When I was in the sixth grade I got my braces off. Not because my teeth were straight. Not because my overbite was gone. Not because I didn’t need them. They were removed by me with a pair of pliers because my parents were fed up with the bands popping, and the wires coming undone and poking me if not piercing through my lip/cheek. This was the beginning of what I call acceptance that I am not a normal person.
I went to school after getting them off and hearing my mom talk about how it was all because I wasn’t old enough to have them, and how I would get them when I could take care of them. It was the orthodontist who was the problem since he could never get me in and his eyes were all on the dollar signs, and no I never got them again. I guess I was never mature enough.
Ha, I couldn’t get them now if I wanted because I have to pay for my own kids braces.
Anyway, I went to school and couldn’t wait to show my boyfriend whose name was Tim, played the saxophone, and had once given me a rose to beg for forgiveness from me for not voting for me as student class president (I won anyway). The fact that I accepted his flower and told him “I understand it’s just politics” at eleven told me I wasn’t a normal person.
It was field day when I got to show off my uncorrected teeth and did so by smiling as large as I could for everyone to see. I was ecstatic. I thought I would get to have my first real kiss (this doesn’t include kissing Bubba Vaughn or Barry Jones in Kindergarten), but in reality that first kiss would come years later on New Years Eve at midnight at church because my boyfriends cousin surprised me with it… Told you, I’m not normal.
Before we go further let’s break down the proof that I am weird.
#1 I am an author. I live a hundred lives and only one is my own.
#2 This is how I get to see flowers in the garden. My green thumb doesn’t exist – I was born without it.
#3 This is how I thought pictures were meant to be taken… Jewelry and make up with my jersey and ball.
#4 I wear pink nail polish when I detest the color pink.
#5 I play with more toys than I care to admit (Sorry Jack, Dean, Sam, Cas, and Crowley – its true).
#6 I sunbathe in the cold seasons.
Now that we have complete proof that there are some things about me that are up there on that scale where you have to go “Should I act like I don’t know her” in public let’s get back to the story.
I have to change and put on my P.E. clothes to go outside for field day – why they didn’t just let me wear my clothes is still a mystery – so I changed, put my hair in a pony tail, and headed out the double doors where I looked for the history teacher who I believed was evil, but in reality he just wasn’t as patient as he should be.
I find my teacher (he was my advisory class teacher if you remember those) and run over to him. I stand off to the side and watch as the other kids do three-legged races. I look across the field as other kids are playing Red Rover so I could see someone clothesline themselves. Then I look over at the coach who was letting kids play dodgeball. Looking back I can admit we were a little violent at times.
I see my boyfriend over with the band teacher – who I am supposed to be with this period – and she has them talking about music on blankets across the field. I tell my teacher where I am going and start to head that direction. I am so stoked – I can’t wait to see his reaction – my excitement is electric.
I get there and catch my breath since I decided to run full speed until I tripped over him. He stands up and I forget to smile. Words evaporate in the heat from the coming summer. I think I was having a stroke as words seemed to form around me, but my brain was empty.
“Are you okay?” he asked sweetly and I put my hand up over my lips so he couldn’t see my teeth that I wanted to tell him no longer had braces.
“Did you know I have hairy legs?”
That was all I could think to say, and as soon as the words left my mouth I couldn’t haul them back inside. I watched in slow motion as his eyes went to my legs and back up. Then I waited for his response.
Now, before I tell you what he said you have to know that if my parents thought I was too young for braces to fix my teeth why would they let me anywhere near a razor???
He finally replied with,
“Does that mean you are part monkey?”
Six grade education in Tennessee folks, right there. Hair in your armpits was normal, private area hair was something no one mentioned, but a girl with hair on her legs must be related to apes.
I retaliated with something along the lines of asking if he was related to dolphins since his forehead looked like a dolphin’s melon. It was something of a 11 year olds level. We broke up later that day because he couldn’t date a girl who was both political and hairy.
That was the day I knew I was a little on the odd side. Later, when I tried dating (my version of dating where I didn’t talk to them on the phone, didn’t go anywhere with them, and sat with them at lunch) I told the guy upfront. “I’m a weirdo and you may not like me after you see just how different I am.”
I don’t wear a crown, I don’t write for a television show, and I probably should have copyrighted my words like they did, but now that being a weirdo seems to be okay to admit I am here to tell the world I am a nerd. I am a weirdo. I no longer have hairy legs, but I am still out there having fun and saying stupid things.
On the plus side – when I told my husband that I was quirky his reply was “at least I will never get bored.”