actually i would like to debunk the myth.... the thing about thai women/girls is that they are very good at giving the illusion they are eating when in fact they are not. they may eat a bite or two of fried food and carry around the whole bag of fried bananas making you think they are eventually going to eat it- but they aren't. plus, the average thai girl hardly ever eats alone...even a small snack. it's a really weird thing. I lived with some girls before and we were friends with our neighbors... i remember that no matter how hungry a girl was, until someone else would go to eat, they would never eat. they buy it, take two bites and pawn the rest off on friends or the bin. then, they take diet pills all day long... nearly every thai girl I know takes diet pills on a consistent basis... as if it is a vitamin. even their tea has laxatives in it.
the truth is, a LOT of thai women and girls suffer from eating disorders.