Laughing With You or At You

Imagine you’re sitting in science class. For some, this takes you back years. For others, only yesterday. Your teacher begins to walk to the other side of the room and stands beside a light switch.

She is holding an odd light bulb in her hand. You are wearing the cutest light blue top. You’ve been waiting for the perfect day to wear it. Today was that day. You’re whispering to the really cute guy beside you, so glad that the day you wore this shirt was the day he finally noticed you. In the middle of your bliss the lights are turned off.

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Your focus is turned back to the front of the room. The teacher has turned on the light bulb in her hand as she walks back to your side of the room explaining phosphorescent lighting. All you’re thinking about is how well the conversation went with that boy. Laughing. The most horrible sound you will ever hear in school: people laughing at something you haven’t caught on to. You look around nervously.

Everyone is laughing at you, looking at you with wide, disbelieving, mocking eyes. What? What have you done? You look up at the teacher anxiously. She’s holding back a laugh unsuccessfully just like the rest of the class. “Your bra!” she exclaims with a sudden burst of unnecessary giggling. “It’s phosphorescent.” Gush of laughter.

With the heat rising to your face you look down and, sure enough, through that once adorable shirt, your white bra is glowing!! Glowing almost as bright as the light bulb in your teacher’s hand. You have two options: a) blush and tear out of the room as the peals of laughter cause tears to pour from your eyes, or b) laugh along and, to the side, beg for some girl to loan you a sweatshirt. Anyone? And what do you do? You laugh. You laugh through the kids snickering at you all day long as you walk down the hallway. You laugh through the glances from boys that you know have to be wondering to themselves, “I wonder what that looked like.

” And, most importantly, you laugh through the name calling: “Hey, lightning bug!” “How are you, firefly?” “What’s up, glowworm?” And why? Because, if you don’t let it get you down, it won’t. Why? Because, if you don’t seem embarrassed they have nothing to tease you about. And why? Because, if you don’t make it that big of a deal, it won’t be to everyone else. And how do I know this? I was the girl with the phosphorescent bra.