Being a lifelong nerd has its downsides. First and foremost is that you’re the target of a lot of bullying of various styles. Most of it dealt with ostracism and name-calling, but I had my physical altercations and had more than a few pranks pulled on me over the years. It all sucked, of course, but every now and then, things didn’t go quite the way people expected.
When I was a teen, the church I was a member of had a sort of coed camp called Youth Conference. A week of service, spiritual observance, and fun. I enjoyed them, but when you put a dozen teenage boys in a room together, there is almost always someone who decides to take advantage of the situation.
The night before the dance, there was always a dance, one of my family; that’s how the youth are organized: into ‘families’ with two Parent counselors and brothers and sisters; decided to prank a few of the boys. I was one of them.
The prank was simple enough: layer a glob of face glitter in the hair and face of some of the sleeping boys. I was the lucky one, one of the guys got the gel in his eye, I just had to wash my hair.
Of course, the glitter didn’t come out.
So I spent a day self-conscious as hell. I felt like everyone noticed, and felt like everyone was laughing. When it sent the others I slept with into that state, what else was I to think?
Come the dance, all dressed up (Shirt and tie for the boys, dresses and skirts for the girls), I got to join my friends. That was fun, and as usual, I got pushed into a number of dances because I was the shy one. In the church dances, it was really common to talk to your dance partner. Just about things. And the glitter came up more than once. I knew it would, too.
But the response was the opposite of what I’d expected. Some partners just hated that some jerk would try to be mean like that at a church event. Others thought it was cute. It’s neat when an attempt to destroy self-esteem ends up giving it a boost.
Have you ever had something embarrassing turn around and boost your confidence? Tell your story in the comments!