Unresolved petty bitterness from your past

We all have it. Baggage.

Come on, let it out. The crappy undeserved punishment when you were 7 that still pisses you off… the teacher from jr high who treated you unfairly… whatever.

Come on, it will feel better to get it off your chest.

I’ll start with one of my most petty:
I was driving to work one day when I came to an intersection. There was a bus stop on the other side with a stopped bus and a few stopped cars. Not wanting to stop in the intersection, I stopped on my side of it. While I was stopped, I noticed the guy in a van coming the opposite way, turning left. He had to wait for either a break in traffic or a turn arrow, and he was giving me an impatient look. The light turned before the bus moved, and the green arrow let the guy turn. As he drove past me, he made some sort of gesture indicating that I was obviously an idiot for stopping at a green light. This was about 8 or 9 years ago, and I’m still irritated that he didn’t realize that I was legally obliged to stop because of the damn bus. If I had a way to find him and explain it, I probably would. Sad, isn’t it?

“Cluemobile? You’ve got a pickup…”
OpalCat’s site: http://fathom.org/opalcat
The Teeming Millions Homepage: fathom.org/teemingmillions

When I was a senior in college (a small private Christian university, which is relevant here), my journalism prof nominated me to a national writer’s award. Now, granted, this was the Christian Coalition writer’s award, but I didn’t know who they were at the time. Out of the 120+ colleges/universities recognized by the coalition, 12 students would be selected to be taken to Washington, D.C. for two weeks on inservicing, working side-by-side with successful writers, publishing pieces, etc. In addition, each university could only select one representative–I was it for APU (a school of about 3,000).

I selected my best clips, completed the required essays, and submitted the entire package. Around April, I received a phone call from the Coalition congratulating me–I had been selected! I was in the top 12! I was going to D.C.! I was positively ecstatic. Then, she asked jovially, “So, do you have time to go to Washington this summer?” Me: “Yeah, yeah, my life is pretty much free after graduation!” Her: “Graduation? This contest was for returning students!” I was dumbstruck.

We hung up while she checked things with her supervisor, and then she called back to explain sorry, it was for returning students only. Thus, I was disqualified. When I mentioned that in my application I had specified that I was a senior, she said, “Well, we thought it meant you were GOING TO BE a senior.” Stupid people.

So I’m bitter. VERY bitter. That has to be the most anguished high and low I’ve ever experienced, and they happened nearly simultaneously. I’m bitter at my prof for not reading the rules and requirements more carefully (he did apologize to me), I’m bitter at myself for not reading them more carefully, I’m bitter at the Coalition for telling me “Congratulations, you’ve won! Oh, wait, never mind.”

The only consolation is that I would’ve been working with the Christian Coalition, a political group I have since come to disrespect and outright detest.

But still: Bitter, bitter, bitter!

High school was over 20 years ago and I’m still pissed about being suspended one game of our baseball season when I was in my senior year.

We were playing another Catholic high school and the archbishop of our diocese was in attendance. Even though we were both Catholics, our teams hated each other with a passion that even the Crusades couldn’t generate. (The bad blood went back several years starting with beanballs and working its way up) Despite that, we were told to be on our best behavior because of His Eminence.

I was playing second and was trying to turn a double play. By the angle of the throw from short, and my approach, plus the batter’s speed, I knew I had a snowball’s chance in hell of turning the double, but I had to go through the motions and at least plant second and get that runner out.

Well this asshole knew I couldn’t make the throw in time to first but feels free to drive his cleats into my left ankle. Normally contact at second, especially in a double play situation, is part of the game, but I (and my team) knew this was playing dirty. I had just injured that ankle several months ago and was still recovering.

To make a long story short, I made a few choice comments, real loud to the opposing player. The details are hazy, but there was a good bench-clearing brawl between two fine upstanding Catholic high school teams right in front of the archbishop. I was thrown out of the game, suspended for the next, but nothing happened to the other jerk. I guess it was explained to me that my creative use of the F-Word, loudly, in so many clauses and tenses was the main reason I got canned. Maybe some of the nuns passed out halfway into my F-Word Manifesto. Also it didn’t help that I sucker-punched the guy when he turned to the umpire about my language.

Well, looking back, maybe I deserved it, but that spike hurt like shit, and I wasn’t going to turn that double anyhow…

“…send lawyers, guns, and money…”

 Warren Zevon

When I was in 6th grade, my school began running a spelling bee. I won for my class, then for my grade, and then beat the 7th- and 8th-grade winners to become the school champion.

Then I went on to the regional championships. For the first word I had to spell, the idiot at the mike said, “in-fack-choo-ate.” I asked him to repeat it, define it, and use it in a sentence; each time he said it the same way, “in-fack-choo-ate.”

I had thought I knew how to spell the word he’d defined, but from the way he was pronouncing it, I was obviously missing a letter. So I spelled “Infactuate.”

Of course, I was wrong, because the word was “infatuate” with no C, and the frickin’ idiot had pronounced it wrong all four times.

Upon leaving the stage, I went to the judge’s table and protested. They said they hadn’t noticed his mispronunciation, and they couldn’t stop the contest to replay the audio tape and check; if I wanted to protest, I’d have to stay around until a winner was chosen, at which point they could review the tape. Even if the guy had made a mistake, I would not receive a bye or another chance to play; I’d be lucky to get an apology. (I decided not to waste my time, and left.)

This pisses me off because I watched the remaining rounds on public television, and I knew every single word that came up. I had every chance of becoming the national champion, if that one idiot had not mispronounced that one word.

I can sympathize with you, Auraseer. . . something similar happened to me when I was back in the sixth grade.

In my case, it was a MATH competition involving elementary schools from all over Colorado. We were supposed to take a test and prizes would be awarded to the students with the highest scores. I’d been in the same competition the year before and that time I went home with a medallion for first place and a perfect score. I knew my math.

I breezed through the test and went to play some basketball with the other students while the tests were graded. When it was time for the award ceremony I was STUNNED when I came in fourth. I couldn’t believe I’d done that badly.

I hadn’t. One of the teachers from my school came up to me after the award ceremony and told me what had happened. It seems one of the graders didn’t like the way I wrote all my 9’s. Instead of starting at the TOP and making a little counterclockwise circle before adding the tail, I started at the BOTTOM and just made a CLOCKWISE circle with a tail. This grader took one look at my 9’s, said “oh, those are all zeros” and marked them off.

Now. . . I could understand it if my 9’s LOOKED like 0’s, but they most definately DO NOT. It was just because I didn’t make them the PROPER way that I got hit. I had a perfect score otherwise.

I never did find out who the teacher was.
– Sylence

“The problem with reality is the lack of background music.” – Anon

Mine would be the oldest, I think; I was in sixth grade.

I loved Elton John (this was 25 years ago, when he was at the absolute peak of his popularity) with the devotion only an eleven-year-old can feel, and so when he came to L.A. to play the Troubadour,the club where he played his first U.S. gig, I desperately wanted to go.

The ticket sales were regulated by a drawing, so I filled out dozens of postcards to win the chance to buy tickets. But I didn’t, of course (sigh.) So I was pretty disappointed, until another girl in my class – more of an acquaintance than a friend, I didn’t have any friends (I was a total dork, alas) told me that she had won tickets, and did I want to go? I was on the moon – not only was I going to see Elton John, there was someone who considered me enough of a friend to ask me to go! She asked me to pay for my ticket ($25.00, I think) and I told my parents, and they said they’d pay it, of course. So for about three days I was absolutely in heaven; breathing fast and heart pounding every time I thought about it, which was all the time.

Then, as the arrangements and the story got more elaborate, my mother called her mother. And you can all see this coming:There were no tickets. I had been set up by someone I had no reason to be suspicious of for a brutal “joke.” And she was going to take the money, too. Her mother defended her to my mother at first, but stopped when my mom threatened to call the police about the money. And, of course, I was back to friendlessness after a couple of days of feeling like a regular person.

I had no idea (still don’t) why she did it. God, I’m tearing up writing about it, and it was 25 years ago. But it broke my heart at the time. I have never looked forward to anything again the way I did to that concert.


I have some spelling bee bitterness, too. I was the school champion, in 5th grade. I was 10 years old. I went to the regionals, and I was doing pretty okay. Nervous, but not too bad. Then I got this word I’d never heard before…“insulvent.” I asked her for a definition, and a sentence, and still, she pronounced it “insulvent.” So I spelled it that way. It was “inSOLVENT,” of course. Sigh.

More spelling bee bitterness came up four years later. We were having an open house at my school, and they had a spelling bee, just for kicks. This was a competition of 7th, 8th, & 9th graders, and there were about 50 kids competing. My best friend’s boyfriend had won for his class. She swore up & down that her boyfriend was going to win. I said fine, whatever. She obviously had no loyalty to me, her best friend. I knew what I had to do. Squash that boy like a bug. So I did. I won the bee, and she wasn’t my best friend anymore. I’m still a little bitter that I lost a friend because of it, but hey, a speller’s got to do what a speller’s got to do. :slight_smile:

Wow, after all that, this isn’t going to be very big.

But I had a high school criminal justice teacher who first gave us a political attitudes test in order to divide the class into sides (literally).

I came up pretty conservative, not surprising considering my dad, and Mr. Dietz said something like “Get over on that side with Hitler.” He then spent most of the sememster arguing with the conservative side. He didn’t even make much of a pretense of simply facilitating discussion. He dismissed a paper of mine out of hand with some snappy comment, trying to use the Bible against me, which I even then knew more about than he did.

But I’ll tell you one that still gets me. I had a prof at the (extremely)conservative Protestant college I went to, and I’m still convinced that I got a C on paper largely because I didn’t support his position. He asked where the other side’s viewpoint was in my paper. Like as if I had been quoting the people that were the bulwark of his opinion he would have protested. Right. I still think of him as a pompous slapper-down of other people’s points, and not for just that one instance either.

Ok, one more.

I’m working at a youth conference at my church, and I’m praying for some high school girls, who I don’t know from Eve, and they’re crying up a storm over I don’t know what, I’m just trying to be comforting, and the youth pastor comes over, pulls me aside, and heavily intimates that he can’t believe I’m doing something like this; that it’s inappropriate.

I still have the urge to go back to him and say, "I’m 29, I think I have a decent sense of what’s appropriate, I’ve been teaching for seven years, and no one EVER has mentioned anything like this before in any context at this church, so step off your attitude like I’m just one of the biggest clueless morons you’ve ever met, and just say that you’d rather have women pray for the girls.

Jeez, what a dork. And I get the feeling that he really feels like he’s got a handle on absolutely everything, and that if I bring it up, I’ll be completely written off.

In the 8th grade, there was a city-wide essay contest, where the winning essay from each school went on to a final judging. The winner got something like a $2000 scholarship for university. That would have paid my tuition for 2 or 3 years, and I came from a near-welfare family.

Anyway, I skipped a lot of classes back then, but always had high marks. Most of my teachers let me get away with it as long as my marks were very good. But I entered this contest, and won for my school. I was called into my English teacher’s office, and he said,

“Dan, this is the best essay I’ve read in a long time. You have an excellent chance of winning the city championship, in my opinion.”

Then he tore it up in front of me, and told me that it was a lesson that nothing comes easily in this world. He suggested that I attend more classes and take school more seriously.

These are all anguished stories, but dhanson, you have my hugs and consolation! That’s just plain AWFUL! Sounds like it could be reposted in “How our teachers embarrassed us.”

That guy’s an ass. Are their other stories about/with that freak?

“Me fail English? That’s unpossible!”

“English? Who needs that? I’m never going to England.”

This is also from 6th grade, apparently a breeding ground for bad experiences. We were having our class pictures taken, so I wore my love beads to school–I’d gotten them from an Actual Hippie at the Be-In in Central Park! They were purple and I loved them to death. But I looked too groovy for the photographer, who said love beads were not appropriate and I had to remove them. I am STILL ticked off that my 6th grade photo is less of a time capsule than it might have been 'cause I couldn’t wear my love beads (they looked great with my Vidal Sassoon 'do, too!).

I can sympathize with Catrandom and Elton John completely!
last year i had bought tickets in advance to see Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (who i was dying to go see the whole summer)
it was one of the things i was looking forward to the most…

but then my parents forced me to cancel that and go somewhere with them, even though they knew i had plans beforehand!

i was so pissed, i still havent gotten over it. i dont think i will until i see them again at least twice to make up for it!!!

(this year i should be able to partially make it up though :slight_smile:

Chief’s Domain - http://www.seas.ucla.edu/~ravi

Laura: None that readily come to mind - he was just a pompous ass. I remember when we had to learn how to parse sentences he told us that it was the most important skill we would ever learn. Even then, we all knew this was complete crap, so it was hard to take him seriously about anything. Although I must admit that he did give us a lot of interesting assignments that I still remember to this day.

My absentee record caused all sorts of grief, leading up to my being punted from high school. I had a very understanding advisor in my first two years in high school, who basically told me that I could do what I wanted as long as I didn’t disturb others and kept my grades high. She knew that if I wasn’t in class it was because I was working on the school’s computer and not smoking dope or anything. So I got away with skipping all sorts of classes.

In my last year of high school, my advisor left and I was assigned to a new one. I walked in and was told that I had violated class attendance requirements and was therefore being expelled. And I was. I went to work for three years before going back to school.

Back to High School ::shudder:: for this story. We had a week long camp in our State (NY) called Girls State and Boys State. You were nominated by your teachers, peers and local leaders to go. I was chosen for my school but it was decided that it was not fair because my dad was well known in town. He was the Recreation Directory for my small town, knew everybody from the time they played small fry football until they graduated and on into adult recreation sports leagues. Any way, he didn’t even vote. So to be more “fair” the award was given to the MAYOR’s daughter!

Also, at Graduation they gave out an award for best Foreign language student. I had taken Spanish since 7th grade and was very good. My average for ALL my years of Spanish was 99 (we didn’t get letter grades, we got the actual numerical grades printed on our report cards), so I was sure that my name would get anounced and I’d win the $200 scholarship. Well, they announced someone else. My mom (a teacher at my high school) asked to see the grades and OOPS, sorry, your daughter DID have the best average. But instead of a public apology they just gave me a check for $200. What is so hard about admitting a mistake??? Sheesh. It wasn’t the money anyway, it was the esteem. I don’t ask for much.

OK, it was 10 years ago, you’d think I’d be over it by now. I am…but it can still piss me off to think back.

The one that always gets me is that my younger brother was allowed to go to a concert and my father (the demon seed) would not let me go. The show was the Band, The Last Waltz, which you may have seen in the movie… it breaks my heart to watch it and I can’t help it! I have forgiven my brother, since it really wasn’t his fault - I am trying to forgive my father, but it’s only one of many wounds inflicted.

The reason gentlemen prefer blondes is that there are not enough redheads to go around.

In August 1966, just before my senior year at high school, My mother, a GTE employee, said she could get me a job with the company just after graduation. During the year I paid no attention when the first-period teacher read the bulletin each day about soliticing admission applications from colleges, because I knew I would have a job after high shcool.
Just after we came home from graduation the next June, I reminded her about this. She said, "We want you to continue in school!
"Now why couldn’t she have told me THAT the previous August?
Since then I have had no real career; at 50 I’m still going to job placement programs.

This one doesn’t involve me directly, but it still pisses me off royally.

About a week before graduation, a few members of my senior class ('91) were arrested in an LSD/marijuana drug bust. Their names were even printed in the paper, as the majority of them were 18. One of them had been scheduled to speak at our graduation ceremony (not as valedictorian–her grades weren’t that remarkable–but because she was a strong speaker in the drama/debate club). AND THEY STILL LET HER SPEAK! I don’t object to letting her graduate, I don’t object to even letting her be at the ceremony–but SPEAKING at it? Yeah, that looks great.

And it was lofty, generic “reach for your dreams” malarkey that just reeked of hypocrisy. She had no business on that podium. Dammit.

But I sang! :slight_smile:

“Me fail English? That’s unpossible!”

“English? Who needs that? I’m never going to England.”

I thought of another one. I was sent home from work one night for “being on drugs” when in reality I was just VERY tired from staying up all night with a sick friend. To this day I’m sure my manager thinks I was on something. Grrrr.

“Cluemobile? You’ve got a pickup…”
OpalCat’s site: http://opalcat.com
The Teeming Millions Homepage: http://fathom.org/teemingmillions

Most of my bitterness is directed at my mother. She couldn’t stand to be asked any questions, and she put the dictionary and the encyclopedia on a shelf I couldn’t reach without climbing. (Climbing on bookshelves is a no-no.) She told me I was bad at math, even when the school district let me skip pre-algebra. She used to lock me out of the house for punishment, because she didn’t believe in spanking, and she often didn’t tell me what I did wrong. (How on earth do you learn to behave if you don’t know the rules?) She used to drag me to a Methodist church, to listen to someone just this side of agnostic (his general philosophy:God exists, it’s impossible to know the nature of God, here’s a pretty good guide to study…when you get older you should join a Bible study group and debate about it.) then get upset when I thought about religion and disagreed with her silly little God-box and her King James Version covered with a layer of dust. (Excuse me, if the preacher is wrong find another church. The preacher’s version is evil, yours doesn’t make sense, and I’m not allowed to highlight, crossreference, compare, or make up my own mind. Hmm… what are you trying to hide? Religion must be complete BS if you don’t want me to think about it.)

I pretty much hated my entire chain of command in the Army. Since when is asking what a regulation says a crime? I can accept that I was “all ate up” I just wanted to know what I was doing wrong so I could have been something other that a “soup sandwich” forever. I also hated the crap they pulled when I got married, when my knees went bad, and when (over a year and a half later) I failed the run on a PT test. Could it possibly have had anything to do with my knees? Will you appologize to me now for writing me up on a counseling statement every time I went on sick call? Malingering my @$$, I ran out of horsepills!!! General Discharge this you incompetant sexist creeps. If you had done the paperwork right, you could have been rid of me when I weighed 130 lbs and couldn’t lose the last six. Was an honorable too good for me, or did you just like to tease the limping fat girl?

I only ever hated one teacher. My junior year English teacher wanted my to write a parody called the Teen Declaration of Independance. Someone who depends on a parent has no business declaring independance. I asked her if I could do an alternate assignment, explaining my moral objections, and she said no. I considered failing the class, but decided to write it so sarcasticly that noone could possibly miss my meaning. I got a d-, and the note attached said that she couldn’t find a single error but that I did not fulfill the assignment. She set up a conference with my father to discuss my hostility. (He was the one who suggested sarcasm, when I asked for his advice. He was lauging for hours when he read the thing. He gave copies of it to his coworkers.)

I’m a bitter person. I’m working on it.

possibly the world’s only naive cynic

Pardon the run-on paragraphs, I’m too upset to edit.