November 29th, 2002

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Chasing away childhood demons

Excuse me while I ramble up to a point I want to make :)

Today I had a nice Thanksgiving, for the third year in a row doing an Orphans Thanksgiving with around 20 neighbors and friends, potluck-style. Worked out very well, got lots of good food w/o having to make too much myself (2 pots fresh cranberry sauce, 1 loaf cranberry bread), one of the guests did a lovely rendition of "O Holy Night," and I had a nice chat with this one guy about call girls, prostitution, strip club rules, etc. (yeah, nice Turkey Day talk).

Being a gabby group, there was lots of talking about one thing that really struck me and got me thinking was something my friend Tony was saying. Tony has very severe pet allergies and he told a story, which I'd never heard, about how growing up he was always very sickly, skinny, asthmatic, basically struggling to breathe, thinking he had some respiratory issues. The real problem was that his parents not only had cats, they raised angora cats as a home business and being profoundly allergic to them, he grew up suffering w/o even knowing. When he was finally diagnosed as a teenager, his parents were almost mad that he was going to ruin their business. They kept one cat, thinking it would be OK, and thus Tony had to keep suffering. He didn't escape all that until he left home.

Anyway, the point of Tony's story, as he explained it, was that being so sickly and weak as a kid meant that he got knocked around a lot, didn't feel powerful. As he'd gotten old, he's worked against that by investing a lot in his body -- an investment which has certainly paid off. Tony has a black belt in kung fu san soo and has a really nice body he works on through lots of exercise and diet. He's pretty expert at self defense and he sure isn't a skinny loser, rather he's a handsome, funny, happily married artist.

I think it's funny how people grow up and make it their mission to kick the ass of the things that really got to them growing up, sometimes to the point where nobody would ever believe they had "problems." Like me, for example. Everybody knows me as a clothes hound, fashion plate, snazzy dresser, miss funky fashion, miss elegant, what have you, I get a ton of positive compliments on my looks, everybody treats me like I'm so pretty,
but what people don't know is that growing up, it was just the opposite. I was a horrible dresser with no sense of style, had a terrible wardrobe, got ridiculed constantly over my clothes (which weren't even "different but OK" -- they were just bad), and on top of that had all the kids going after me for being disgusting, ugly, stinky, etc.

I remember in fourth grade my teacher Mrs. Crouch wrote on my report card how one day I was going to grow up into a very pretty lady and for me it was too much to hope for. I didn't really start to consciously address my appearance until I was in high school and I certainly didn't become "good" dresser until college. So now I go around with this image and it works well, only to me it's kind of an "in joke." People say "Oh, but you must be one of those people with an inborne sense of style, looking good all your life." Let them think that I guess!
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On my fanfic

Taking a challenge passed along by almostnever, I'm going to examine my fanfic via a questionairre. (If you don't know or care about my fanfic, either VC or Wraeththu, skip this one, as it's going to be rather pointless.) Incidentally, it will be interesting to see how I rate myself since at the moment I am in a vicious little funk that is definitely seeing the glass as half-empty.

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