Since I didn’t speak a lick of English as a newly-immigrated five-year-old, I ran into a few problems at school. One- I peed in my pants several times a week because I couldn’t remember the word “bathroom” all the time, although I did try to mime my desires by squatting and holding my crotch. And two- I couldn’t fight back when my shit got stolen.
After the first week of school, I told my parents school wasn’t really my thing, and I was just going to focus on being a professional big sister. Sure, the career choice seemed limiting, but it was better than being Pee Girl, a nickname I picked up after my second accident.
After a series of threats, my parents tried bribery. My mom rifled through her jewelry box and offered me a beautiful gold chain in exchange for another week of school. Who was I to turn down gold?
I returned to school the following Monday, sporting my pimp chain and making a big show of taking off my cable knit bunny sweater to show off the bling. Everyone oohed and aahed. The only drawback to the chain was that it was too big for me, and every time I jumped during morning recess, it hit me in the face.
I solved the problem by taking off the chain and placing it in the folds of my sweater. Life lesson: Keep your friends close and your jewelry closer. The chain disappeared during afternoon recess. I didn’t know enough English to question the other kids or tell the teacher. So I just went home.
On the last day of school, one of my classmates tapped me on the shoulder and placed the chain into my palm. It was dark and green and ugly. I had picked up enough English throughout the year to understand his confession. He stole the chain and put it in a glass of water to test if it was real. When it changed colors, he knew it was worthless. To make amends, he wanted to give it back. I kicked him in the shins, and we both got Time Out.
I was pissed about the theft, but mostly, I felt outrage. You mean my chain wasn’t real gold?! Well played, Ma, well played.
Have you ever had anything stolen? Have you ever taken anything that wasn’t yours? Don’t worry, I won’t judge. Well, not that much.
image via perpetualkid.com