I Put My Shorts On Backwards

May 19, 2010
Force myself to wake up, limp into the bathroom shivering, straighten my hair, go to school, go to water polo, the end. This seems to be my average day: boring. The whole day I crave for something interesting to happen; a fire drill, an unexpected fortune, a sudden romance, or something. After I realize that none of these things are ever going to happen, I know I have to take matters into my own hands. So, I put my shorts on backwards, or I jump until I have a headache, or I run around my own kitchen, or I scream at a random person. Something has to happen in my day to make it interesting.

This type of “self-healing” has been going on since I was just a little girl in elementary school. I had always wanted to be popular when I was younger. Instead, I was the chubby tom boy wearing a purple sparkly boa as the next fashion statement. I wanted to make friendship bracelets and paint my nails, or wear matching clothes with my best friend (had I had a best friend), but nothing ever came. I even took drastic measures like begging my mother to let me join Girl Scouts, later getting kicked out for not doing the
activities for the badges I owned. I was that really tall girl, whose clothes were just a little bit too small, who liked baseball and Pokémon. I had no one to sit on the swings with, no one to chase around the play ground, or to jump on trampolines with. I was that weird girl who played the “states game” by herself, while all of the delicate blonde girls with trendy moms, would sit and play rhyming games with their hands. My grandpa told me I ‘dressed for success’. Without dressing the way I wanted to dress, I don’t think I would have ever survived elementary school.
Sometimes when I am walking to my next class during the day, and I see one of my friends and wave, they don’t notice me until I shout their name and stand directly in front of them. They are so focused on their next task (going to class), that everything else outside of that goal is only white noise. I wonder, ‘what if my hair was on fire, or I was in a full body cast, would they even notice?’ But I digress…
My teachers always regretted me participating in show-and-tell; not outwardly or anything, but I could tell they wanted me to be sick on those Friday mornings…I was the only six year-old who owned a snake! I’m not even a boy and I owned a snake! Who brings a live snake to show-and-tell?
Everybody has always thought I was…..different—but this gave them a real excuse to say so. “Who is that girl walking backwards?” All I have to say to them is that if they tried it, they would love it too.
The truth is that everyone is bored with their own lives. This is why whenever anyone returns from that long day at school, and his or her mom asks, “How was your day today?” The kid has no response. However, when my mom asks me this question, I have a mouthful to tell.

Whenever I would wear a cape around with bright pink pajama pants, I would ask my mom, “Mommy, why is everyone looking at me and treating me different?”

She would reply, “Well….you’re just special and people are jealous.”

Now I love my mom, but honestly special?! Everybody could dress the way I do, I just wanted to be Claire Gallas rather than “that one girl.” Doesn’t everybody want to be a star?
Elementary school was what my grandpa called a “small pond,” and as I got older, my fashion grew with it, and the pond got bigger, and my life got more boring. As the years went by, people got over themselves, and in middle school I had friends that have lasted me all the way through high school. People wanted
to be around me! I didn’t need to be an attention seeker when people started seeking my attention. I guess this is why after about the sixth grade my clothes started to match; I started to become popular. Then one morning, I looked at my baggy eyes and my straggly hair and decided to rekindle my wildfire attitude. It is a realization that every body should see. Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, “Is this as good at it can get?”
I wish everyone could experience the feelings I get when I do something past the social norm and invigorate my day with the feelings of getting noticed. You won’t lose your friends, people aren’t going to hate you, and you won’t die. It’s just something to keep your soul and dreams alive. Sometimes being ‘that really tall girl, or that really weird girl, or that cubby tom boy,’ isn’t that worst thing to be after all. Be who you really are, and show your true colors (which in my case is wearing a sparkly purple boa). Get that spontaneous, old self back, and enjoy your life: put your shorts on backwards.

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