Think before you speak

It isn’t until something happens to you, your family or someone you know that you realize just how much words can hurt. Do you remember “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me?” I personally learned that saying from a Big Comfy Couch episode. Loonette The Clown and her dolly, Molly, taught me this lesson. I have since learned that it is not always true.

I have a mouth like a sailor, but I steer clear of certain words and insults. I try really hard not to say words like “retard” or “retarded” to call or describe someone. If someone in my company utters these, I feel instant embarrassment. Who knows who heard and if he/she takes offense to that? You never know.

We live in a world full of insensitive, selfish people. The next time you jokingly call someone “brain damaged,” think of a different adjective.

Think about whose company you’re in before you call someone “retarded” or “handicapped.”

And the next time you slur “shoot me” or “I’m going to kill myself,” take a moment to reflect. Maybe someone in your group of friends has had to deal with a bonafide situation like that with someone close to them.

Throw those words around like you won’t insult people. Just don’t be surprised when someone is deeply affected.

This shows how observant I am

I honestly am not a very observant person. I don’t recognize details (unless they’re important to me), and I almost never notice anything. Maybe this explains why I made a blunder today.

We had our first “real” Track meet of the 2009 season today. I got up in the morning with almost everything ready, but I needed to grab my cross-country hoodie from the dryer. I wrote a note to myself and stuck it onto my mirror so I would remember to grab said hoodie from the dryer.

Okay, so I remembered just fine without the sticky note, and I went downstairs and pulled my hoodie from the dryer. I put it on over what I was wearing and went along my merry way. I got to school, wore the hoodie for a little while, then put it in my locker before heading off to Health.

For our Track meet, I put on my uniform, my sweats and the hoodie. The opposing team we were to run against arrived just as I was stretching my hamstrings on the steeple. I figured they would see my name on the back of my hoodie and try to swallow their fear. You see, most teams see me as a threat. I fought back a laugh as I pictured the reactions upon seeing my name. Then, I went along with the meet.

The 4X8 went rather well, if I do say so myself. I got a rather decent split time (2:33), and got our team the lead we needed. We won that one.

It was after the 1500 and before the 3000 that I got a clue to my blunder. The 200m races were going on, and all of the people on the infield were to be crouching down so the officials could see one another from across the way. I didn’t think I had to crouch down – I thought I was out of the way. The officials yelled out to me, and then yelled “Hey, JEEVES!” and then when that didn’t work, “GOWANDA!” and, believe me, I crouched. The thing is, I didn’t catch the “JEEVES!” comment at the time.

After the 4X4, I pulled my hoodie back over my head. Suddenly I noticed that there was a rip near a hood, and it made me really sad. The hoodie had taken me through years of running seasons, and there it was, falling apart. I had also noticed earlier that it seemed more stretched out than I remembered, but I figured I must have lost a little weight. (Haha…)

My friend dropped me off at the baseball field to join my parents, and I walked up to them and said: “after years of hanging in there, this hoodie is finally falling apart.” Then my dad sort of looked at me funny and said: “you do know that you’ve been wearing your brother’s cross-country hoodie this whole time, right?”

Suddenly, it hit me. Everything made sense.

His hoodie says “Jeeves” on the back, and I realized that that was what the official had yelled at me earlier. It was obviously stretched out because he’s a little bit bigger than I am, and lastly, I did remember that his hoodie had sort of been tearing near the neckline. I blushed, said: “that explains a lot!” and then flushed with more embarrassment because of my cocky thoughts about how my opponents must have been “swallowing their fear.” What a joke!

If I had taken one quick glance at the name on the back of the hoodie, I could have saved myself from this little “incident.” I bet my friends were all wondering why I was wearing my brother’s hoodie, but they never said a word. I guess this just goes to show how observant I really am.