In the car driving home from summer camp this week. . .
Mom, there’s this kid at camp. His name is Matthew. And …well…last week my friend Kenny made a joke about Matthew and I laughed.
Now Matthew says that because I laughed I have to pay him two dollars.
Pay him two dollars or what? What is Matthew **f**k** going to do? I muttered under my breath, gripping the steering wheel tightly.
What mom? What did you say?
What did Matthew say would happen if you don’t pay him? I asked, all sweetness and light.
He’ll hit me.
He’ll hit who? I internally raged. We’ll see who’s going to get hit. Threatening MY BOY?? Uh uh. No.
Sweetheart, I reassured, You don’t owe him anything and you didn’t do anything wrong. Laughing isn’t a crime. What do you want me to do?
Could you talk to Matthew or to the camp counselor? he asked.
Sure doll. And don’t worry about it. It’ll be okay.
I later consulted with a level-headed male friend who confirmed that since my son doesn’t live here or see Matthew on a regular basis i.e. he doesn’t present an ongoing threat, it would be best to bypass the bully – unless I want to add legal implications to my troubles – and consult with a camp counselor.
So I heeded his advice. And so far, all is quiet on the Matthew Front.