March 11, 2010

Faulty Facade ©

"I'm not perfect" is a discovery that fortunately most of find out early in life. It would be nice though if the information wasn't exhibited quite so often. For most of us, especially when we go through our teens, the fact that we are less than perfect physically, can be rather disheartening. As a teenager, I can remember trying everything to keep the pimples at bay, but fortunately most of my peers were going through similar struggles, so at least I didn't stand out amongst them.

I can remember though, the embarrassment of having unruly, frizzy hair when every girl around me seemed to effortlessly put together a Farrah Fawcett-like flick with the least effort. I tried to pin my back to my head with bobby pins, clips and ties in the vain hope that somehow it would magically transform my mop into gorgeous locks. This was also the period when I tried to transform my turned-up nose into a thinner, more refined one by pushing the end down and squishing it together thinking that if I did it often enough, I could somehow mould it into a more perfect schnoz. I eventually realised that my nose was not made of plasticine.

Possibility one of the most humiliating events of my teenage years was the time I was playing around with my younger sister in our lounge-room. I'd borrowed my brother's suction dart from his toy gun, and stuck it to my forehead. As I tried to pull it off my skin, I discovered that it was stuck fast, and when it finally came off with an audible pop, it left behind a perfectly round bruise, in the centre of my forehead. For a week afterwards, I was teased mercilessly at school by everyone around me. It was so flawlessly round, that no story that I invented, could quite explain it's perfection. That was one of the longest weeks of my young life.

I was reminded of this recently when I managed to burn my forehead with my hair straightener. The resulting mark was precisely straight and rectangular, and in a very noticeable location. Fortunately nowadays, my appearance is not quite as important to me as it once was.

But still there have been moments I could have lived without. I remember attending a job interview and all through our meeting, the interviewer kept on looking at me oddly. It wasn't until I got home that I discovered that in my rush to get there, I'd picked up an earring with another earring accidentally looped through the bottom of it. So there I was with one normal earring in one ear, and two looped and completely odd earrings hanging from my other. It must have looked a little weird - and for some reason, I didn't get the job.

Then there was the time I discovered a very important rule: do not wear knee-hi stockings with a skirt, no matter how long the skirt is. I recall walking around outside, and the wind kept on picking up my long skirt and revealing my less than appealing knee-hi stockings to the world. It's a very unattractive look and should be reserved only for comedy sketches of weird old ladies with cats.

So avoiding the stockings, I was walking around the shopping centre one day, when I got an admiring glance from a man walking past. "Wow," I thought to myself, "I must look exceptionally good today. Blue is one of my best colours." It wasn't until I got outside that I found that my shirt was on inside out.

In my late 20s I discovered (through an unfortunate incident), that I can't say my name clearly when I am missing a front tooth. For an entire week, while the dentist endeavoured to make me a temporary plate, I had to walk around with my broken off front-tooth. I tried very hard to be inconspicuous, and managed to hide in the office at work as much as I could or stayed locked up at home. As chance would have it, it just happened to be the week that my sister invited our entire family out to dinner to meet her fiancé, a meeting that I couldn't refuse. That evening I was subjected to pitiless and unrelenting teasing, but I learned quickly not to respond to their taunts because food would accidentally spit out between the gap in my teeth.

Then there was the time, a few years ago, when I used to ride a motorbike. I stopped off at a shop on the way home from church and as I put my arms up to place the helmet back onto my head, I felt a sudden breeze. Every single button on my shirt, except for the top and bottom ones had all popped open at once. Regrettably, it took me a full minute to realise. There I was, struggling to put on my helmet, glasses and gloves, and when I looked down, I discovered I was exposing my bosoms to the world. Fortunately I had remembered the very important rule that all of our mothers teach us – 'Always be sure you're wearing clean underwear just in case of emergencies' ......... I was! ©

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