cross dressing…not that kind…

I always wanted to be THAT girl in middle and high school.  The one that walked into to school on the first day with an entourage…the one everyone wanted to be around…she could do no wrong and her makeup was always perfect…the one all the guys wanted to date.

THAT was supposed to be ME.

I tried so hard to figure out HOW to BE her.  I would read every teen magazine I could get my hands on, hoping to find the secret to becoming she-who-walked-on-air somewhere amongst the eye shadow and skirts and boy advice.  How else did you know what to do to earn instant popularity?  It doesn’t just HAPPEN.  Everyone knows that. DUH!

I never did find it…and I was never a trend setter.  Let’s just put it that way.

Actually, I now realize I had it all backwards.  Had I been my geeky, goofy self I would have probably gotten more popularity points.  However, I was too terrified to be anything other than what was the current fad.  I wouldn’t wear anything out of style or dye my hair green or wear crazy socks (unless, of course, they were cool).  I stayed away from anything that had the potential to make someone say “ewww….she’s weird/gross/strange.”  I may not have had much of a “rep” but I surely wasn’t going to tarnish the small one I built.

Because my fear of being un-cool was so immense, I would not step one foot out of my house without makeup or wear pajamas to the grocery store or put my hair in a ponytail unless it was SUPPOSED to look like it was in a ponytail.

My biggest must-never-happen-so-help-me-god-I-would-rather-die-alone?  I refused to wear Nike and Adidas at the same time. Or Levi’s jeans with an l.e.i top. Or Abercrombie and Old Navy together.  In my teenage brain, THAT was CROSS DRESSING.  It was the eighth deadly sin.  One that, if caught, your prospect to be cool went right down the toilet.  I would have been MORTIFIED if someone saw I had TWO DIFFERENT BRANDS PLASTERED ON MY ASS.  I would have rather let out a big, stinky fart in the middle of class than wear Calvin Klein and LL Bean at the same time.  I was certain that once someone realized my fashion faux pas, my picture would end up on posters all over the school with a mustache or horns or one big, bugged-out eye scribbled on my face with a sharpie.  The words above my head would simply state “CROSS DRESSER!”

I didn’t discuss my fear with anyone.  It was uncouth.  It was worse than realizing you’ve worn the same shirt twice in one week.  My only exception was shoes…because I could only wear so much Nike and I never saw a Nine West or a Keds outfit and to keep my self sane I rationalized that no one could see the brand name on my feet, anyway.

At some point, I don’t remember when… but boy do I remember the relief I felt when someone rescued me from my fashion prison and handed me a definition of “cross dressing.”

I could finally mix and match brands. Oh the FREEDOM!

And  I thought I was un-cool before… I think I hear a toilet flushing…


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