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It’s the morning of the school’s Christmas party. All week, my mom has anxiously had an embarrassing outfit laying out for me to wear today. I have been dreading to put it on, but I know I have to. It is a sweatshirt with three glittering pinecones sticking to the front with thousands of thick, obnoxious ribbons swirling off in every direction. To top it off, I have to wear a matching hair scrunchie with a big reindeer that pokes out the top of my ponytail. If I was hung up with the sparkling ornaments that crowded our Christmas tree, I would blend right in.
My mom walks into my room, her hands clasp together, and a huge smile spreads across her face.
“Look how cute you are!”
The camera blindingly flashes for what seemed like eternity until I finally escape to the bus stop. I take a deep breath, ignorantly thinking that I finally got away from the overwhelming Christmas cheer, until I get onto a bus full of festively dressed kids who obviously had a morning very similar to mine. They look just as ridiculous as I do.
Spring: Third Grade
It is a morning of freedom. I jump out of bed, skip to the closet, and do what I never thought I’d be able to do: pick out my own outfit. I throw on my favorite velvet purple overalls, slip on my brother’s skater shoes, and line up a box worth of colorful hair ties around my wrist.
I look in the mirror. Something is missing, and I know exactly what it is. The other day I was watching my idol Lindsay Lohan in the movie, “The Parent Trap,” and have been admiring her bangs ever since. She had a tiny streak of hair on the side of her face that brushed right below her cheekbone; I want it. Nervous and excited, I grab the scissors and snip away at my knotted locks. It didn’t turn out perfectly, but I am undeniably satisfied with the results.
As I am walking downstairs, my eyes widen. Clasped to the stair railing is the largest hair clip I have ever seen. I eagerly snatch it off, run to the mirror, and fidget around with it until it finds a stable place in the tangles of my chaotic, untamed hair.
I prance into the kitchen to show my mom the “new” me with a proud smile stuck to my face. Stunned, her buttered toast drops the floor. She hastily picks it up and attempts to reassess herself by faking a reassuring smile.
“Honey?” She pauses. “Did you get ready by yourself today?”
Still smiling, I nod, and gleefully frolic out the door to the bus stop.
Summer: Seventh Grade
It is the first day in creating my new, chic image to fit in with the popular girls at school, and I need to get shopping. My friend, Chelsea, and her mom pull up in their convertible. I wish my mom was rich enough to have a convertible. As we ride to the mall, Chelsea’s mom hands her a bulk of twenties and she indifferently sticks them in her new designer purse. I look down at my Ziploc baggie of the thirty three dollars and a couple quarters I had saved over the summer. I regretfully think I didn’t bring enough money.
As we determinedly walk into the mall, our first stop is the trendy Abercrombie. Five stores down, I could already hear the deafening techno music blasting from the store. The second we step inside the sacred doors, a rush of nauseating fragrance fills my nostrils. I mistakenly let out a cough, but quickly cover it up by saying, “I love the smell of Abercrombie”. Chelsea, along with every other girl in the school, filled all the classrooms with Abercrombie’s distinct stench.
To be honest, I hate everything about Abercrombie and preppy clothes in general. The smell, the collared shirts, and picture perfect look they portray. However, I have to like it whether I want to or not. It is what everyone in the whole middle school wears.
I look through the store front to back and still fail to find anything I like. Pretending to like it, I grab a pink shirt that looks like one Chelsea owns and gather up my hard-earned cash to pay for it. I would never tell Chelsea, but I couldn’t wait to wear it to school just so all the popular girls could see me.
Fall: Tenth Grade
After the alarm goes off for the third time that morning, I finally get out of bed. I rummage through my closet to find something to wear. I just recently color-coded my closet in rainbow order, from red to black, skipping pink because I hate pink and any shirts of that color. I settle on a blue flannel top with some black jeans and converse shoes.
Since I just woke up, my long, wavy hair is naturally tangled and frenzied, but I’ve learned that just a couple sprays of water straightens everything out in seconds. I open my make-up drawer. Shoot! A bottle of green eye shadow must have spilled, and was dusted over all my eyeliners and bronzers. I can’t help but laugh a little. Sometimes I can’t believe that I used to actually wear green eye shadow that unflatteringly covered my pasty lids back in middle school. It is a relief to simply brush on some natural-looking make-up, or sometimes none at all, every morning and have it only take a matter of minutes.
As I walk into school, my friend lightly chuckles and points to my outfit.
“Linds, you look so punk rock today.”
I shrug my shoulders and lightly smile. I honestly don’t care what anyone thinks of me. I happen to love the outfit that I’m wearing today.