Saturday, February 9, 2013

When I was an Idiot (Part 1)

    As a kid, I was a goofball--so much has changed.  Maybe I was the backward cousin no one wants to claim.  Maybe everyone loved me.  Who knows . . . what's obvious is that I wasn't normal.    
    When I was a kid, I thought messed up eyebrows were the ultimate "no no." With messy eyebrows I'd look terrible and boys would leave me alone.  I could live a life of celibacy, become a nun, be happy reading books to homeless children and dogs.
    I didn't like regular TV.  And even though I was born in the 80's, I INSISTED on watching Doris Day, Ginger Rogers, Katherine Hepburn, and The Inn of the Sixth Happiness.
    I had a fuzzy blanket.  One side was gorgeous, but the other side remained hideous with frays and fuzz balls.  If I wanted to be an ugly sweetheart the next day, I'd sleep with the beautiful side of the blanket toward me.  If I wanted to be a mean beauty queen, I'd sleep with the gorgeous side up.  I'm embarrassed to say that the nice side stayed up more than it should have.
    When I got into fourth grade, I shunned all my toys for a dolly.

    Not this kind of dolly:
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    This kind:
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    I'd push my best friend everywhere in that thing.  Who needs a car, when you have a dolly?  We put a lawn chair cushion in it.  One time we even tied each other to the thing and went down a huge dirt hill.  She cut her finger really bad--didn't even cry--and we had the best time ever, laughing in the dirt.
     When I was in sixth grade, I decided I was getting ugly.  That's when I knew, ugly kids turn into beautiful adults, but gorgeous kids (like I thought I was) turn into the homeliest adults known to man.
    I remember staring in my mirror, waving my beauty "goodbye."  I even fixed my messed up eyebrows one last time.  
    That night, I slept with my blanket pretty side down--there was no point in longing for beauty when even my blanket couldn't save me!  I nearly had a funeral for my beauty then.  I was bound to grow ugly.  It was a fact.  After all, I thought I'd been an adorable kid, that meant I'd be worse than this dude when I grew up!
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    So, I woke up the next day.  The blanket had worked.  I seemed sweeter and uglier than ever.  My mom pulled me aside.  "Are you okay?" she asked.
    "Yes," I nodded, reconciling that there are much worse things than ugliness.  After all I could have died, been blind or crippled like the ladies in "An Affair to Remember" and "Magnificent Obsession."
    So with my pubescent face, I gazed up at my mother, hoping she'd see the sweet spirit that rested beyond my ugliness.
    "Today's a big day," she said.
    "Why?"  I couldn't understand it.  I'd just planned on taking The Dolly for a spin with my friend.
    "Today is special because me and your sister are taking you bra shopping.  It's time to get your first bra!"
    I crumpled.  I didn't want a bra.  Wasn't it enough that God had turned me ugly.  "Really?" I asked sweetly, remembering kindness was all I had.
    "Yes."  She squeezed my hands and giggled.  "Let's go right now.  We'll get you a few nice ones and you can wear them to church tomorrow."
    I trudged out the door.  I didn't mess up my eyebrows because it was unnecessary.  
    I vowed then, I'd never wear a bra.  Nuns don't wear bras!  Cool people in the old movies DIDN'T WEAR BRAS!  (At least Rock Hudson didn't!)  
    And if my mom tied me down and MADE me wear a lacy boob catcher
. . . I'd never--ever--shave my legs!  I'd never be nice again.  I'd be homely AND bitter, the worst combination around!

      I think all of that is why church the next day became such a horrid thing.  I'll tell you about that tomorrow.