Ginger. I know what you’re going to say: “It isn’t even an insult”. My retort? You don’t know a thing about what you claim. In sixth grade, I met a young boy my age. Because all of the schools getting mixed together into one building, I had never met him previously. He had, apparently, gone to one of the less civilized schools. One day, as I waited to go into L.A, he called me a ginger, and laughed. I gave him a strange look, as I had never heard the word prior. I later learned that he was referring to my hair and skin. This confused me, given that the only comments I had ever gotten about my hair were from old women from Home Depot. And believe me, those comments did not hurt like his did.
The more he did it, the more it hurt. All I could do was stand there, head heavy with a shame I was forced to own. He made me feel as though I were doing something wrong. Like I was a criminal for being Irish, like I was wrong for being me. “What about everyone else?”, you ask? They stared in shock. Not a single one did anything to stop him. They didn’t stand up for me, they didn’t get a teacher and they didn’t even look uncomfortable. They just sat there, and did their work. I resented everything he stood for, everything that made him smile. Why would I hate that, you ask? The only time I saw him smile was when he was torturing me.
One day, in the third semester, we were in L.A with a substitute teacher. He began yelling at me, saying “I was a ginger”, as per usual. I yelled at him that “he would fail in life because of who he