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Writer, 13

Growing up in a suburban area where there are three or four Jews (including me) in my whole school may seem tough, but it isn't. In grade school, I felt proud to be different from the other kids. I considered it a whole learning experience. Plus, I wasn't totally Jewish. My dad had been raised Christian and my mom was raised strongly Jewish. I was only half Jewish, but my parents decided to raise me as a Jew.

In fifth grade, there was this kid who would always make fun of my friend and me because we hadn't gotten our periods yet. He said things about putting Midol in our mailbox or lending us some extra tamponsójust stupid stuff.

One day in December, the day before winter vacation, he came up to me. Just when I thought he was going to crack another one of his corny jokes, he didn't. He just said, "Merry Christmas" and then he walked away. I was so happy. That was the first time that he had been nice to me all year. Then he turned around and saw me with an ear-to-ear grin and said, "Oh, that's right, you're Jewish. I forgot. Take back my 'Merry Christmas.'" Then he started laughing.

I was so devastated. I couldn't believe that he had the nerve to do that. I started to cry. He said that in front of all of my friends and his friends. I just ran to the bathroom, and I haven't spoken to him since.

Basically, my point is that something, whether it is an insult or a compliment, that seems so small to someone may seem huge to someone else, and if so, that memory will remain in her head for a long time. Take it from me, a sophomore in high school, who still remembers this story as if it happened yesterday.

Last Modified Date: 3/22/2001