Would You Want Your Children To Avenge Your Honor?
Over at Slate, a woman writes into Dear Prudence with a curious predicament. Apparently she brutally bullied someone in high school — although she doesn’t really remember the details or even the girl she bullied. But the girl remembered and went through therapy to get better. Anyway, now they all have children in an “exclusive private school.” And, well, this is where it gets weird. The children of the bullying victim — along with other children — are now ostracizing the bully’s boys. The bully is afraid to tell her husband because she’s ashamed. Now she doesn’t know what to do.
The first lesson: don’t bully. Another lesson: don’t keep secrets from your spouse. What is this, an episode of General Hospital? Just tell your husband — if you’re married, he probably already knows you were a meanie in high school. If he doesn’t, now’s as good a time as any for an honest assessment of who you are and were.
OK. So Prudence responds that the bully victim is making her kids into bullies and that this is bad and that the original bully should go to the principal and resolve the situation. I don’t know why, but this advice strikes me as odd. I’d tell the bully to get right over to the victim’s house and work much, much, much harder at resolution — for everyone’s sake.
But over at Patheos, a blogger thinks the original request shows something completely different. His headline is “Girlgeek’s kids avenge mom’s honor.” He thinks it’s kind of cool that children are avenging the honor of one woman over another who clearly doesn’t realize how hurtful her actions were.
But, he adds, revenge is completely overrated.
What do you think? Is this old-school bully getting a nice dish of aged justice? Or is the whole scenario a reminder of why you want to avoid the next soccer game or other outing with parents?