When I was a junior in high school, I had a class with a senior named Ricky (I’m changing his name as to protect the douchey). He seemed nice enough, but I never really talked to him. I hated that class–it was boring and I was the only junior in a room full of seniors–and just always went in, struggled to stay awake, did my work and then ran to lunch. I didn’t have any vendettas against anyone in the class or anything, I just didn’t pay much attention to them because I was focused on finishing up and leaving.
This changed when, out of nowhere, Ricky asked me to go to prom with him. There were a few problems with this for me: One, I didn’t even know this guy’s last name, so it was a little weird from the get-go. Two, I had a boyfriend in another school at the time who probably wouldn’t have been too thrilled about me going to prom with someone else. Three–and most importantly, I had registered for my SATs for the morning after my school’s senior prom long ago because I never planned on going.
I politely declined Ricky’s invitation, even though I normally love any excuse to get dressed up–I had the biggest test of my life up to that point the morning after, so even if all the other circumstances weren’t there, it wouldn’t have been a wise move on my part to go. And, dude, my parents wouldn’t have let me go even if I wanted to.
I explained all of this to Ricky and even offered to ask around to see if any of my friends could make it. He said he understood, and that was it.
Or so I thought. Apparently, this wasn’t good enough reasoning for Ricky, though, who took it upon himself to spread rumors about me for the rest of the school year. Thankfully there was only about a month and a half of it left.
Ricky told everyone I wouldn’t go to prom with him because he was in a wheelchair.
Here’s the thing: I seriously didn’t even know he was in a wheelchair. Not even joking. I only ever saw him sitting at a desk, and he sat behind me, so it’s not like I was turning around to observe all that often. As I said before, I just did my work and peaced out.
As a result, fifth period was pretty much a disaster every day from then on for the rest of the year. One girl flat out asked me why I was so cruel. My classmates glared at me and whispered to each other, and Ricky kept sitting in the back being smug.
Since I never bothered with any of them much to begin with before, I figured it’d be stupid to start engaging them now when they were all mad at me, so I kept just getting As and getting out. I figured after a week or so they’d be over it, but they weren’t, and at one point, I sorta flipped out. We had a group assignment and one girl in Ricky’s group actually told our teacher, “Jess shouldn’t be in our group because she hates the handicapped.”
So just to reiterate: I have no issues with people with disabilities. I just wanted to get into college. And this is what I was getting for it. I was being bullied for being accused of being a bully myself, even though I wasn’t.
I lashed out at that point and was just like, “Actually, I hate douchebags.” Because anyone who’s bitter that you won’t go out with them for any reason, to the point where they try to make your life hell, is probably a douchebag.
That was my only comment on the incident other than the occasional eye roll at a snide comment, because I was too busy being smug myself about my SATs: Guess who got a near-perfect score on the verbal?
Has a guy ever spread rumors about you when you rejected him? Have you ever dated someone with disabilities? Have you ever been accused of being prejudiced just because you didn’t go out with a guy? Tell us in the comments!