And *this* is the reason I was always on the outside looking in.

When I was younger, my mom was a sewer. No, that's not looking right. Not the thing that your toilet flushes into. I mean the person who makes things for her 9-year-old daughter to take to daycamp/school. Not to take to overnighters. Or parties. Because I was never invited to those.

And I blame my mother.

Exhibit #1. The stupid swimbag:
It was hot that summer. Fortunately for me, terrycloth is very absorbent.

My mom took two bath towels and sewed them together, threaded some braided rope through it and Bingo! I was ready to be mocked by my peers. Just so you know, I had no say in what the towels looked like, so she picked these:
Yeah, fringe was really big in the '70's. Shut up.

Then? Just in case there were some of my peers who were still willing to accept me and my homemade swimbag (and there weren't, just so you know), my mother sent me to camp with a lunchbucket*. My grandpa apparently gave it to her for me to use, and I believe it was originally meant to hold lunch for a large man who worked a long, hard day. I was 9, so I spent my days rolling down hills and making placemats out of wax paper, leaves and crayon shavings.

So while all the other girls had lunchboxes like this:
That's right Paul, I see you looking at me.

Or this:
I was *totally* convinced I had her superpowers and I insisted my friends call me Jaime Sommers

Or this, even:

There are no words. I mean it. 

I was toting this around:

My *lunchbucket*

That's right. I was a farmer. Mom, I love you and I know you love me and I know money was tight but...really? You really didn't think I would be mocked? I traded the homemade fudge you gave me for grapes and beansprouts, just so the other girls would accept me. It didn't work.

Then? I turned 14 and went to high school. Our gym uniforms looked something like this:

We looked like teenage convicts in our one-piece polyester zippered gymsuits. On the first day of school, the gym teacher handed out our suits and a sheet of white iron-on letters. Our first name had to go on the right leg and our last name had to go on our left leg. I think. I don't know, I've been drinking. Whatever.

Anywhoo, I brought my gymsuit and the iron-on letters home that night and gave my mom the teacher's instructions. She took one look at the letters and said, Oh, I think we can do much better than that.

So instead of this:

I got this:


That's right. My mom embroidered my name, in cursive, in different colors, on the legs of my high school gymsuit. And she dotted the the i with a flower.

True story.

She was so proud of her handiwork, I didn't have the heart to tell her I would be mocked for the next 4 years.

I won't make you re-live my Freshman and Sophomore years in high school with me (because we only needed new gymsuits every two years). Suffice it to say that high school did NOT live up to my expectations.

And don't even get me started on the sweatshirt she embroidered with a hotdog, along with bottles of ketchup and mustard.

I sh*t you not.

*Author's Note: Today my mother informed me that I actually asked to use my grandpa's lunchbucket. So it appears that I had a hand in my own humiliation.

Well played, younger self. Well played indeed.

1 comment: