Cassie advises how to handle a bully

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I have a new obsession. The new season of The Great British Bake-Off is going full force on PBS. Twelve bakers compete to be the best home baker in the U.K. It sounds so boring but it’s not. What the hell have I turned into? I don’t even like to bake, but I love the show. I love a lot of British shows, from Downton Abbey to Doctor Who. About Downton, a friend told me, “You probably won’t like it, there aren’t zombies or anything so it might go over your head.” Ouch! I actually let that bother me for a while.

The truth is, I missed out on the whole Downton craze while it was on partially because of my friend’s comment, and partly because I didn’t catch it from the beginning. I cannot jump on board with a new show if I don’t start from the beginning, so when we signed up for Amazon Prime (best decision ever!), I was able to start it from the first episode. I binged all six seasons in less than two weeks. You see? I can be classy as fuck when I want to be, as I sip my tea with my motherfuckin’ pinky in the air.

Now let me help a few people so I can get back to watching Shaun of the Dead. British zombies for the win, Alex!

Dear Cassie, One question that’s been on the table for LifeWalk is: How do we inspire the next generation to keep the walk alive? The majority of LifeWalk volunteers are of the generation that lived through the worst of AIDS. We’ve been walking for 25 years and realize that we’re getting older and have a real need for younger people to carry on and eventually lead the way, but since they did not feel, first-hand, the suffering and loss, what can we do to get them involved? Thanks, Landon

Hey Landon, That is a great question. The truth is, when horrible things happen, it tends to bring us all closer together. LifeWalk was and is a great way to focus our hurt into something positive. Millennials get a bad rap; I see a lot of caring young people that want to do good in the world but don’t necessarily have the focus. I wish I knew a way to inspire them to care more about their community and the world in general.

I did notice that after the Pulse shooting there was a wave of people wanting to help and donate, but it quickly seemed to slow down. There are so many horrible things that happen almost daily that you can lose your momentum for helping others. You just get overwhelmed and think, what’s the point? Like I said, I wish I knew how to inspire the masses, but I am stumped. Hopefully those giving individuals that want to help will find their way to volunteer for LifeWalk. If you would like to volunteer, go to Lifewalk.org and form or join a team. I’m talking to you millennials — show us the heart I know you have. Good luck, Cassie.

Dear Cassie, I’m having an unusual problem. A boy in my neighborhood has started trying to bully me. He shouts homophobic slurs at me whenever he sees me and encourages other kids to do the same. The problem is that this kid is probably 10 years old, while I’m in my mid-40s. This was not a problem I expected to have again at my age. And while I’ve certainly developed a thick enough skin over the years not to let insults bother me, it’s the simple fact that a child is doing this that throws me off. If I had done this to a strange adult as a child, that adult probably would have just smacked me upside the head, and rightly so. Unfortunately, that is no longer an option in today’s society.
I’ve tried ignoring the kid, but it’s been a couple of months now with no change, except now he’s starting to influence other neighbor children. Some of the phrases he uses, such as “You’re broken,” sound like something he would have learned from an adult, which makes me hesitant to approach his family… especially since the whole family seem like rednecks. I’d love to just say something truly horrible to scar him forever, but that would just make me the bully. What would you do? Signed, CB

Dear CB, This is some bullshit. That kind of hate and language is taught, so the parents are probably Neanderthals as well. God, I miss the ’80s where you could scare the hell out of a kid and get away with it. Just kidding… kinda. Talk to the other kids’ parents before they get too heavily into that brat’s hate. Most parents would be appalled that their kid is saying horrible stuff like that.

Unfortunately, in Trump’s America we keep seeing this kind of bad behavior. They see our president acting awful with no repercussions so what’s the big deal. He says whatever the fuck he wants to, so why can’t I? You ask what I personally would do… well, I wouldn’t be able to keep my mouth shut. Tell the kid if he keeps it up you will tell his parents. If that doesn’t work, try to have a civilized conversation with his mom. The downside is that it could make it worse. Then you have the whole redneck clan talking shit to you.

You could always just ignore the little brat, but sometimes taking the high road hurts us in ways we don’t even realize. I think you should say something. If he is bullying you, imagine what he is doing to kids at school. Maybe his parents will put a stop to it or at least bust his ass. Keep me posted, I want to know how this turns out. Good luck, Cassie.

Dear Cassie, OK, here goes: It’s been 14 years since my parents died and it has been extremely rough. I was only 15 at the time and I didn’t know how cruel life really was until everything I owned or knew got taken away from me two weeks after the funeral. Enough with that sadness. What I’m writing to you about is rather confusing. I keep getting money from them every year through random people. At first I thought oh they must be friends of the family, but the letters attached with the money are genuinely my parents. It’s not just a hundred bucks; it’s a lot of cash. Am I going crazy in believing that they are alive? Thanks, E.G.

Dear E.G., First I want to say sorry about your loss. Then I want to say… huh? I need more info. How did your parents die? Did you not get to see their bodies and that is why you think there is a possibility that they are still alive? It is not unheard of that a parent will leave things for their kids to be delivered after they die. It sounds like a beautiful Lifetime movie, but ask yourself, why would they fake their own deaths? The most obvious answer is usually the right answer. They probably had a will that stated that you be sent these letters and money on certain dates. Consider it a blessing that they loved you enough to do that and not some great mystery that they are still alive. Be realistic.

Remember to always love more, bitch less and be fabulous! XOXO, Cassie Nova.

If you have a question of comment, email it to AskCassieNova@gmail.com.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition July 7, 2017.