When I was in elementary school there was a kid in my class named Chad Thomas. Chad is the reason I got into fights when I was in school -keep in mind I was a tender-hearted Tomboy. I didn’t like fighting, but I’d do it if I felt I had to.
Chad was the kind of person who was both sweet and irritating. He got himself into trouble but never realized he was doing it. He’d walk around with his lunch box, which he called his “punching box” and used it to defend himself -although a few of the punching incidence were unprovoked. He also frequently yelled at kids and called them “litter bugs” at recess, which is one reason Chad needed his punching box.
We spent our recess picking up litter for four months because Chad said the “litter bugs” made it too messy, which got me into fights. He got into fights with other kids, which got me into fights. He got picked on without anyone willing to defend him -except for me- which got me into fights.
I had a huge crush on a boy I’ll call TK. He was gorgeous -as far as fourth grade standards go. One day he was picking on Chad -did I mention Chad was in the Special Ed class? TK was teasing Chad and shoved him. It was with a heavy heart that I spoke up and told him to stop being mean to him.
I was tall for my age -hard to believe now- and stood almost a head taller than TK. Having brothers, I wasn’t fully aware that it was unladylike to beat up boys, but I was well aware that no guy liked being beat up by a girl. TK shoved Chad and Chad fell over. He cried and the kids nearby all laughed at him. That was it. I ran at TK and shoved him over. He fell down a hill and everyone who’d been laughing at Chad laughed at TK too.
I knew there was no chance TK would ever like me after that. I didn’t care (in one sense -it didn’t keep me from crying about it when I got home). At age 9 1/2 it was suddenly clear to me that any guy who acted like that, wasn’t the kind of guy I should have a crush on. A great life lesson learned at a young age, and I’ve never stopped being grateful for it.
I have no idea what happened to Chad. I lost track of him when I went to junior high. But I think about him and I’m glad I got to know him. As for TK, after that incident I hardly remember him being around. We may have graduated together, but maybe not. In a class of nearly 1,000 it’s hard to recall. He just wasn’t a “stand out” kind of guy. In my book it was ‘Nerds’ =1, ‘Cool’ Kids =0.