When I went home to attend my father’s funeral, I found my junior high yearbook. I recognized faces of girls I haven’t seen for many decades. One by one, they came back to life in my memory. I knew those teenage girls. They looked exactly as I remembered. I turned pages looking for my photo. I couldn’t find it. I felt confused. I was sure I was in the yearbook. I started back from the first page. Page after page, the faces of girls got clearer in my memory. I still couldn’t find my face.
On the third try, I finally found my name under a photo. She was a beautiful teenage girl. I didn’t recognize her because I had been told I was an ugly, unattractive, miserable creature no boy would love and I believed the image the fucked-up mirror reflected.
Did I look ugly to you, Dad? Or did I threaten you? Did I look ugly to you, Mom? Or did you also believe what Dad saw?
Anyway, it’s too late. I lost my chance to live the life of a pretty girl.
Then I became a plain looking highschool girl.
When I remember my highschool years, I am cast as that unpopular girl with long hair hiding half of her face, Violet Parr in The Incredibles, believing that she is invisible. My best friend is that popular girl who dates the football team captain.
I started having drinking problem while I was in highschool.
A couple of years ago, I had an opportunity to attend a highschool reunion. One guy, who was neither the football team captain, nor an academic high achiever, told me that I had been his crush in highschool. I was like, WTF. “You were a beautiful and intelligent girl,” he said, “and I admired you.” Shit, I didn’t know. I knew he liked me, but I did’t believe anybody would like me.
So I lost my chance to live a life of popular girl in highschool.
When we are surrounded with distorted mirrors, we believe the distorted images they reflect. I wonder what it would be like to have a mirror on the wall that always tells me I am the most beautiful girl in the world. I guess that would also fuck me up in a different way.
I still can’t believe 100%, but I think I am freaking gorgeous as an old gal of certain age. It took me almost half a century to feel unugly.
“You are a catch,” a male friend of mine recently informed me. “Really?” I said. “Yes, you really are a catch.” I believed him.