Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sadie Hawkins

It was time for the Sadie Hawkins dance. A time of great anticipation and dread for any Junior High School girl that never stood out in a crowd. This was a time when the girls asked the boys to the annual fall dance. I was a tall and gangly girl. I had the same hairstyle as Princess Lea did in the movie Star Wars. My hair looked like it had sausage links on the side while the rest of it was ridiculously straight. I didn’t wear makeup, I wasn’t allowed to until I was sixteen. My folks were definitely sure that I was not going out looking like a hussy under their parental guidance. I had not hit puberty so I didn’t have a boob to my name. I wasn’t a fashion plate or into girly things. I still liked to go home and play football or baseball with my brother and our friends in the neighborhood.

The idea of asking a boy from my school to the dance was mortifying to me. My biggest fear would be going up to some “dreamboat” just to get a quizzical look and a “I’ve never seen you around school, do you actually go to this school or did one of my friends put you up to this?” Then he would walk away and I would want to shrink into the ground.

My friend Jennifer, who had huge bulging eyeballs in the 5th grade, so big in fact that they looked like a swift slap to the back of her head would cause her eyeballs to pop out and roll across the floor, was actually becoming cute. She was wearing eye shadow and for some reason that seemed to tone down the bulging then again maybe her face was growing into her unfortunate protrusion. I, on the other hand, was still struggling with buck teeth, though this would be the last year before orthodontia would come into my life. My father would tell me to thrust my lower jaw over my front teeth and close my mouth. I guess he didn’t think it was terrible to have a daughter who looked like she had a maxillofacial skeletal deformity or figured I would never utter another word until my future braces were in place and had three years to do their magic.

Jennifer still wasn’t comfortable asking a boy to the dance either. Though she was starting to “fill out” a little and didn’t have the problem of being able to eat corn through a picket fence, she just felt weird. I think it was the fear of rejection. That is most likely what happened to both of us.
Jennifer and I decided we would go to the Sadie Hawkins dance together. Maybe some poor saps who wanted to be asked to the dance would have their mothers drop them at the school. They would be leaning against the gym wall where we could casually eyeball the group of “no dates”and determine if we wanted to shake a leg with one of them. That was the plan and it sounded great. We were brilliant when the two of us were together.

The evening of the Sadie Hawkins dance was a nerve-racking one. My mom had bought me a new outfit, a blouse with multicolors and gold sparkling thread running through the material, a blue jean skirt, pantyhose the color of the hose that the now famous Hooter’s girls wear today, and clogs that made me look like I was 6'2". I even got to wear some blue eye shadow. I thought I looked great, except I would be the only girl at the dance that wouldn't even have a bud of a boob.

Now the good thing was my mother had actually bought me a training bra even though there was nothing to train. I had made a fuss about wearing tee-shirts under my clothes because undressing in the gym locker room had become a humiliating experience. All the other girls would whip off their tops and stand around in their satin over the shoulder boulder holders and I would be standing there in my fruit of the loom tee-shirt.

I had an idea. Once alone, I was going to fix my boob issue. Under the auspice of having to “freshen up” in the bathroom, I found what I was looking for. Cotton Balls! Yes, I’d make some boobs. I stuffed and squeezed and stuffed some more. I was having problems getting my “boobs” the same size. The right boob looked like it was growing out from under my chin and the left one was so lumpy it looked like I needed an emergency mammogram. What the heck, at least I didn’t look flat. I became a woman that night. I threw on a coat because I would have never been let out of the house with my bra stuffed full of cotton. (Like who would, unless they were adults still dealing with breast issues). And I doubt my parents would think I had just sprouted these unfortunate looking things just for the Sadie Hawkins dance.

My mother dropped me off at the door leading into the gym. I met Jennifer right inside the door. I realized at that moment that I was towering over every person in the gym. I looked like a giant stork because of my clogs. Even though I was taller than the average girl in the 7th grade, I was also now taller than the tallest guy in the 7th grade. Jennifer looked at me in awe at my height and her mouth fell open when I whipped off my coat and she saw my “boobs.” “Did you stuff your bra?” she whispered. Duh??? I had just left her only several hours earlier. What did she think, that I went home and immersed my breasts in a vat of Miracle Grow?
“Don’t worry about it,” I said. “And quit staring before people start to wonder what you’re looking at.” Of course I didn’t think about the fact that I had left school several hours earlier with no boobs, was now at the dance with deformed boobs, and would show up at school again tomorrow boob-less. I’d deal with it tomorrow.

Jennifer and I scanned the crowd. There were no guys hanging on the wall, no girls either. We were the only two wallflowers. “Lets dance” said Jennifer. “Okay, you lead the way” I said. Before I knew it, we were grooving to the songs of the 70's. However, I could only groove so fast because I kept falling off my clogs and twisting my ankles. This wasn’t the worse event to happen though. As I was bending down to put one of my feet back into my clog, I saw the floor littered with cotton balls. I also noticed there was only one boob left out of the two I had when I arrived. “Oh God” I prayed, “please don’t let anyone look down and see this.” I frantically started kicking my feet trying to kick the evidence to the spot where Jennifer was dancing. If anyone saw this, they would think they were Jennifer’s cotton balls. I was willing to throw my best friend under the bus just to get out of the gym with my pride. I grabbed Jennifer. “Lets go, this dance sucks” I said. “What are you talking about, you were having a great time a minute ago?” Suddenly she cocked her head and stared at me while her cheeks burned red. “Oh my God, you only have one boob!” then she looked at the floor and saw all the cotton in her area. “No wonder you were kicking your legs like that, I thought you were in the groove, but you were trying to pin this boob thing on me!” she yelled. “Shhh, lets just get out of here, please before anyone notices” I whined. It was almost time for my mom to pick me up anyway. I started chewing my nails. Jennifer walked off, with me trailing behind. She grabbed my coat and handed it to me. “We will just pretend this little incident never happened Meredith, but from now on you leave your boobs at home!” She turned and marched back onto the dance floor, away from the cotton balls and I headed toward the door and into the night. Just me and my one lumpy boob.

Sadie Hawkins dances are way overrated!

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