In the Beginning…there were Geeks. I guess Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg are doing okay in life.
Girl to Mom might be on a live streaming video show on www.Geekweek.com tomorrow at 4pm PST (Geekweek Live)…or not.
Don’t watch, it’ll make me too nervous. Or do watch but don’t tell me until after. I apologize in advance for snorting or humiliating myself and shaming my family in a public forum.
I confess I am a Geek Mama, but I was a geek wayyyyy before I became a Mom. And my kid is already much cooler than me.
Girl to Mom: Not Cooler Than a Three Year Old.
Here are five of the highly humiliating-at-the-time reasons I was a geek, misfit child. I hope my own little boy never goes through these painful developments, but if he does, I’m here to help him know that this too shall pass.
I’m not even highlighting the frizzy hair here because I’ve written about that trauma before, but trust me, it took years to ease into acceptance that I will never have naturally straight hair.
Here’s to the curly haired girls (and boys) and the hair products that kept us from jumping. Now on to the really freaky stuff…(deep breath):
1.) Pectus Excavatum. A medical term that essentially means an inner chest. It has nothing to do with pirate’s treasure and everything to do with feeling deformed before I got some meat on my bones.
Meat is for man. Bone is for dog.
My chest dented in as a child, in a very obvious way, and I was so painfully skinny that it was all the more mortifying. My t-shirts and blouses would cling to the cave-like indention in the dry Kansas breeze, revealing what I tried so desperately to hide from the rest of the elementary school kids.
The normal kids.
Really severe Pectus can interfere with breathing, mine didn’t cause that. There is a plastic surgery for it but I’m sure it’s pretty gruesome and involves cracking the bones of your chest open—
And my Mom wasn’t about to take our food stamps from small town Hays, Kansas and try to bribe a top notch surgeon in Beverly Hills to fix her weird middle child’s freaky body.
So! I went with three cotton balls in each side of my loose training bra (Double, triple A) and said a little prayer that the male doctor looking in my ears for an ear infection at age 9 wouldn’t look into my bra.
What. A. Geek.
The doctor DID look in my bra (!) and I fervently prayed he wouldn’t reveal my trois cotton ball secret to my Mother.
He kept my secret and I am grateful to him ‘til this very day.
I told my Mother the truth in the car on the way home. The upside is that as I’ve gotten older, there is more flesh on the bod and now the pectus is invisible. If anything, it makes me look like I have more cleavage at times.
Score! But man, did I earn it.
2.) I was emaciated as a child. Not cute skinny and not dancer-like or coltish or just thin. I was scary skinny as a child. People said the words: She looks like an Ethiopian. That was not P.C. at all. In hindsight, how rude! Ethiopian people are beautiful. I didn’t say it, but people said it to me daily, back then.
As an adult, I no longer have this problem, but I would eat whole sticks of butter plain and pray on my knees to God that I’d gain some weight and look normal.
Kids just want to feel normal, they really do. My nickname at school was Bones.
I started putting on weight in my teens but I am still damaged by the self-image fallout of those years.
Now if I could just lose five pounds…See, it never ends, the weight thing, for women. It’s a sickness.
3.) The bump in my nose. I don’t really mind it now, I even like it after years of therapy, but as a kid with no fat under my skin, my nose bones looked even bigger and sort of overtook my whole face.
My sister Laura used to say I looked exactly like Rex Smith, who was an actor in the musical The Pirates of Penzance, and I’m pretty sure he guest starred on The Love Boat.
No offense to Rex Smith, but he was a man. No ten year old girl wants to be constantly told she looks like a man, even if he was playing a singing pirate.
Maybe this explains my fascination with The Pirate Patch? Hmmmm…
4.) My huge boat feet and overlong toes.
Now it’s getting sexy- snort!
Sigh…I have size 10 feet (yes, in women’s sizes, not men’s thankyouverymuch).
My second toe is longer than my big toe. Not that any guys are reading this blog who are into dainty, pretty feet or anything— but if so, my feet are not the feet of your dreams, kind Sir. No foot binding here, not really into shrimping! (Oops—Did I say that out loud?)
My feet were way more embarrassing when I was that bony kid with the big nose and frizzy hair and sunken chest. Now I just accept them and try to buy into the notion that a second longer toe is a sign of intelligence.
Or at least it was before I took all of those drugs back in the 60’s. No, I was not actually alive in the 60’s.
But it still really frickin’ hurts to wear pointy toed shoes. I like sandals and boots. Moving on…
5.) I had Vampire teeth, when vampires were not cool.
I had severely, severely crooked teeth before braces. One of my two front teeth came in completely sideways. My incisors came in above all of the other teeth, high up in my gums like fangs.
I had to wear not only braces but a cruel medieval device called a jaw expander. Where were the Cullens when I needed them?
Yikes, maybe I shoulda just put up more pictures of my kid in a pumpkin patch today. Oh well…
Every major religion and philosophy in the world essentially says that we are all beings of light and love inside this human shell.
Maybe there is treasure inside my sunken chest, after all.
P.S. Please see post below and give me a vote, if you’ve got a sec : )