Alpine, California, United States
December 07
I am here in cyberspace trying to understand the true nature of reality. My artwork can be seen in the blog link below.!home/mainPage


Zanelle's Links

JANUARY 26, 2013 10:37AM


Rate: 14 Flag

    My felon boyfriend had just gotten out of Federal Prison after six years for robbing banks and we were walking in the lane of the parking lot in Walmart.   It was a beautiful sunny day.   Someone in a car beeped at us to move out of the way and Peter did not move.  We kept walking.

       A young blondie lady jumped out of the car and started walking beside us.   "Couldn't you just be nice and move out of the way." she asked.

      "Get back in your car now." Peter said. "I just got out of prison and you don't want to mess with me."   The lady quietly went back to her car.

       "I don't like Bullies."  My new male friend said when I told him this story.  

        "Who was the bully in that situation?"  I asked. 

         "He was." my new friend said.  I told him that my felon thought the bully  was the woman.   The real bully might have been the guy in the car who beeped his horn.  

          My felon had a heart of gold.   All his life he had championed the little guy and gotten revenge on the bad guys.  In his mind he was a hero.  He had taken care of himself in prison by not giving up his place in line from day one.   He not only survived in prison he thrived.  

          I can be a bully.  I'm a big lady and I could really push people around.  That is why I like big strong slightly crazy guys to play with.  I am lots to handle.  Another word for bully is manipulator.  I do not like it when things do not go my way.   

         I am trying to be kind.  It is not easy and I am not sure it is always the best way to be.  Sometimes I have to draw a line in the sand.  I have always regretted it immediately when I do that or at least when I look back at the situations where I have been a bully.

       It will help when I figure out who the bullies are and when I am being a bully.  We all have it in us.  There are some classic bullies.  Was Humphrey Bogart a bully?   Maybe Lauren Bacall was?  The HULK is such a great story about a man who others saw as a bully but who was really quite wonderful.  


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Hey, Zanelle.

There are bullies...and there are bullies. Here on the Internet, one does not have to be big or strong or willing to use physical force to be a bully. There are many bullies here who I suspect, are meek as lambs in the real world.

Me...I am a small guy; 150 when fresh out of the shower...and I am 76 years old. I've never been particularly muscular...but I am crafty and I've managed, for the most part, to stay out of trouble even when confronted by bullies. (Here on the Internet, bullies are fun to play with!)

I've tended bar some very seedy bars at bars where bikers hang wearing colors. I've had to step into situations that would scare the shit out of those not normally in those kinds of predicaments, but I have always carefully cultivated friends that had my back when I had to be "the bartender stopping trouble."

Not really sure who was being a bully in that scenario you set for us. I am pretty sure each participant (the young woman; the guy who beeped; your friend fresh out of prison; your new friend...and you...each can make a case for one or the other.

Fact is, probably there were several who could be thought of as "bullies"...although a more accurate reading is probably that several thought they were "acting reasonably" and standing up for their rights to "act reasonably."

My further guess is that several are correct...even though they have polar differing opinions on the issue.

Great post, Zanelle. Stimulates thinking.
I come from a family of tough women, so understand what you're saying, Zanelle. I really like the introspective feel of this essay.

In a recent conversation with my dad and my uncle Andy, who is a published author, we touched on the subject of writing. He and I were trying to describe, to his brother, who is my dad, about the writing process, and how, what we find in our heads slightly shifts, changes meaning, as soon as we put it down on paper, and how it changes still, from one day to the next, and how, as we follow the threads of our ideas, they teach us, and make us somehow better, wiser...
Nice work, Z.
Slam-dunk, your boyfriend was the bully.

If by "walking in the lane of the parking lot" you mean that the two of you were strolling in the middle of the road without regard for areas designated for pedestrians and buckin' common courtesy and ignoring asphalt markings & signs meant to keep everyone safe in a congested area, then it's obvious that big-boyfriend was inviting a confrontation -- a bully move.

Similarly, instead of stating a reasonable explanation about why moving out of the way was difficult, the big-boyfriend choose to use intimidation as the response to someone of smaller stature asking nicely to move out of the way -- another bully move.

If the story was meant as an intro the topic you wanted to explore -- O.K. However, if you're sincere in looking for feedback on who was a bully in the scenario you described, that's an easy question to answer.
To my mind, Zanelle's last three paragraphs tip her hand as to the meaning of her essay.
I like the honesty of this essay. I don't like being around people as defensive as Peter but I admire people who stand their ground. I found in my world, the medical field I will not be respected unless I stand my ground, the doctors will abuse those who are deer in the headlights. So. Each does what they have to. It surprises me Joisey has this view as I picture him as one one would never give way. Perhaps it cuts too close to home.
At the time I thought my boyfriend was the Bully. I am sure that most people would think that it was him. However after living with this felon for four years I knew him quite well and every bully situation he was in he saw himself as the hero or justified.
These things come out of nowhere. Walmart parking areas are not clearly defined and this one is enormous and crowded. There were no lines for humans. I thought of this because new friend and I were walking in the same lane as Peter and I walked three years ago when this happened. We were just strolling along as many people do who are in the zombie like approach to Walmart.
I was as suprised at the BEEP as he was. I was ready and able to move to the side but he didn't budge. It was prison mentality kicking in and I had seen it before. He was awesome to walk thru a really busy crowd with. He walked straight with no concern for who had to get out of his way.
I learned so much from that man. I have been with two others who had PTSD and I think we all need to know that people are fragile and good even when they appear strong and evil.
I agree with Joisey. The boyfriend was being selfish and inconsiderate by blocking the path of the cars. People who carelessly block other people's mobility is a pet peeve of mine. Though I understand why he behaved that way - prison survival techniques - that doesn't excuse him. I've occasionally been guilty of carelessly being in someone's way, but when it's pointed out to me, I always apologize and move over.

We all behave in our own self-interest most of the time; that's how we survive. But a little introspection about our behavior is good for the soul.
I understand about pet peeves. The guy who beeped at us probably had some very important thing to go to and was late. Too busy to slow down a little and let someone walk in their own time to their car. If Peter had been crippled or weak he would have been given a break. The guy would have slowed down and we would have turned off at our car as soon as we could. The beep seemed to me to be the Bully and I could understand why it triggered Peter to stand his ground.
If the person who sounded horn really laid it on, I would think it was unwarranted and aggressive. A toot to alert you that they were behind you as a request that you move to the side is different. Have to say, the entitlement thinking that Peter showed by not being willing to move to the side for a car trying to get by would be a red flag to me. I have heard many many times from victim advocates who are trying to help victims of abusive move on and not repeat unhealthy relationship patterns that watching how a person treats strangers is a good tip off about the level of respect the individual believes others are entitled to enjoy.

A friend IM'ed me and said that she believes that I dislike you.

No, but I do dislike your (now-dead) boyfriend.

And I dislike how you (in an earlier blog) minimized his terrorizin' bank tellers during his hold-ups by stating that he never had a gun, as if the poor hold-up victims' potential nightmares and/or counseling sessions they might have needed were no big deal.

You are attracted to (slightly) crazy and (slightly) dangerous -- O.K., I get it. That's fine inside the confines of your home or in your bedroom.

But when you and your slightly-crazy & slightly-dangerous partners are walking around in civilized society, then asinine behavior isn't considered "creative", "non-conformity", "interesting", or a different perspective.

It's rude, inconsiderate, and deserving of society's disdain.

(Now if you want to go back to posting pics of you in a bathing suit, then we're all good here).
I had to fight bullies my entire childhood, so I'm a pretty good judge of who is and isn't a bully. The internet bullies are all mouth. The real bully needs an audience to show off to, even though they look like fucking idiots. After you fight one or stand up to one, they usually go away. Cowards mostly.
I have a pretty thick skin Joisey so I welcome your comments. He was not just slightly dangerous or crazy. He was extremely dangerous and crazy and like I said I have known several of these men. I dont think we realize how many are walking around us all the time with triggers just waiting to explode.
Yes he was a bully even tho he didnt see himself like that. We take all the trouble makers and lock them up in these cages where they get more and more violent. When you look around you in a parking lot next time ask yourself who looks like they would go off at a moment's notice. There are lots of them. They aren't all obvious.
Intent is a big part of being a bully. Some want power and attention. My intent with this post is to zero in on what it means to pinpoint behavior. I see it all the time in Open Salon too. The dust ups and bully rants and mean comments are everywhere. We dig in our heels and draw lines in the sand. We all do it. Yes it is socially unacceptable. But it is everywhere. I don't want to hide from it. I don't want it to ruin my time on Open Salon. I try to understand the bullies and stay away if I can but that is not alway possible. I dont want to be one either but sometimes I am.
I don't think we will ever figure out who the silent bully is because in most cases they do not appear to me unless provoked. Granted your friend was in a bad mood as anyone would be if held in jail for months. Maybe he could have said something else.. but he was in the moment..
What comes to mind for me: One of my pet peeves is how drivers park their cars and become instant pedestrians - that is, oblivious to the drivers trying to navigate in the parking lots.

Second is POV thing. I've more than once been in organizational situations where the rules are agreed to...but when the rubber hits the road the other parties don't want to be bound by them - rules are for Other People. When I've been in the position of responsibility and say no exceptions (the situations I'm thinking of didn't call for *exceptions*), then the other parties have stomped off, thinking me unreasonable and a bully. Haha, some of the situations involved dealing with inmates...
Great post, Z; I must go with what Kenny (scanner) said. R
Thanks for weighing in on this Myriad. You know about inmates. Rules are triggers.
Bullies are the short comings of any national pride a country might have.