Beet salad

This restaurant was a place of perversion, or so he said. “Did you take look at the menu yet?” He nudged my arm and pointed at the list of main courses “They’re all vegan! Bio dynamic, gluten free! Is there anything edible here?” I rolled my eyes and sighed “Well you asked me on a date, and I got to pick the restaurant.” He fumbled with the napkin and gave me a cold stare “You could’ve picked something where they served meat, not just fancy rabbit food.” 

This is a typical date when you’re a lactose intolerant vegetarian. Especially if it’s their turn to pick a place to eat on the second date (if there is one, mind you). The “vegetarian friendly” facilities usually offer a veggie’s worst nightmare: The beet salad.

Dear beet salad,

So, we meet again. I have to be honest, I did not miss you. Chefs seem to adore you because you’re quick and cheap, you’re also anything but creative. Then again, it’s your versatility that makes you appealing to the average cook. You and goat cheese have been a thing for years, but people also like to douse you in vinegar and call it a day. Dear beet salad, you’re not worth the money. After a long week of school I do not want to invest in something so basic, I deserve more. I deserve black bean burgers, luxurious curries and pad Thai. This is what happens when I let a meat eater pick the setting for our first romantic encounter. You manage to ruin my day, you poor excuse for a fancy veggie feast.
Dear beet salad, you kale my vibe.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words..

The first time someone called me ugly made me afraid of mirrors because all I could see was a monster. They called me fat and I lost my appetite, and calling me dumb stopped me from raising my hand in class.

Why apply make-up to something that’s already ugly, why eat when you already weigh too much and why even try your best at school when you’re dumb.

I lost friends because I had built a wall around myself. I didn’t enjoy drawing and writing anymore, and nothing made me laugh.

Hundreds of people commit suicide every year because of bullying, it’s not a laughing matter. Today I got insulted by a group of young boys, calling me hideous, making disappointed noises when I managed to sneak in front of a bus and the bus driver approaching me slammed on the brakes. “Aw what a shame, didn’t get hit by that bus, would’ve loved to see that.” Were their exact words.

People often try to give you advice; “They’re just teasing, ignore them!” Or “If you react you’ll only give them a reason to bully you.” They expect you to act like a punching bag, shove your emotions to the side, dissociate and “Be the stronger person!” But how can you be strong when there are people feeding their own ego by crushing yours? And how is wishing someone dead teasing?

I’m fortunate enough to have an amazing group of friends I can rely on, friends who showed me that I’m a beautiful creative intelligent human being. Friends who made me believe in myself. If this had happened a couple of years ago, those boys would’ve destroyed me.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can kill.