In this episode of Stories About My Past That You Couldn’t Care Less About:
From what I remember my teen years were rough. I was awkward and ugly (was?). I had braces and glasses. I was heavier than pretty much all of the girls in my grade and several of the pubescent bitches made sure that they reminded me of that fact on a daily basis. I had friends, even best friends, but those girls were pretty and not socially retarded girls who tried too hard so they had boyfriends. They were ‘going out’ and I wasn’t. I had crushes. I remember Ryan, the sort of rocker-ish boy with rosacea. I wrote him a note and had a girlfriend give it to him between classes. He laughed when he read it, wadded up the piece of paper and threw it down the hall (I don’t know if anyone else picked it up and read it). Fine, asshole. He ended up dating this girl that had an intense underarm sweat problem. But she was thin.
In nineth grade it was Brandon. Finally I was in high school and I knew that an older boy would appreciate what I had to offer (What exactly did I have to offer? I was fourteen! My tits hadn’t shown up yet). Brandon was in my French I class. I loved him. He was a junior and in theatre and the dance company at our performing arts-dominant high school. Our French teacher found out that I had a crush on Brandon so he made sure that we were partners Every. Single. Time. It was Heaven and he was an angel. In the hall between classes if he saw me he’d wave or even give me a hug. I even had a fucking journal in which I documented every single time he hugged me or spoke to me outside of class. I kept track of what I was wearing in case that made a difference. One time when he hugged me I smiled into his chest and my fucking braces got caught in his sweater. Luckily the hug lasted long enough for me to stealthily free myself from his sweater before he ripped out an entire row of teeth connected by brackets and a wire. He was always reciting French to me and it was so cute because he was just not getting it. I would always dumb myself down for him during class so that we could laugh at how bad we both were at pronounciation.
I was also in the dance program at school but I was in the beginners’ class so Brandon and I never had dance classes together. I was pretty good and even though I was the fattest and shortest girl in my class I still had more grace than those skinny bitches. I am a quick learner and I knew that I rocked it even if I felt totally self conscious in that fucking shiny purple leotard we wore for our first performance. I digress.
One evening during the fall semester the local community college’s dance company was putting on a performance and we got to attend it for free since we were also involved in dance. I went with my best friend Stephanie and we sat next to, yes, you guessed it – Brandon. He went alone but he knew just about everyone in attendance. Stephanie sat next to him and I sat next to her. I wanted to switch seats with her. I didn’t. She got up to use the bathroom and Brandon scooted over and we chatted for a little while about godonlyknows what and then he point-blank asked me if I liked him. WTF! You can’t do that! I’m socially retarded! I don’t know how to handle myself in situations where I’m put on the spot! I’m nonconfrontational! Non! Con! So I said that I liked him as a friend. Fuck. I could have been honest. But honestly, what would that have accomplished? There was no way he was interested in me. He was sweet enough that he might have taken me on a pity date but I didn’t want that. Stephanie returned and reclaimed her seat. I guess if I had a chance I just blew it.
The next week Brandon starting dating this girl with a bird beak nose who walked like she had a piece of shit hanging out of her ass. I knew it was over. By the end of my freshman year of high school I knew my place – the fat weird girl of the pretty girls who had boyfriends. I had guy friends and they dated my girl friends. It didn’t look like I was missing out on much so I wasn’t too heartbroken but I still wanted someone to hold my hand and take me to the movies and other fairly innocent dating rituals. But I felt like if I couldn’t be honest about my feelings with Brandon then it may never happen for me because I would continue to put up that wall. Fear of rejection. Fear of no one ever getting past my appearance.
Luckily my appearance got over itself and vastly improved for my sophmore year but I was still the funny girl, the nice girl, the loud girl. I became HER because at least she had lots of friends and could pretend that having a boyfriend was a waste of time.
And maybe it was after all.