How did I get here? The Long and Short of it

Monday, February 27, 2012

I was born in the mid 50's. A great time to be born but on the fringes of social enlightenment and growth. My family was not large: three children and the requisite Mom and Dad. Our lives growing up were great. And there were momentous technological changes for one color TV. We were one of the last families on the block to get one. Everyone back then thought if your dad worked for General Motors you were rich. Maybe so for some but when one's father has an eighth grade education, not so good.

I was the eldest child. It wasn't always easy. I was the guinea pig when it came to lessons and discipline.

I had a hard beginning. I was just five pounds when born but quickly lost weight and was designated a "preemie". I had to stay at the hospital while mom got to go home. Maybe that was the deciding factor; feeling abandoned at birth. Who knows?

Later I was able to go home but I was colicy and couldn't keep much down. I was switched from breast milk to a variety of formulas but the colic still visited daily for hours on end. As a last resort the doctors tried a soy based formula. Voila! life clicked and I started to thrive. Life became easier for mom. Later all the pictures of me on the wall as a very chubby big cheeked infant with a wide toothless grin.

As the years passed I continued to gain weight. The pictures on the wall became not so cute. I was a very solid chunky second grade student with a big gap toothed grin in a horrid blue green plaid jumper and white blouse, hair twisting hither and yon from a botched home perm and tortisesheel rimmed "cat's eye" slanted glasses perched on my nose and crossed eyes. Yuk!

Eventually I was the recipient of one the first ever tried eye surgeries to correct my crossed eyes. By the time I had the surgery I was nearly legally blind. Then I was admonished to never take off my glasses else my crossed eyes would return.

As I continued through grade school my weight climbed. Nobody wanted me on their team. Every year we had field day and I hated it. I couldn't run, I couldn't do the short jump let alone the long jump. They announced our weight when we were weighed and I was always the heaviest girl in my class. I was bullied terribly in school and my mother never believed it. She always sternly told me I had to stand up for myself and not let others treat me that way.

By the time 6th grade rolled around I had breasts but only because of my weight. There was a girl in my class that was slim and trim and was impressively endowed. The boys flocked around her all the time. Me, I was studious and got good grades and heard the oft lamented "If I would only lose weight I would be so pretty". At home mother noticed that I was noticing the boys and would use the "Boys want pretty and slim wives. You'll never get a boyfriend if you don't lose weight". She would then plop me on another weight loss plan. I would see the rest of my family eat meatloaf and mashed potatoes with chocolate pudding for desert while I got a poached in lemon salmon steak meticulously weighed and measured with 2 stalks of asparagus and boiled spinach. Gag!

MIddle school rolled around as I swished through the hallways in new thigh high stockings and garter belt that bit my middle in two. My thighs rubbed together and I would often be bleeding from severe chafe. I was noticed by the boys as I became one of the most picked on people in school. The popular girls found me too and set me up meeting the popular boys. They would promise to get them to meet me if I would do their homework or write an essay for them. It was humiliating but I would do it so I could say a boy talked to me.
I was picked on because my clothes were all homemade and because I always had a runny nose and eyes from severe allergies. I endured.

High school rolled along. My home town made it through rioting and racial conflicts. Integration of the schools was the banner cry and bussing was looming. My home town had a natural demarcation of West Side versus East Side of the city due a the river running through it. The West side was predominately white and the East predominately African American. Many fights broke out.

I was still a geek playing the violin in the orchestra, secretly lusting after the cute guys. My mom's efforts finally were rewarded and even though I didn't weight 128 I was a curvy 145. On a five foot frame it wasn't too bad but it wasn't my mom's ideal.

In my junior year I met my future husband. I thought he was all that and a bag of chips. But eventually he bacame my destruction. More to come. emoticon
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