“Everyone has something to say about how I dress at Youth Group!” the girl complains, sitting in the passenger seat of her mom’s minivan. Her brown curly hair is tied wildly into a bun, and her brown eyes sparkle with slight amusement.
“Like what? Do they not like it?” her mom, the driver, asks. The girl defensively straightens her black lace dress that juts off at the waist line. “Or do they think it’s weird?” the mom asks, and the girl now looks to her Oxford shoes.
“Well,” the girl looks out the window, and a million moments flash like a montage in her mind.
This one kid, who she is okay friends with and likes a lot, is waiting at the door as she walks into the building. She’s wearing a bright red coat with tiny buttons of bugs sewn on the collar.
“You are always dressed so fancy,” the boy says. He himself is wearing some well-fitting under armor.
“Um… okay?” the girl shrugs. There’s a pause.
“That was supposed to be a compliment!” the youth pastor yells.
“Okay, thanks, then,” the girl says, now flustered.
Or there was that time yesterday when the teacher’s son bet his mom. He thought the girl would wear a dress to paintball (she hadn’t). Or when people grab and comment at the little pins on her collar, which she has to explain again and again.
“This one's a sparkly cat from my aunt’s antique shop. So is the bug. Oh, that little old thing? From the Ben & Jerry’s factory. Get the joke on this one? Oh yeah, my best friend got me that one. And that one is from Vermont,” the girl would explain to every person, or so you get the idea.
The ‘pretty’ girl in youth group compliments the girl’s pink leather jacket. She blushes and mutters ‘thank you’. They are friends, believe it or not.
The Sunday school teacher stutters at the pink leather jacket. “You look like someone from grease.”
“In a good way,” the teacher corrects
Everything is noticed. The fact that the girl always carries a purse, most recently the one given by her friend. The fact that she used to always bring a notebook. The fact that when paintballing she wore sweatpants.
In the bus, the girl laughed. “You guys have an opinion on everything!”
Immediately the bus bursts with calls of “you wear so many dresses”, “I like your sense of style”, and “you’re the one who wears dresses.”
Back in the car with her mom, the girl shrugs. “Yes, I think both.”