But not in the malicious sense. Sometimes you can intentionally or unintentionally prove someone wrong……….
Her name has been changed because it doesn’t matter but I will call her Mrs. Miller, my Textiles teacher in the Vocational High School I attended. This woman did not like me, period. She was uppity, a snob because I knew them when I saw them in my community. She lived not far from me in a large unit building which at that time was designed for the professionals such as teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers. She also headed one of the famous Cotillions for the young well-to-do girls that lived further south from my home.
My sister was a Junior when I entered high school. My sister had the perfect healthy head of hair, beautiful long nails that she kept so clean, pretty teeth and dimples. She was a boy magnet. She was shorter than I, more curvy and just plain ‘cute’. I admired her. I looked up to her…. well down too. It wasn’t long before I found out how much young folks made comparisons between the two of us. All our lives we had went to school with sisters; one in my classroom, the older one in hers, so it was no big deal to us. There were groups of sisters. Back then seems like families were much bigger and somehow spaced children about two years or more apart. It was 10 of us.
But back to school. For all practical purposes I should have hung out on the Bell Tower with Quasimodo as far as the consensus of opinion was. I lost out. At 13 going on fourteen I was gangly with wild hair, too many teeth and big eyes. People used to call me ‘cute’ well – when I was little but now, in the years of racing puberty and hormones, I was not in the in crowd, I was sort of pitiful really. Yet I tried. I got up every morning, fixed my hair, ironed my clothes, bathed and went off to school optimistically hoping that people wouldn’t say mean things about me behind my back. But to be totally honest with you, the reader, I really didn’t care much about these people’s comments. I really didn’t. I just sort of wished they didn’t make me feel uncomfortable or find something better to talk about. I could admire people without going nuts and I could find people odd looking and not give it any much thought. I had seen people get fanatical over one person before and I didn’t care enough about them to think that their opinion meant much. Besides, reality was setting in too: I wasn’t that bad looking and the young men started reassuring me of my strength in appearance, starting with my legs. They were nicely shaped with a pretty instep or arch and I wore a straight skirt like no one else, even though I wasn’t that curvy at all. But it’s not looks anyway. Looks can be lost in a second and it truly is what’s in and not out even though young girls want to just fit in. It was the people and their idleness and lack of mental stimulating that kept them in the depth of pettiness and cruelty and bitter comparisons.
Published in: Family