Red pants, bad makeup, and prom dresses, oh my!

Feb 14, 2005Family Uncaged

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

I’m not sure why these embarrassing memories flooded into my life on this particular day, but, hey, at least I have something interesting to talk about.

When I was in the seventh grade, I was a nerd. Totally. I had a permanent (oh the horrors), crooked teeth (now blessedly fixed–thanks mom!), and I wore red pants (with a yellow cotton shirt no less. If I added green, I’d look just like a traffic light!) My gangly body tried out for the cheerleading team (against my will). Louder and chubbier girls made the squad while I roamed the halls in size zero red pants.

My nerd-dom made its way through early high school as braces graced my teeth, my hair limpified itself, and I graduated to the widest legged pants known to mankind–the kind you couldn’t see your feet under.

I moved from the country to a wealthier Seattle suburb my junior year. There, I discovered myself like Sabrina fair–braces off, asymmetrical Duran/Duran hair cut, complete with blonde streak, and pegged Levis, narrow and chic. I thought I had shed my nerdiness like a cat in summer. Still, my class voted me “most intelligent.” How I pined to be “cutest girl” or “personality plus” or Patrick’s “most likely to succeed,” but it was not to be. I was an intelligent nerd.

And yet.

And yet.

After I graduated, I attended university. One summer I worked as a pantry chef in a local restaurant. There, a girl who was tres chic and quite with it, eyed me one day with a look of prideful amusement. “It works on you,” she said.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, lining your eyes all the way around is so passe, but I suppose it suits you.”

Argh!! Back to nerd-dom!

A few years later, now a sophisticated co-ed, I went on a date with the governor’s son. (It’s my only claim to fame…Oddly, Patrick dated our other governor’s daughter! I suppose we were meant to be together!). There was a formal state-of-Washington occasion I was to accompany him to. All I had to wear was my HIGH SCHOOL prom dress, a pink concoction with pointy sleeves and lace. When I got to the ballroom with large tables set up in a U shape, I knew I had not chosen wisely. One of the women there said, “Well, now isn’t that an interesting dress.” I felt like that nerdy seventh grader afresh.

I doubt I’ll ever arrive to be one of the “cool people.” And, thankfully, I don’t really care. My twentieth high school reunion is coming up and I will probably not attend, it being so far away. And I’m OK with that. I’m OK with being a nerd. You know why?

Because the boy voted “most likely to succeed” loves me just the way I am. He says things like, “I want the rest of your life to be your most happiest.” He loves me in the morning when my hair looks like it’s been permed, when my makeup is smeared and my eyes are tired. And no matter what I wear, he says I’m beautiful.

So, in his eyes, I am Sabrina fair, a nerd turned to swan.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Patrick!