Sunday, March 4, 2012




I was walking from my job to the breakroom dreading what I knew was going to happen. Every day it happened if Virginia was in the breakroom. She loved to make herself look good in front of her friends. I was the butt of their joke because... I never said anything and let it go on for 3 times... plus.

I had left the mountains to come home to my mother's. I went to work in a hoisery mill only a mile away from where she lived. I was glad to be so close to home. I'd never really worked at a job, I never had to. I was curious to how 'so many' pairs of stockings could be made at one time!

I saw people I never liked on that job... I remembered how some of them abused me mentally as a child when I lived there, how they looked down on me 'then'. No one could look down on me or push me around 'now'. But... there was one woman who must have still thought of me as she did when I was young... she thought she could bully me. She didn't know................

I was in my early twenties, a pretty young lady with a big smile. I liked everybody.... or so, I thought I did. Until I met up with.... Virginia. I remembered her when I was a young child... her husband had done something he shouldn't have, he was old enough to know better. They were older than I... when he did what he did..... I was 12 years old.

I lived with my mother in an apartment in town when she met Virginia and Wayne... both were extraordinary good-looking. They were a married couple living next to us in that apartment house. We 'heard' them fighting constantly, making love just as often. They were ...loud people.

This is awful.. I know. But... my little cousins... who lived with us at that time... and I..... had been told we could hear things in the next room 'if we would place a glass on the wall and put our ear on it'.

It works! We put a glass on the wall to hear old Wayne and Virginia when they were loud one day... sure enough, we heard them good! That bed was making alot of noise, and so were they! We made alot of noise..... giggling!

I know this is awful... but, children 'will do these things'! I was no exception. I wanted to know if that glass really worked. I think I'm embarassed thinking about it... at this moment! Yes, my face feels alittle too ..... warm.... :))))))))

Wayne came over one day to look at the furnace and mom asked me to take him something... I did. My memory of this is taking the wrench, or whatever tool it was he needed...... is that when I walked up to give it to him.... he began grinning at me, talking softly to me... and he put his hand on my breast. I left the room quickly... I never encountered Wayne again... alone. Men's hands... always reaching out.....

Not long after that ... Wayne and Virginia got into an awful fight... she stuck her arm through the glass window on the door when she hit it..... cutting her arm badly. The blood........ I never saw them again... they left the apartment. I never wondered about them again... nor cared.

Years later as a young woman in my twenties, I met up with her at the hoisery plant I went to work at. There she was... just as pretty as ever, tall and leggy, with a head of blonde hair and... blue eyes. I was just as pretty but, not as tall... my legs were a little shorter.... I had curly, blonde hair.... my eyes were ... green. :)))))

She saw me and recognized me. 'Hello Gloria'! she yelled. God, she was a loud-mouthed woman. I recognized her voice... just as loud as it was when I was a little girl. She was just as crude as she was... pretty.

When she got close to me, she would run up deliberately yelling 'hello Gloria!' and hit me on my shoulder with her hand. It would hurt badly, and I felt I would go to the floor. That was the 'first'.... time. I felt anger at her as I smiled brightly at her, and spoke quietly saying ...hello.

Oh, how she laughed and looked over to the table where her friends sat, laughing. I saw her wink at them. I filed that back in my mind... I 'saw' that she thought she was going to use me in the future for her laughs, to entertain her friends. Needless to say, but, I now....... 'had Virginia on my mind'.

'Hello Gloria'! It happened again... 'second time'. The pain in my shoulder was excruciating. She was enjoying inflicting pain on me and I would look bad if I said anything.... after all... 'wasn't she just so glad to see me'? Second time....

How her friends at that table laughed... they loved being entertained... old Virginia was their hero. I could see that they thought she 'was something'. They don't know me ... yet...... my shoulder was hurting something awful. I kept smiling.......

I was thinking that maybe Virginia didn't know 'really' that she was physically hurting me each time she hit me on my shoulder. All I had to do was close my eyes and 'study the whole picture' in my mind.

Yes, Virginia meant to inflict pain hoping to make me cower in front of her friends so, they could laugh.... 'Virgina, the Conqueror'. Only.. I didn't cower when she did that... and I 'stood up under that pain'. I kept .... smiling sweetly......

Not only did I stand up under that pain, I spoke in a very quiet, sweet voice saying 'hello Virginia'. I would look up at her... smiling. Smiling while my shoulder hurt.......... and my heart hurt... I didn't deserve to be treated like that.

I almost went to the floor days later... my shoulder was sore from the 'hello blows' Virginia had inflicted on me. 'Hello, Gloria'! She did it again... her friends laughed harder. This was the 'third time'............ usually with me.... the third time 'is it'......

'Hello Virginia'... I said softly back to her. I walked away to the vending machine to get a drink with ice. I stood there with my back to everyone... no one saw the tears and pain... humiliation in my eyes. I was being bullied... that's exactly what it was. 'Three times'... she knew what she was doing.... she didn't stop. I'm going to cry, I'm going to give old Virginia satisfaction if I don't 'get a hold of myself'.

I felt like crying, and almost did. My shoulder was very tender where she'd hit me 'now... 3 times' in the very same spot. I didn't want to have a public scene, I didn't want to be embarassed. I think it's trashy to 'fight in public, much less in private'.

But... sometimes......... one has to put an end to things............... I didn't break down crying when I stood there wanting to so badly. How I wanted to just give in to the tears that threatened. I felt my body stiffen up straight, my shoulders went back proudly, I held my head up... and began smiling... once again. I'll let her do it once again.... because she 'really might not mean to be hurting me'.

I saw her again... there she comes with her false bright smile, those big old teeth shining white! Boom! She's done it again... my shoulder was bruised now... the pain, oh my God... the pain. Tears did come into my eyes right in front of Virginia... I was right! I saw her love seeing my tears and she .... waited... for a reaction from me...

I .... began to smile, quietly I said 'hello Virginia', and walked on. I heard that laughter behind me coming from that same table. I noticed by now... everyone had begun to pay attention to what Virginia was doing to me.... they had frowns on their faces.

I smiled at them... too. All the while I was crying inside, I felt sick to my stomach, I 'knew now'.... I was going to 'kick her ass'! I had no choice but.... to stop the abuse.... that was the 'fourth time'. I let her get by 'more than 3 times'... to give her a chance... she wasn't going to stop. 'I made her look good' to her friends, but, I had noticed the other people in the breakroom... they didn't like it... I didn't like the pity I saw in their eyes.

They didn't know that I was capable of 'holding my ground'... I just didn't want to hurt anyone, I didn't want to be trashy, I only wanted peace around me... I could choose that now. I also, could choose to put a stop to this. I grew up being everyone's 'whipping post', I had no choice but, to put an end to this.

I dreaded the next day... I 'knew it was time'. I dreaded bringing attention to myself, I dreaded making everyone think I was trash because I was... going to hold my ground this time, and I was ready to 'whip Virginia's ass'.

I had had enough... she mistakened my smiles, my kindness, my soft voice.... for weakness... she didn't see that I genuinely wanted to be friends.... she didn't 'see' that I was tired of being 'kicked around'... she didn't see 'what was coming her way'.......

I walked into the doorway of that breakroom, and all eyes were on me.... waiting to see Virginia hurt me again, to see if I would have a reaction to it. They didn't have to wait long.............

I began to smile so brightly, nodding to everyone... my head was held high, my body strong and ready... 'to kick ass'. I felt like sunshine was shining on me, strengthening my soul, my mind and body. I felt 'cold chills' on my skin... 'it was time'....

Old Virginia was sitting at that table with her happy friends... she looked up and saw me.... she began to get up... but, before she could get completely up.... I walked right over to her smiling so brightly... my teeth were shining so white and happy now...

I said loudly 'why hello Virginia'!!! I hit her on her shoulder as hard as I could ... the force knocked her backwards to the floor, she caught herself with her hands behind her.

I stepped back and I........... waited. I was going to kick her ass if she came toward me... if she beat me up or killed me... I was going down fighting! I was tired of it, I was sick and tired of it. I wasn't going to take any 'damn' more of it. Get up, Virginia!

I heard someone gasp, a little nervous laughter... and then... I heard some clapping! I didn't look to see, my attention was on that big, old Virginia. I was the one .... waiting now.

She rose up to her full height and looked down at me... I smiled brightly back up into her face.... only she could 'see in my eyes' that she'd made a bad mistake and that it was ending now'... either she could kill me on the spot... she was big enough to do that, beat me up or........ make peace. It didn't matter to me 'now'... I was ready to die... I was fed up. One way or the other... it was ending 'now'.

She quietly said 'hello Gloria'. I 'saw' respect in her eyes and when she smiled .... it was finally.... real. I wonder 'why' she couldn't have been like that in the first place? I smiled back at her... it was real. So was what I said to her...................

'Virginia, I know that must have hurt... I didn't mean to hurt your shoulder but, I was so glad to see you'! I smiled..................................



  1. I am glad you put an end to "Virginia's" bullying! No one should be bullied no matter what the age! I don't know if I could have done what you did at the work place or not but I am glad you had the courage to put a stop to it. Love, Ms. Nancy

  2. It's been a long time since I've thought about Virginia and Wayne. Did we really put glasses up to the wall to listen? Or was I too little for that?

    Great story!

  3. Karen, YES... we really did!!! Ha! I'm glad you read this one!

  4. I have known some people like that. Most of them came from up north. There seems to be a certain mentality in some places that causes people to push and push and push ... until you push back.

    I hate that mentality.

    Three cheers to you for your courage!!!

    PS ... I listened with glasses too ...