Thursday, January 21, 2010

Fashion Statement

After a few days in a hotel in downtown Seattle, we were ready to move into our new house in Kirkland, Washington. When my parents had looked at the house initially, it was spotless. The house had belonged to a very obese man who had obviously taken great care cleaning the house and keeping up with the yard. However, the day we moved in was another story. Apparently once he had my parents on the hook he decided there was no sense in cleaning anything or maintaining the yard. What a disaster!

Everything had to be cleaned. From the inside and outside of the cabinets, the black toilets, the filthy kitchen floors, etc. When my dad moved the refrigerator from the wall, there were more jelly beans lying in the place the fridge had been then you could count. It was as though the Easter Bunny didn’t know what to do with the goods when he came to visit, so he just threw them under the fridge.

Each of us were given a chore. Mine was to clean the toilets. I kept vomiting in my mouth between the gagging. I can’t stand cleaning toilets where other people’s butts have been. Especially big hairy ones.
“Why can’t we just call Merry Maids?” I asked. “Probably because we spent your college money traveling cross country, staying in hotels and buying overpriced jackets in the gift shop at Yellowstone park!” snapped my mother. Good grief, touchy. I thought it sounded like a great idea. Of course burning the whole thing down and rebuilding from scratch sounded like a good idea too.

I fell in love with Washington. It was the most beautiful place I had ever seen. It’s strange to think there is something else out there that surpasses all you have ever been exposed to. Now it was time to make some friends. I wandered the neighborhood walking very slowly just incase there were teenagers inside who were watching me through the blinds. Back and forth. Okay, either my parents have moved us into a neighborhood where no people existed or they decided that I didn’t need any friends. Maybe it had something to do with the “best friend” promise I had made to Misty. Could they possibly be making sure that I would honor my promise? I was terribly lonely and longed for someone to hangout with for the rest of the summer. Suddenly a four or five year old came out of his house. I was so excited! “Hey kid, do you want to hang out?” I said. “Maybe we could ride bikes or go hit some tennis balls.” He just stood there and looked at me. Suddenly he burst into tears and started screaming “Mommy, a stranger is talking to me and trying to make me go with her. I think she might be a bad person.!” “Holy crap” I said out loud. “I’m going to do forty to life just because I’m lonely and wanted to hang out.” I beat it out of there so fast, nobody could have identified me.

The summer wore on. Still no friends to speak of. Where was the posse? I needed to break them in before the school year started. I couldn’t go to school alone. I needed a gaggle of girls standing with me, hands on hips, big hair, chewing gum while waiting impatiently for my mother to register me for school. This wasn’t going to happen at this current pace. Maybe I should take out an ad. “Posse wanted for former wallflower. Now very popular with the potential to elevate you to the same level. No experience needed.” Unfortunately, my dad wasn’t willing to give the greenbacks to place the ad. I was on my own.

Finally my first year of high school started. My mother pulled into the school so fast that the fake wood-paneled wagon was on two wheels. I think she was tired of hearing me whine about how I had no friends. She pulled into a parking space and slammed the wagon into park. We got out. I was wearing my Tennessee fashion. Levi jeans, Converse tennis shoes and an Izod Lacoste shirt (before they cost triple digits). I looked around and wanted to put a bag on my head. Most of the boys milling around were wearing jeans with flare legs so big you couldn’t see their feet. When they sat down you could see they were wearing Sperry topsiders with no socks. This look went out of style sometime during my eighth grade year while I stilled lived in Tennessee . The logo on the back of the girl's jeans looked like an ice cream cone with the words “I smile” stitched on back pocket. I had never seen or heard of such a ridiculous name for a pair of jeans, but what did I know? Almost all of the girls were wearing them, and I stood there in a pair of straight leg Levis that I doubt the student body had ever seen. The girls were also wearing off the shoulder tops with the big belts around the waist. Leg warmers seemed to be a must have along with capezio shoes in various colors. All the girls were sporting some type of perm on various lengths of hair. I stood out like a sore thumb. I looked around to see if there was a music video being produced on campus. Any minute Madonna was going to pop out and start singing "Holiday". Once I was noticed the entire quad became silent. They were looking at me like I had no fashion sense and had just wandered in from God knows where. Whispers..pointing fingers..lips raised in disgust at my utter lack of "style". This just wouldn’t do. My mother was going to have to take me shopping as soon as possible, like right now, so I could blend in with the rest of the crowd. I would also need an ogilive perm ASAP.

I showed up for school the next day looking like Jennifer Beals from the movie "Flashdance". I had a fresh ogilive perm. Unfortunately it was so tight that I had trouble blinking my eyes, but I was sporting my "I smile" jeans, a pink off the shoulder top with the guessed it "Flashdance" written in such a way it looked like a third grader with really crappy handwriting did all the graphic design at the off the shoulder top manufacturing plant . I had on my matching leg warmers and pink capezio shoes. I even did a little "Flashdance" routine in the quad.
I put a leg on the wall, bent backwards and poured a bucket of water on my head. The I shook like a dog and did the little move where my feet went up and down a million times a minute. I stopped and looked around. It was deadly silent. Where was the applause? Surely this routine would instantly have me named as most popular in the school yearbook. All I could see were mouth's hanging open and eyes bulging at what was just witnessed. Obviously this was not a good technique for getting in with the "it" crowd. Even the nerds with their slide rulers protruding from their shirt pockets walked by me like I was a leper. "This is going to take a lot more effort" I whispered to myself, as I headed into school soaking wet.

As I sat dripping water onto the carpet in first period math, a girl leaned over to me and said, "you sure are different, everyone is talking about you." Then she turned back to face the front. What did she mean everyone was talking about me? Was this a good thing or bad thing? I didn't have the chance to ask because class had started. The teacher was in the middle of his lesson when he abruptly stopped and stared right at me. He just lifted an eyebrow and went back to teaching

I stressed for the rest of the class. I was starting to let go of my paper bag I used when I was hyperventilating. I didn't whip it out in public too often anymore. Usually I would just go to the bathroom, lock the door, and hyperventilate in there, clutching my well worn bag to my face. I was having a "I need my bag" moment and wondering where the bathroom was in this school. Suddenly the bell rang. All the kids were up and pushing to the door. As I made my way into the mob, people started coming up to me. "Hey new girl, you were hilarious out in the quad today. My name is Brian, what's yours?" And so it went during the rest of the day. I couldn't believe it. People were introducing themselves to me. Me, the former buck toothed wallflower!

Days passed and school became a wonderful place to be. I had a gaggle of friends. The phone would ring at night, and it would almost always be for me. I was invited to go places with the other kids. As I looked from the beginning of school to where I was now, I realized that I was now truly popular.

WOW! I had come a long way baby...


  1. Hi! I'm visiting from MBC. Great blog.

  2. Hi again, Meredith!

    Welcome to the Friends Following Friends Club!