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Matthew the Bully July 24, 2009

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.


6 Responses to “Matthew the Bully”

  1. Martyn6262 Says:

    oh deary me. what a shame.

  2. Forrester McLeod Says:

    Bless your heart! Having raised a son–mine’s 19–I remember all too well these conversations. They suck! ARGH!!!!! I admire your ability to honey coat your f-bombs! I just let mine rip! 🙂 Anyway, it was my experience that things did always work themselves out. However my son never asked me to intervene. He explained that if other boys knew his mother had handled the situation, it would label him a “pussy” and things would get worse. Told me I may as well paint a target on him. He’d just tell me all the details, scare the bejeeebees out of me, and then go on is merry way. Nothing ever came to fruition. No one ever beat anyone up. Lots of chest pounding and ape-like coming into their testosterone behavior.

    But every kid and situation is different. Regardless of what any of us from the peanut gallery suggests or says, you’re the only one who can make this call. Follow your intuition. You’ll do fine! God I’m glad those days are over. I empathize!!!

    My only advice would be, if you intervene, I’d try to do it as quietly as possible.

    Good Luck! And I promise it cycles through!!!

  3. MrBlueSkies Says:

    There will always be bullies but no one should stand for extortion.

  4. Erika Says:

    Honestly you should tell your son that in order to avoid the situation don’t laugh when your friend jokes on another person.

  5. akshaysworld Says:

    Now, I live in India, so I don’t know about the US… but here most of the bullies are actually just stupid teenagers looking for some attention… and when they try everything and fail, they resort to the lowest method of attention seeking i.e. bullying. I don’t think you have to do anything but ignore them or if they worry you too much, you have to show them where you stand… that can be very easily done by keeping your cool while talking to them, staying calm and not retorting unnecessarily.

  6. Peggy Says:

    How I remember a similar conversation (years and years ago) but no money involved… in any case I think you did the right thing by taking the advice.. 🙂

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