"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom" Albert Einstein

"A dame who knows the ropes isn't likely to get tied up." Mae West

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Judgement Day

It is beauty pageant season and I have a relative participating in one. At 18, she is confident, smart, competitive, and beautiful, and it doesn't seem to bother her that people will be judging her. In fact, she volunteered to be in that position.

As a teen, I was always worried about people judging me - my appearance, my grades, my behavior, everything. I was absolutely certain I could never meet the standards that everyone expected.

When I walked into a room, I knew that people were whispering to each other about my overbite and that gap between my front teeth and my thunder thighs rubbing together with my every move as I headed to the wall or corner to hide.
At music and speech contest, no matter how perfect my performance was at home, once in front of the judges, my legs, fingers, and chin would shake uncontrollably. It was mere luck that I won any awards and I was certain it was only because of sympathy for the girl with the chattering buck-teeth.

I hated competition of any kind, but parental and teacher mandates forced me into those situations. Once, at the insistence of friends (?), I ran for class president. The class wasn't interested in a leader with rubber legs and facial ticks who didn't know a beer when she saw it, so the jokster, party-boy won. That did nothing to boost my self-esteem.

There were times friends and classmates chipped off little pieces of my confidence, the least of which was being the last picked for a team in gym class. My best friend, who was an a bad-ass, cigarette smoking, fall-asleep-in-class, teen of the world extrovert, would dump me on any given night in favor of someone of the male gender with liquor and a fast car. I had to be home at 10 pm anyway. Another classmate would taunt me with the word "Yna?" which puzzled me until I found out that it was any spelled backwards (as in "getting any?") which started when someone mentioned I didn't know what a french kiss was.
I don't think my relative had to experience any of that teen angst or she wouldn't be so confident enough to parade in a swimsuit in front of judges next month. And also fortunately for her, she probably won't grow up into a sociophobic, self-denigrating introvert like her aunt.


Anonymous said...

you spelled judgment wrong. there is no 'e'.

Catch Her in the Wry said...

Anon: Yes, and I also typed two articles before a noun. But I never spell-check or proofread and I write my posts in 10 minutes or less, so please don't judge me. My self-confidence is already diminished.

Crockhead said...

Who is Aunt Sociopathic Self-Denigrating Introvert? She sounds like an interesting person. I love sociopathic self-denigrating introverts. Well, I don't know about the sociopathic part but self-denigrating introverts are my best friends. The bad-ass cigarette-smoking, fall-asleep-in-class sociopaths don't give me the time of day.

Catch Her in the Wry said...

Crock: Now I really feel bad. I said sociophobic not sociopathic. There's a very, very big difference. The sociopathic aunt must be on the other side of the family.

Crockhead said...

Oh. All those big words are confusing to me.