One of the things that I have noticed over the years is peoples avid interest in gossip. For decades, people have been interested in knowing about people they don't know. For instance- the knotty love triangle between JFK, Jackie O and Marilyn was all the stir in the 60s and people couldn't get enough. The level of gossip even extends past this famous-people infatuation to normal, every-day people that reside in your daily life. Without even realizing it, these voyagers insert themselves into your life without your knowledge and proceed to play some integral role in whatever situation the scandal is about; sooner or later, you take a step back and wonder to yourself, "Wait a minute... how did they get involved?"
When I was six, there was this girl-bully that liked to make fun of me on the playground. I was enrolled in a private Catholic school in a small oil town, which ultimately became a town that didn't harbor any large corporations and many families were soon being transferred out to larger cities with more opportunity, my family included. It was close to Halloween as the weather was crisp and my face was a particular shade of rouge from being outside in the cold air. I was playing outside on this obtrusive concrete tube that they had in the middle of the playground; as a kid the large concrete tube resembled Mount Everest, when it reality it really was just a concrete tube that had no actual purpose besides existing. Kids could sit on it, climb on it, slide down it, hide inside, and play ring-around-the-rosie with it. It was as if it was the mecca of all playground equipment and it wasn't even one of those costly man-made plastic jungle gyms, but I definitely loved those germ-infested kingdoms as well.
This specific time, the mean aforementioned girl-bully decided to make fun on my furry rabbit mittens that resembled a small paw of sorts. They were white, fluffy and warm and I loved them every much. I would wear them every single day, regardless of whether or not they matched or not, since they, to me, they were magical. This girl-bully decided to call me every name in the history of girl-bullies from big bear to animal killer and it really hurt my feelings. I went home to tell my mom what the girl-bully was saying about me to everyone in school and she told me, "Coco, sticks and stones may break your bones, but words will never hurt you". I went back to school the next day acting like I just discovered religion for the first time and had a new-found vibrance about myself and I wore those white furry magic mittens, like I had never worn them before. My confidence up and lasted until girl-bully took a blue chalk marker and drew a stick-figure version of me with my furry rabbit mittens on the side of my concrete tube; when you're young and think the concrete tube is a magical mountain, you have rights to these things and I had marked my territory making the top of it my throne. There I was, looking at my chalk-self, not fashionable or the slightest bit accurate as she drew a stick-figure version of of me that was short and a little bit over-weight, when I was in fact tall and quite lanky. But there I was, inaccurately drawn wearing my crazy monster mittens with drawn on spikes protruding from them. That was it.
To that end, I remember sitting on my throne exhaling steam through every pore in my body and telling Sister Mary-Claire that I wished girl-bully fell off the monkey bars, because that is what I felt she deserved for having such a fiery towards me. Apparently this logic was all wrong. Sister Mary-Claire had no shame in telling me that thinking about a sin, is the same thing as doing the sin and therefore, even though it was imaginative and thought-up entirely in my mind, I was shun to mass for twenty Hail Mary's and an apologetic confession with Father Scott. When I had returned to the classroom during snack-time, everyone knew that I was condemned with a punishment as harsh as having to go to mid-day confession when we already went every single morning and it was the talk of the hallways until some other kid did something that was so unspeakable and someone else stole the spotlight of hallway fame.
Whatever it is, gossip seems to be something that people like to be involved with. Nowadays, gossip comes in all forms with technology being so interlaced and connected. I've always been unsure whether or not it's because some peoples lives are just so uninteresting that they like to live vicariously through others, but I simply don't have time for that. People can have whatever point of view they want and avidly express it to the world through every form of communication. With close to 3 billion people worldwide with online access and internet connectivity increasing every day, you now wonder if anything that is a private affair will ever remain that way. All I can say, is that I am glad and thankful that my school days are behind me. Onwards and upwards, friends!
You can find your own white furry rabbit mittens as they now make my kid-version circa early-90's in adult-size by a brand called Glamour Puss and are sold for a cool $225 USD. Yes, that really is the name of the brand; you can't make that stuff up.