Enter our FnS contest to win a free copy of My Memories fun and easy to use digital scrapbooking software! UPDATE – We have our winner, Francerants!
I was not a good looking kid. Not an ugly one, just one that should there be a talent scout for Models R Us hanging out at the local mall, they wouldn’t be pushing their way through a crowd to get their card to me.
My arms were just as long as my legs, and both were like sticks. And, as true today as it was back then, my feet were too big for my height. With the flat black Sponge Bob shoes my Doctor told my mother I had to wear to fix my pronated gait, I looked like a capital letter L.
I was skinny with eyes that took up half my face. The cherry thrown on top of this flamboyant creation by Mother Nature, was that I was hairy. Eyebrows that began everywhere and extended to my temples, hairy arms, hairy legs, and a hairline that begged for a Ronco at-home electrolysis kit. Had you shown me a picture of Chewbacca back then, I may have very possibly shouted, “Daddy!”
My mother was blind to all this hair and bones. Too tall for my height, she would dress me in much too young for me swirly sailor dresses that barely ended at the top of my legs. She then had the nerve to buy lace anklets for me to wear (so you could get a full view of my half monkey half human legs) and then the finishing touch would be to slap a velvet bow the size of a Rain Forest butterfly on top of my head. Since my hair was too thick and curly to keep long, she kept it cut in a short, tight curl that made me look like Oscar from The Office.
All this was as bad as it seems, and back then I fretted daily about missing the boat on good looks. But, looking back from the safe and grateful distance of no longer being the long lost daughter of Chewbacca, I can see how the hand dealt me played out well.
There were many advantages to not being the prettiest girl in Second (Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth….) Grade.
I buried myself in books. I read
everything. Books became my alternate world where I was the lead character and heroine. Had I been receiving invitations to go share a cherry coke with Tommy Boyer (oh, the daydreams of that blue eyed boy) at Rexall’s drugstore, I don’t think I’d have the time to go through 180 reading hours a week.
I studied hard. From all the reading I was doing, I was turning into a walking encyclopedia. I got the rep for being smart, and my expectations for myself formed. I was a smart kid. One who got A’s. I wouldn’t be the one asked to walk home with Brian Cahill, but he sure looked for me at Social Studies project time.
Kids turned to me with their deepest, darkest secrets. With the every-woman-for-herself world of the beautiful and popular, who could these poor beauties turn to? I was the trusted one, to all the pretty girls. I never would have imagined the pressure of not being able to ever be less than perfect. To hear their woes and angst of making sure they stayed the prettiest – I don’t think anything else made me more appreciative of being able to pass through the hallways unnoticed.
My best friends were boys. They liked me. I was someone they could talk to without feeling nervous or having to be full of bravado. We could laugh together and they could ask me how to get Mary Morrisey to sit next to them on the bus for the class field trip. I made them laugh; that right there, at a very young age, is when I realized I was funny.
I had become funny.
There was no curse of being the ugly duckling growing up. It was kind of nice really, in retrospect. It made me what I am today; and the impact of growing up less than visually pleasing has not been forgotten by me.
It’s the very reason why all three of my children’s first pair of shoes, looked like this:
Note from the Editor: We’re having a Giveaway!
Alexandra’s FnS column Memoirs of My America is a great way she shares her past with her kids and with all her readers. So when My Memories Suite offered for FnS to hold a giveaway of their incredible scrapbooking application, I knew this column would be the place!
My Memories is an award winning digital scrapbook software that is extremely easy and fun to use. My Memories Suite is rated #1 by Amazon and TopTen Reviews. Using this software, anyone can create digital scrapbooks, photobooks, cards, calendars and gifts without having to buy expensive and complicated software programs.
To enter our giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post, you can leave up to two (I know you like writing with Alexandra). A random winner will be chosen from comments made before Midnight EST on Tuesday, April 10th 2012.
Alexandra is an overanalyzing, oversensitive mother of three boys who somehow found herself named as BlogHer ’11′s Voice of The Year for Humor. She has been a mother since 1994, which means she hasn’t been right about anything since. She blogs of the sweet and the funny while trying to go unnoticed in her small town. You can find her at Good Day, Regular People. Did we mention socially awkward? We should, which is why the internet was made for her.