Why’s Everybody Always Picking on Me?

I’m pretty convinced that there is a tattoo on my forehead that everyone but me can read. It’s big and clearly shouts, “PICK ON ME!”

Seriously, why else would I always end up being the target of everyone’s pranks?

Ever since I was a wee girl, my siblings would pull various stunts that would emphasize my clumsiness, leave me red in the face or result in my screaming and flailing about in terror. And then my friends started joining in. Before long, I just learned to expect that, at least once a week, something will happen to scare the bejeebers out of me.

Brandy, my sister, is the undisputed master of scaring Mindy.

Don’t get me wrong, others have scared me. For instance, one of my coworkers when I worked in the housing office in college, would always try to scare me when I would be walking about campus in the middle of the night. Her best was the night we saw The Blair Witch Project. As my roommate and I walked back to our room, my coworker hid around the corner, waiting for our approach. When she jumped out, I nearly peed myself in terror. The scream probably woke up everyone on campus that night.

My little brother, Allen, tries pretty often too. He always liked to hang outside of the bathroom door and scare me as I walked out after taking a shower. I’d then chase him down the hallway on trembling legs, trying to punch him for leaving me quaking in fear.

But Brandy is a woman who spends her days plotting how to scare people. And she scares anyone and everyone. Ask her husband why he’s terrified of being in dark spaces with her or why her daughters hate the walk from their bedroom to the living room.

Sometimes Brandy’s scares are unintentional, like when she says something to me when I’m in the middle of some task, like laundry, and because I think I’m alone, the sound of her voice results in me clinging to the ceiling.

Another innocent scare happened tonight as we drove home from Target. I turned a corner to pull onto the highway, and Brandy commented on a hitchhiker she saw. Unfortunately, I hadn’t noticed him standing on the corner, leaning out into the lane with his thumb held high. When I saw him, I screamed bloody murder and yanked the steering wheel to the left, trying to pull away from him so I didn’t run him over. I actually reacted in fear so badly that I pulled a muscle in my chest. Sad, huh?

But the number of intentional scares Brandy has initiated far outweigh the number of innocent ones.

You know how I mentioned Allen would lurk outside the bathroom and scare me? Brandy has scared me after knocking on the door. How? She’ll hide, so I’m confused when I answer the door, then she’ll jump out and scream. I once punched a screen door, because she jumped out and scared me so bad after I answered one of her phantom door knocks.

So, it’s no surprise that, as I sat in my car answering a text message before leaving her house tonight, she managed to leave me quaking and beating my car horn in fear.

Brandy stepped outside to bring in her dogs and noticed that I was sat in the car doing something (texting). She didn’t hear my engine and thought my car had broken down, so she walked over to see if I needed help. Eventually, she heard my engine and thought it was the perfect time to enact a new scare. Clearly, dancing about in my headlights in her black coat and dark jeans wouldn’t work as I was otherwise engaged. So she began pounding on my passenger window.

Sat in my car, in the dark, in front of the woods behind Brandy’s house, I was already a bit creeped out. So when something dressed in black started pounding on my window, I began beating at the horn, screaming and trying to stop from having a fatal heart attack.

What did Brandy do? What she always does, laugh her butt off.