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Fitting In This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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I wouldn't ask for a dressing room. My mom always asked for me.
The evening before I had repeatedly risen from my seat and piled on excess noodles suffocated in meat sauce. Then I licked my bowl with the buttered garlic bread, leaving no evidence of the four servings I had inhaled. In the morning I would be forced to lie on my bed and suck in my stomach just to button my jeans. I dreaded school shopping. The sale rack, with its slender size markers, knew my number continued to bloat.

I learned how to eat from my dad: fast and without thinking. In our house, the dinner table involved battle, with the children on defense. One false move and our dinner would be snatched off our plates without warning and gobbled up by our father faster than we could blink. We soon learned to keep a hand up while devouring our chicken strips, and if Mom decided to cook that night we needed to hurry and get seconds before it was gone.

Only one pair of jeans I tried on fit. I lied and told my mother I could button every pair but only needed the jeans that lay guarded in my hands. We walked to the checkout.

I kept my head down as we passed a group of girls. They whispered. I glanced up only long enough to know my place. Their eyes cut at me, hands cupped over their mouths in secrecy.

***

The recess bell rang and I followed two girls in my third grade class out past the monkey bars to the fenced grassy area. We all wore the same clothes that year: khaki pants and polo shirts. Everyone was the same, or that was the idea.

“I like your pants. Where did you get them?” Marcy asked Alicia. I nodded in agreement, thankful they had removed their cupped hands and I could hear the conversation.

“Really? I like yours better,” Alicia replied.

“We should trade. What size are you?” Marcy asked.

“I don't know …” Alicia said, finding the tag in the back of her pants. “Seven.”

“Me too,” Marcy said.

***

I hid in line as I held the jeans, tag folded in so nobody could see the number inscribed on it was 12. I am not a size seven.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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BaBii_GhErL said...
Feb. 22, 2010 at 4:20 pm
wow...so well written its short but its well written it has alot of meaning..it tells a whole story in little words...all i can say it WOW GREAT JOB KEEPS IT UP!!
 
Shelby A. said...
Feb. 11, 2010 at 12:38 pm
This is totally relateable i feel that way no . friends always want to share clothes and i no that there clothes wont fit. I experianced alot of things it seems you've gone through. So simple and well written!
 
AlphaGirlSize6 said...
Feb. 9, 2010 at 3:42 pm
Wow. that was amazing & moving & just...wow
 
zoeyy said...
Feb. 9, 2010 at 2:52 pm
i can really feel the pain in the words WOW
 
Chuckney said...
Feb. 9, 2010 at 1:19 pm
The fact that this is tagged in the Nonfiction section gives it such sad poignance, because for so many girls this is not fiction at all. It's real and distressing. You bring that out fantastically: the carefully chosen words hit home.
 
Laughternchoclate said...
Feb. 7, 2010 at 9:03 am
Okay, I used to b friends w a girl hoo was like that, n after a while it just braut me down
 
beatles<3 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Feb. 4, 2010 at 8:59 pm
omg, this is so me. when i was in elementary school i used to just break down crying in the dressing room because i was so big, and sometimes it still happens now, and its just blahhh....
But this was really well written and good (:
 
Mr. Anderson said...
Feb. 1, 2010 at 11:59 am
wow great story wonderful description
 
13kayrose said...
Jan. 29, 2010 at 12:36 pm
loved the story
 
LeslieAnn said...
Jan. 18, 2010 at 8:11 pm
realistic and completely to the point. I can most definalty relate
 
dancingintherain said...
Jan. 18, 2010 at 1:20 pm
wow I really liked how your story was simple and so realistic. It was well written and you should continue writing :)
 
awesomeaugust This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jan. 10, 2010 at 7:29 pm
wowzer. Ummm... what else do I say? I loved how simple it was and how real and honest. I also liked how you left it there, kind of open-ended. Please keep writing.
 
booklover said...
Jan. 4, 2010 at 12:09 pm
iloved this because i honestly thought that she was way older not just in third grade like at least in fifth. and i can relate because im really body concious espiecially when i pick out clothes..keep wirting please!
 
karla said...
Dec. 29, 2009 at 12:30 am
i can todally relate to this when i was younger i was fat and now i lost about 20 ponds since then bt i still feel fat beautiful poem and i love the format u put it in
 
Alcinous~the~XIIth said...
Dec. 27, 2009 at 7:09 pm
Oh dear...this is simply amazing. So thought-provoking, yet so subtle. please continue to write
 
Dandelion said...
Dec. 27, 2009 at 1:06 pm
Excellent!
 
Breingan122 said...
Dec. 21, 2009 at 12:12 pm
this was good.
 
zoeyy replied...
Feb. 9, 2010 at 2:54 pm
this was a good peice but it really WOWED me so it's more then good it's awsome
 
iloverondo_09 said...
Dec. 21, 2009 at 10:07 am
wow.... this is great, and it's.... real. Lol i thought you were going to end it saying how the girl lost weight and now she fits in or something like that but this was really good.
 
karla replied...
Dec. 29, 2009 at 12:32 am
lol nice hahaha and she prob did lose that weight
 
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