A Big Deal Times Two

The biggest event in my life up until that point happened in the summer of 1985. Well, two things that added up to one.

As someone with chronically low self esteem, my weight and my looks were areas of major concern for me. I was short and my body type tended toward the chubby side. My brother didn’t call me “bubble butt” for nothing. Now that I was starting to finally gain some inches, I felt a little better in the weight department. But that was not at all helped by my braces. “Brace face” wasn’t even close to the worst my brother would throw at me.

Now I know that most kids my age were sporting metal in their mouths, and I know that my mother assured me how grateful I would be when the process was over. But the braces coupled with my coke bottle glasses were just a stereotype in Geek 101. I hated my glasses. I tried not to wear them as much as I could. But unfortunately, I’d been sporting them since my second birthday for a reason; my eyes were flat out horrible. Off the charts. My muscle problems would lead to headaches when I tried to go without for very long.

But in the summer of 1985, I got rid of the braces and got my first set of contact lenses. I cut my hair shorter and covered it in Sun In that summer. And suddenly instead of the mousy brown librarian girl that had left my high school in June, I was a blond girl with a hip haircut and a more than passable smile. I couldn’t believe it. Suddenly when I looked in the mirror I didn’t hate everything I saw. I actually kind of liked my appearance for the first time in my life.

Tenth grade was going to be different. I could feel it. This might just be the year that everything changed.


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