Seriously. Stop laughing. It's not nice.
As I was saying, I am a complex individual. I am incredibly emotional, largely territorial, non-confrontational, passive-aggressive, day-dreamy, grumpy, not-so-much romantic, but highly sentimental and most of the time, antisocial. I am a conformist, but only on the outside. On the inside I'm all screamy and covered in tattoos and my hair is black and I have on an indordinate amount of black eyeliner and I probably don't return library books on time or rewind VHS tapes before I return them to the video store. Wait. No one rewinds their VHS tapes anymore because it's a dead technology even though I got in a huge argument with my high school boyfriend and swore that I would forever and ever use cassette tapes and VHS because I was resistant to those evil silver disks of doom and we nearly broke up over the fact he told me I was an idiot for thinking cassettes would make it to the next century.
Seventh grade was a time of remaking for me. I got my braces off in November of my first year of Junior High. I grew out the mullet and started using a curling iron. I had a pair of those wonderful flowered denim jeans. I popped my collar. I had a Michael J. Fox poster in my locker. I was in the Pep Club and while yes, I was in the Band, it didn't carry a huge stigma back then. Or if it did, we were all oblivious to it. I got my first kiss at 14 1/2. I loved everything about diagramming sentences.
High School was hard. I started dating at 15 1/2. Lost my virginity at 16. Had two pregnancy scares before I graduated. I dated one boy steadily for two solid years. After he dumped me (over the phone) (jerk) I went into a serious depression. My parents were convinced I was suicidal and anorexic. I starved myself in an effort to lose my "birthing hips" as my Biology teacher so lovingly told the class I posessed. I wanted so badly for someone to love the real me that I used sex as that magic potion to open the portal of acceptance. I wore a lot of black. I wrote a lot of dark poetry about death even though I've never had a suicidal day in my life. I cried daily. I maintained perfect grades through it all, still trying to please everyone around me. I had no desire to go to college, yet teachers and the guidance counselor told me I had to lest I risk wasting my potential. I missed my boyfriend and would have done anything to get him back. I dated a few of guys, I slept with a lot more. I was trying so desperately to find myself.
It wasn't until a few years ago my friend Stacie and I had this epiphany that we were emo before emo had a name. We were ridiculously emotional, tumultuously moody, desired things we didn't seem able to attain, we were obsessed with the dark, depressing side of everything, we cried a lot.....
If we were in high school now we would both totally look like this:
Okay, she nearly does. I envy her. Even today at 37, she has had green hair, pink hair, a fauxhawk and has her nose pierced. I just turned 38 and have gray hair and wear cardigan sweaters. She and I both sport a variety of tattoos, however all of mine are hidden because of some twisted fear I offend someone or be judged. I don't have my nose pierced because my husband says no. It's ridiculous. I'm a closet emo now. I've sold out.
When Abby was in Sixth grade and part of Seventh, she went through an emo phase. She was continually brooding and nearly broke the bank buying black eyeliner. My mother was convinced she was going to have a lazy eye because of her bangs covering one side of her face. Her father was bound and determined to "break" her of her hibernating in her room. I assured him she was fine. He said it wasn't normal to spend that much time alone in her room listening to loud music. I told him she was just figuring herself out.
Now as Eighth grade winds down, the brooding, angry emo-child has given way to a self-confident young lady. She is 100% perfectly fine. She wears a standard amount of eyeliner now. And she doesn't have a lazy eye. She likes to test boundaries and push limits, but she respects them when she finds them to be unmoveable. I love everything about her.
Sam is 12 and in Sixth grade. He's growing his hair out right now. He asks daily if he can dye it black. He writes in a journal. It is driving his father absolutely and swiftly UP THE STINKING WALL. "If I wanted three daughters I'd have had three daughters" is his standard quote. I usually don't point out the obvious flaws in this statement seeing as how he didn't actually choose the sex of his children by merely pushing a button and ordering them. I just assure him that Abby turned out fine and so will Sam. Sam is figuring out who he is right now and that's tough when you're full of emotion, go to a school full of country kids, have already surrendered to preach and yet still want so badly to wear your pants on the ground and use a skateboard as a mode of transportation. When Paul jumps on his back for being moody I occasionally drag out one of my very favorite pictures of he himself at age 15. He was a freckle-faced punk-looking kid with the wildest red LONG hair. I'd have so had a crush on him then. You know, if I hadn't been in Kindergarten and .....FIVE. But what I'm saying is, he had long hair. He intentionally broke the rules just for the sake of breaking them. He was mouthy. He was rebellious. He stole a stop sign. And look at him now. He is a responsible redneck adult. Wow. Talk about an oxymoron.
Kady is nine. She is me all over again. I see a lot of me in Abby, but Ab is an equal balance of her father and me. Kady? ALL ME, but with a princess diva flair. She desires and expects perfection from herself. A B on a report card sends her into a spiral of self-loathing. She wants to please every adult in her life. She wants to be everybody's friend and when they don't reciprocate it crushes her very soul. She cries almost daily.She sweats glitter. I said back when she was in First grade that I have been down the path she is on and I know what lies ahead for her.
I'm stockpiling journals, tissues and black eyeliner already.