My teen years were awkward in general, as I'm sure yours were too, no?
(Come on. You know they were. We tell the truth here.)
Braces, bad hair styles, tight rolling...it was all so very, very bad. But every once in a great awhile, a day would come along when I felt truly beautiful. And trust me, they were rare. Like, seeing a lime green rabbit frolicking through the snow rare.
One of the high self esteems days that I can remember quite accurately is my 9th grade graduation. I was so excited for it. I'd be moving up to the high school with the big kids soon.
After the ceremony, I would officially be a freshman.
As icing to the graduation cake, I had been selected by the principal to sit up on the stage during the commencement due to my amazing GPA.
(Or maybe it was because they just needed a seat filler who woulnd't cause trouble. I don't remember.)
Obviously, to be asked to sit on the stage during a commencement was a big deal. I'd be in front of all of my classmates, my boyfriend and my parents and relatives. I needed to look amazing.
I picked my dress very carefully. It was a little turquoise number that came down to my knees (mom refused to let me go any shorter) and hugged my body nicely.
The day of the ceremony came and I was pumped. I'll admit, I looked pretty darn good. Plus, I had a very decent boyfriend that would be looking up at me on the stage that night thinking,
"That is the woman I'm going to marry."
I was ready.
So the big night arrives, and I'm feeling confident and important. I take my place up on the stage and sit quietly as the students filter in. I see my boyfriend. I see my best friends. I see cute boys eyeing me that have never noticed me until now.
It must be because I look so grown up on this stage! I have impressed everyone with my turquoise dress!
The principal begins his speech on our class and I try to act interested like a soon-to-be freshman would. But my best friend is distracting me. She's waving her arms and making bizarre hand signals at me and mouthing lots of words.
What the hell? How rude! I'm up here trying to be all professional and cute, and she's trying to make me laugh!
Bitch. She's clearly jealous. I ignore her and look somewhere else. My eyes wander and focus on the cute dude with the shaved head that told me he liked my overalls back in February. (God, that was a good day.) I decide to look at him.
He has a weird smirk on his face. What is that about?
In a knee-jerk reaction, I look back to my best friend. Now she and her entire row are making hand gestures and mouthing words to me.
WHAT IS GOING ON?
I focus on my friend's mouth. What is she saying?
And then I get it.
Oh my God.
I've become so accustomed to hanging out at the lunch table in jeans and a t-shirt that I've completely forgotten how to sit like a lady. I'm definitely sitting with one foot right next to the other. Which is fine...except I'm sitting SIX FEET HIGHER THAN EVERYONE ELSE. The entire audience below is eye level with my crotch.
I find boyfriend in the audience. He doesn't seem to mind.
Trying to remain professional and worthy of my spot on the stage, I lazily cross my legs and look up to the ceiling as if pondering the meaning of the universe. No one is fooled. I can hear awkward snickers and laughs and snorts coming from those that are in on what's just happened.
Looking back, I'm (for the first and last time)thankful to my mother for making me wear panty hose that night. Otherwise the shot of my special parts would have been more "Showgirls" than "Dirty Dancing."
All in all, I think the best part was after the ceremony when boyfriend approached me red faced and smiling and said,
"You looked really good tonight."
Indeed I did, boyfriend. Indeed I did. You're still not getting any. No one sees my Mickey Mouse panties up close but me.