A few months back we were all sitting in the TV room, looking for something interesting to watch, with no luck. I suggested we pop in a few home movies. This was mostly because I spent countless hours slaving away converting our home videos from VHS to DVD per my mom’s request and people were going to appreciate my hard work damn it! Once I hit play I had the usual reaction to seeing myself in the past: “Oh my God did I really sound like that?! Talk about an obnoxious voice” and “Mom, why did you keep taking us to that hair salon?! We look like boys!” As the years flashed by us on the screen, I began to see distinct stages in my life. These stages are not ones I am particularly proud of, but I guess they made me into the weirdo I am today.
Stage 1: I have no soul
I know I have touched on this before, but I am seriously convinced that I was born without a soul, it was just a few years late in entering my body. I think my soul didn’t get the memo on my birth. Better late than never though right? Every time I mention it my mom responds with “Oh no honey, you were a happy baby.” Really Mom? Show me one picture or video where I am smiling before the age of three. I have yet to see any documentation of this. People without souls cannot feel happiness.
Stage 2: Wild Child
Once my soul did enter my body I became a weird freak with endless energy. I did strange things like tie plastic bags to my arms and jump out of trees in an attempt to fly, rollerblade on the living room carpet, and try to catch bunnies and squirrels. I was either strange or really dumb-still trying to figure out which one. It’s a miracle I had any friends. I also refused to brush my hair, something I deeply regretted in my later years, which made me look like Tarzan. I still wince when I look back at pictures. I wish my mother had forced me to run a brush through my hair every now and then.
My parents are saints for putting up with me. If I were them I would have smacked me and then given me Xanax to make me calm down a little bit. It must have been concerning for them to have created a child as strange as I was.
Stage 3: I am awkward and ugly
I know this may be hard for people to believe, but I wasn’t always the bombshell babe I am today. I was actually quite unfortunate looking for a while there. I was scrawny, sickly pale, had braces, frizzy hair, thick dark eyebrows, and a nose my face had yet to grow into. I was also extremely annoying. I thought I was pretty funny too when really I was not at all. Watching this stage on the screen was hard on the eyes for everyone. I should have worn a brown paper bag over my head from 6th through 10th grade. Woof.
Stage 4 (My final stage): I am done growing
Last year, on a sunny fall afternoon, I was at The Home Depot picking up a bag of gords for the fall centerpiece I was making for the dining room table (typical Sunday errands). While at the self check-out (since I’m an independent woman who don’t need no cashier) I was scanning the bar code on the bag of gords, minding my own business, when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned around to see a sweet elderly lady with a Home Depot apron on. Once I turned she said to me, “Excuse me, but where is your mother?” I was very confused. “Huh?” I said. She replied, “When I saw you coming to the self check out, I thought, this girl can’t be more than 14 years old. Why is she here all by herself?” I thought to myself, ok, old lady, you of all people should not be discriminating others based on age. But I was not about to tell this lady that I was actually 24 so I played it off and said my mom was in the car. Most people would be embarrassed in these types of situations but since it happens to me so often it didn’t bother me in the least bit. Lots of people mistakenly think I am about ten years younger than I actually am. It’s as if around the age of 12 or 13 my body just kind of said, “This is good, I think I’ll stop here.” It was evident in the home videos that my growth started to plateau around 8th grade. My mom tells me I’ll appreciate looking young when I am 40 or so. Since there is really nothing I can do about it I have tried to embrace my youthful look, hey maybe I’ll even try to get a job as a child actor, my possibilities are endless. The only time it can be annoying is when I try to purchase alcohol. More recently I was stopped at the grocery store check-out while buying a case of beer. The cashier did not believe I was 21 and thought my ID was fake. She even called over the manager. Like give me a break lady, I was buying Bud Light not Busch or Natural Light, obviously I’m over 21.
After a few DVDs we had had enough. While watching these home videos had provided us with lots of laughs we were also reminded why we only watch these every once in a while. Everyone goes through stages they aren’t proud of, but it’s all part of growing up. I am interested to see what my future stages will be, I guess we will have to sit down and watch our home videos again in another 25 years!