November 16, 2009

Over or Under

I attended a pre-thanksgiving celebration the other day. I went over early because I wanted to bike and therefore had to take the ingredients in the uncooked form in order to transport them in a non-disastrous manner and I got there and was damp and standing in Nate’s kitchen with three girls that I didn’t know and they were being very nice and complimenting my dress, but they were also wearing jeans and I started to get the feeling that I had over-dressed for the occasion. Which is the worst. I really, really hate being over-dressed. It makes me feel awkward and self-conscious and I think part of it is due to the fact that I dislike looking like I’ve made an effort and part of it I can trace directly back to my first Halloween at pre-school in St. Helens (And I wasn’t actually overdressed, Nate was wearing a bunch of plaid and a cummerbund and other people came and they were all dressed up and no one threw gravy on me but it was the initial panic that recalled this childhood trauma). Here’s what happened:

I was a unicorn for Halloween. My mom is pretty skilled with a sewing machine and adapted my fuzzy pink pajamas (the ones with the feet) into a pink unicorn. She sewed a horn onto my pink stocking cap and attached a yarn tail to my butt and dropped me off at school where I proceeded to prance around and show off my costume. A classmate had built up a huge block castle which I trotted up to and leveled with my horn and to his protests replied, "I’m a unicorn!" and shook my horn around in demonstration. And then he punched me. And we all got in a line and had a costume parade all over the school and around the playground and ate some candy and then the teacher clapped her hands and announced, "Okay, everyone can change now." And I stood there, horrified, watching the entirety of my class skip over to their cubbies and pull out folded over paper bags with normal clothes and shoes in them. And I had nothing. I didn’t even have shoes. Recess proceeded, the teacher made me go out. I was kind of padding around, morose and ostracized, lack of shoes contributing to my helplessness. It was at that point that my usual friends turned on me, became feral dogs, and with cries of "Kill the unicorn!" chased me around the playground until they treed me on the jungle gym and threw chunks of barkdust at me until recess was over. And unfortunately, that’s what happens when you overdress.

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