Once upon a time, I lived in a little town in Texas. It’s name was Los Fresnos, and to this day, I avoid returning there, even though I have family and friends that still call this place home. (Note the location on the map.)
Why, you ask? I’ll tell you why.
For a kid who moved around a lot, I still ended up living in some places more than once, and one strange, cruel twist of fate always had me at Los Fresnos Elementary School when I would publicly disgrace me and my family’s name…
Here is the breakdown of why I will never show my face there again:
1st Grade – I had an argument with my teacher in front of the entire class about how to spell my own name. The audacity! Of course I would know better how to spell my own name than she would!! I got sent to the office where my stepfather had to be called out to confirm to me that I had indeed been spelling my own name incorrectly…I guess somewhere over the summer, I’d forgotten how to spell it…
2nd Grade – I thought that because I lived in a town called Los Fresnos, and it was right next to Mexico, that made me a Mexican girl. I stood in front of the entire class and swore that I was a Mexican, too…It is entirely evident to me now that I was the only one in the class that actually wasn’t of this heritage, but hey! I blame this one on the fact that I wasn’t allowed to watch television. If you aren’t going to explain this stuff to me, then you should just let me learn it from tv…just saying. I was bummed out to find out I was just some white girl….No cultural pride in that.
3rd Grade – After being picked on at recess by a boy named Abel, I erupted in fury and yelled at him, “Abel, Abel, you’re a table.” (To all my poet friends, yes. This is why I am not a poet). He burst into tears, told the teacher on me, and I received the only spanking I ever got in a public school. All for calling a boy a table.
4th Grade – The last day of school, I found out that Randy S. was moving over the summer, and I burst into tears that would rival Juliet‘s in the Shakespeare classic, Romeo and Juliet. I simply could not be comforted. I have no idea why. I didn’t hang with Randy S. on a normal, day-to-day basis. Once, he’d even helped some girl lock me in the boy’s bathroom. Another traumatic experience of mine that scarred me for life.
Nevertheless, it was a moving display, and Randy S. let me play soccer with him and his friends after school while we waited for the bus. First day of school the next year, Randy S. was on the bus when I boarded….and I died a little right then and there. Sure enough, the entire class remembered my performance, and for the rest of my time there, (which was thankfully short) I was called Mrs. S.
5th Grade – Ten years old, the same Randy S. chose a teacherless moment during class to tell us peers a dirty joke….which is how I learned where babies come from. At the age of 10….. In front of the entire class…. I was so grossed out and in denial, I stood on my chair and yes, burst into tears again, and swore that my parents would never do anything like that! I was so freaked out, my teacher and the principal sent me home for the day. Mom’s response?
“I thought you knew..You’re ten years old!!.. Where did you think all these kids were coming from?” she said, motioning to her huge, pregnant belly.
As you can see, I can never return to this town again….