In 3rd grade I told a classmate that he had a pig nose. Thanks to Facebook, my big fat Greek mouth is coming back to haunt me.
I was just checking my Facebook wall and I noticed I had a message. Innocent enough. When I clicked on the message button I did not recognize the name of the sender. Again, no alarm bells there. I have more than 9,000 “likes” and I can’t possibly know everyone who sends me email. But when I started reading the email it suddenly took and entirely different tone than most of my fan mail. From the very first sentence it just sounded different. It said:
Dear Ava, you probably don’t remember me but we went to grade school together….
Ok, I just knew it was not going to be your average fan letter. That turns out to be an understatement for sure. The letter went on…
I thought you were the cutest girl in school. I had a crush on you. Did you know that?
Ummm, noooo I did not know that or if I did at the time it has fallen out of my Greek noggin since then. Besides, if I remember right in the 3rd grade I was more interested in My Little Pony than I was in boys. This is where my long-lost Romeo’s email takes a nose dive (no pun intended) …
Well one day while we were playing on the monkey bars at recess and since my nose was kinda square in shape you asked me why did I have a “pig nose?” Although you were just a curious kid asking an innocent question, other kids overheard the question and soon it became a nickname that stuck with me all through school. I never forgot that comment Ava.
Oh great I thought. As an 8-year old little girl I ruined some 8-year old boy’s life forever!!! My heart sank and I truly felt horrible. When I was in school we called it teasing. Now it is called bullying. And it is a crime. No matter what you call it as I sat there and read the rest of the email I couldn’t help but think I was an 8-year-old who should have had a rap sheet. I was horrified. The email went on…
I was looking on Facebook with my wife and coincidentally I noticed that my wife had someone named Ava Aston on her friend’s list. That gave my brain a memory jolt. I knew I had heard that name before. Can you believe you and my wife are Facebook friends? Small world isn’t it? I had not seen or heard your name in years. So I decided to look over the profile to make sure it was the same Ava Aston. Of course it was. I must say, I am impressed. You’ve done good Ava. Geez, a Rockstar? Who knew?
Ok, now I was starting to sweat more than Elmer Fudd at a back yard barbecue. I seriously was thinking this man must hate me for my comment. He then added,
You don’t know this but to this day that is still my nickname, although it has been shortened to just PN (short for Pig Nose) and many of my friends call me that instead of my real name. And yes Ava, it is a nickname I have grown to love because even my wife uses it as a pet name for me. So if you were ever wondering, No I don’t hold it against you!!
Ok, wheeew…I feel so much better now. It’s not that I have ever lost any sleep or really given much thought over the years to that pig nose question on the monkey bars. But whenever I would see a story on the news about a kid getting bullied at school, I did think about it. Not that I was the school yard bully or that I taunted him with the nickname or anything. It was just a simple nickname that all of the kids at school called him. We went to different middle schools, so I lost track of him. But thanks to Mark Zuckerberg…
I am actually very glad my old friend found me on Facebook. Even if he was mad and had held it against me, it would have give me the opportunity to apologize (which I still did.) But since he was not mad at all, it was actually a real blessing to learn that the nickname was now a real part of his identity. Sometimes you just never know how a story is going to end up. I am glad this one had a happy ending.