Embarrassed to Be Me

When I first meet someone, I make an attempt to pass for normal. But, when I'm introduced by a friend, I realize it's already too late when I hear the inevitable, "So you're the one who ________ " (fill in the blank with something unusually thrifty, or some curiosity I've sold online). I feel relieved if it's only mildly embarrassing. 

Last week I volunteered at New2You, the thrift store that supports my son's school. Introducing myself to Kris, a fellow volunteer, she began, "I remember hearing about you"--Oh, no, I thought, wondering what strange tidbit she'd present--"from someone, but I don't know who, and I don't remember what." Could it be from the other Laura, about the distressed feminist T-shirt I rescued from the thrift store trash bin last time I volunteered, or could it be from Pam, about the lip balm tin, or..., The possibilities raced through my mind, but I successfully kept my mouth shut, reveling in a rare moment of being almost memorable, but not quite.

Perhaps it's because I was a misfit as a child, never quite so strange to be taunted openly, but unusual enough that the other kids would sacrifice their social standing by getting too chummy with me. My only truly loyal friend through middle school was a boy who sucked the spit from his braces at regular intervals. We'd play chess during lunch break. I think of him occasionally, considering if he ever outgrew his gawkiness. Part of me hopes not; the awkwardness was part of his charm.

I'd never want to relive middle school; I'm not sure anyone would. Perhaps if I had attempted to act more normal, I would've been accepted by my peers. But then I think of some of the most fun I've ever had. It was when I was being myself, with my friends.

And the most fun I've ever had volunteering at the thrift store? Definitely the time I rescued the T-shirt. Whenever I see Lora, she asks me if I've sold it. I trust I will, eventually, and I can't wait to forward the "Etsy Order Confirmation" email to her. We'll both be laughing. I'll probably even give a snort or two, even if it is embarrassing.

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1 comment:

  1. Never be embarrassed to be you - you are a sparkling gem of uniqueness. I too always wonder what someone will say like - "oooooh you talk to Mary", or "ooooh you rescue all those Chihuahua's", or even "oh you're an artist" - (that's why she's so weird). I am quite proud of my weirdness - it makes me - me. Too bad you don't have a t-shirt that says that!!


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