Monday, May 01, 2006

I show algebra who's who

April 2, 1987
Dear Sybil,
Nothing interesting happened today, but, I got a 94% on my math test!! I love it! I love it! I love it!
I got my TV tonight!

April 3, 1987
Dear Eleanor,
Today, Buddy Rich died. Now Holly's father is out of a job.
Today the local pervert (BC) tried to feel for my bra strap. Goddamn sex pervert!
It's raining. Mom and Dad got new clothes for Steve's wedding. All today I kept thinking of Sue.
BCis an asshole.
Love,
Me

Yet another example of shit that would not be tolerated in my school. Sure, kids get away with a LOT, but that's another post. However, I know I probably didn't need a bra, and was just wearing a training bra (what an odd idea...training....to wear a bra) so I wouldn't be half naked in the locker room.
Yes, it was that bad, ladies, and whatever gentlemen are reading this. Probably a lot, since I used the words "pervert" and "bra".
In 7th grade, I always wore a t-shirt underneath my top shirt/sweater so that when I changed in the locker room, I wouldn't have to display my flat chest. Keep in mind, I had friends who were born with big hooters. I was a sparrow among ostriches. I had all sorts of tricks-I'd go to the bathroom in the locker room and change there. I'd run to the locker room and change before everyone else arrived. Or, I'd dilly dally and take my time.
When I think about the stress and energy I wasted on worrying about my wee boobies, I could puke. I could have been developing a plan to feed starving kids. Or curing cancer. But, I was 13, and painfully obsessed with how tiny I was. I didn't even break 100 pounds until my family went to Montana when I was 16, and I was forced to eat 3 meals a day. My summer vacation diet of pbj and iced tea was ruined.
I wished and prayed for my hooters to grow. I did pushups. I wore layers to give the appearance of a larger chest. I chose the colors of my clothes carefully. I wore short skirts to draw attention to my stick legs. I carried notebooks close to my chest to hide what wasn't there.
If only someone had said to me what I say to my students who express this same worry to me: "There are tons of men out there who like women who are smaller up top. There are men who like a little more up there. There are men who like short women. Tall women. Plump women. Stick women. If you like a guy who doesn't like you because of your chest, forget him. Many people will find you attractive because of how you're shaped. Stop fucking worrying about it and do your homework!"
Well, I don't cuss, but the kids get the point. The other day, one asked me (in front of the whole damn class! Sheesh!) "Mrs. R? Has a boy ever not liked you because you weren't big enough?"
"Honey," I said, "the only thing about me that has ever been big is my mouth and my brain."

See, I'm not fooling! This very unflattering picture of my fishbelly white self is proof. Please be kind in your comments.

1 comment:

matthew said...

Hey, I took that picture. Umm, I like what you got, sweetie, but you know that. I always feel for your bra strap, am I a pervert too?