Monday, December 27, 2010

Memories of an Awkward Youth Part 2

I had several things going against me growing up. One of them was the fact that my mother was blessed with 3 daughters, and my aunt, the hairdresser, had 3 sons. My mother had NO idea how to do little girls hair. This is one of the reasons that I prayed for sons. I couldn’t imagine putting a child through the emotional scarring that I endured, just in case I too, couldn’t figure out how a barrette worked when applying it to someone else’s head.
In order to solve this dilemma, my mom made us get our hair cut really short. Really short. Like butch-short. I was still in second grade at my new school, and my teacher who never really bonded with me after the Valentine fiasco, was out sick and we had a substitute. 
Now at this point in my education, I was still a good student. I excelled in English, and my teachers had always adored me. Our substitute was giving a spelling lesson, and one of the words was “orchestra”. I was so excited because I knew it, raising my hand, bursting with excitement to be the first one in the class to figure it out when the teacher called on me, saying “ you a boy or a girl?”
Now, over the years I have tried to figure out what could have possibly made the teacher think that this was a politically correct way to address a child. Did this lady not realize that kids get made fun of at this age? Did she think I was used to being mistaken for both genders? I have no idea, but I can tell you I am 31 now and this happened when I was about 7, so it kind of fucked with me and still does.
I was so shocked and horrified, I could barely eek out the word “girl”. And this was about the time I stopped raising my hand to participate in class. The substitute would become my teacher later in elementary school, and if you think I didn’t remember this bitch the whole way up until that point, you are WRONG. Needless to say, I did not have a productive school career in 5th grade.

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  1. As the saying goes Keri, you can't fix stupid referring to that substitute. Sorry that followed you & caused you grief.

  2. Oh Keri,

    Do I have some similar stories. Torture! Our local butcher always called me son or boy and I have never gotten over it. And your blog just made me realize why my mother chopped all my long, blond hair just after first grade. Now I have someone to blame for looking like Ricky Schroeder! Thank you!

    BTW - I have been swamped with Christmas and some serious illnesses in our house so the blogging has gone by the wayside as has updating buttons, guest blog writing and reading. My holiday apologies! Hope you had a great Christmas!