Thursday, March 22, 2007

Flat Faced Four Eyed Freak

Mirrored on my xanga with pictures

"Your face is so flat," she'd whisper under her breath, when the teacher wasn't looking.

The leader of a gang of pretty, privileged girls with perfectly coifed hair, plastered on Guess jeans, and the latest Swatch watch.

"And she's practically blind. Look how thick her glasses are," the other would twitter, just loud enough for me to hear.

My pale skin betraying me with a brilliant shade of red, to match my hair. Mortified, I'd count the minutes until the school day was over and I could return to my safe little nest.

"Just ignore them," my mom counseled me. "They're just jealous."

Of what, I couldn't see. Out of place in my own skin, I began second guessing every choice for it's coolness factor. My previously high self esteem spiraling into nothing.

I permed my hair, everyone was doing it. It fried and the chopped up result resembled Billy Ray Cyrus' poodle.

"Love the hair," she yelled out the next day. I considered buying a wig.

I bought the Guess jeans, the Coca Cola shirts, the Swatch watch, and the Converse tennis shoes. And felt like an imposter.

"Isn't that cute. She's trying to look like us."

I didn't want to...really. I wanted to blend in, just enough, so they wouldn't notice.

My friends didn't get it.

"They only think they're cute. They look stupid. I like your leopard and fluorescent dress and Madonna bracelets. Do you think your mom would perm my hair?"

I tried a color rinse, so it wouldn't stand out, only to turn it slightly purple.

"Copper Top," they'd squeal.

The bangs, in 7th grade, the last ditch effort. They stood six inches high and were plastered with enough hair spray to catch fire within a half mile from a flame.

Soon enough, my whole brigade had them too and the other crowd had grown their's out.

So, I gave up. Resigned myself to being queen of the band nerds, which suited me fine.

Twenty years later, they've probably forgotten me and their careless words. I've mostly forgotten them. Except for those rare occasions someone is standing next to me and I find my hand snaking up, to hide my profile or the thickness of my glasses. And I remember.

And I hope they got fat.

1 comment:

Kristy Shreve Powers said...

A fellow redhead! I HATED it when I was young because it was one more thing to make me different. Love it now, because it's one more thing to make me different.