Growing up diplomatic means, the fun times of adolescents, and puberty are spread over many continents. The proof is in the pictures.
By the time we came back to our home country, I was in grade 8. I left an amazing group of friends, a country that I was in love with, and my very first crush. I was once again, in a foreign land, and I didn’t understand a thing.
It had been a hard start to a school year, my teachers were horrid, I didn’t understand any of the social stuff, and I desperately missed what I thought was my “home”. We were getting closer to Halloween, and as I have mentioned before (here), Halloween was a celebration I hadn’t celebrated in 3 years. I was so excited, I could barely contain myself. I had a couple of old friends who I had kept in touch with over the many years abroad, and I believe their Mother’s took pity on me and forced them to include me in EVERYTHING, they did. I was grateful, but completely out of place.
The Halloween dance approached, it was just a day dance in the school gym, it was better than nothing. I dressed up as a beatnik. I was pretty proud of my long straight hair in braids, my black outfit. I felt I looked cute, wasn’t that the point at 13?
I got asked to dance, to of course, Stair Way to Heaven, and I, was in 13 year old heaven. I was so beyond excited I didn’t know what to do, but sway from side to side with him and grin. He asked me if I was heading out to Trick or Treat with the gang, I said “yes”, although I had no idea which gang he was talking about. Did I want to be part of a gang? Was I part of his gang? I was completely confused.
One of my old friends pulled me aside, and said “He likes you, and we are all going trick or treating tonight.” I remained red from embarrassment.
I think I skipped home, and ran through the door. There was candy and decorations everywhere. I was impressed, my Mother managed to get herself out of bed. I knew her reverse culture shock was bad. My Father and I often talked about it. He attempted to write down odd lists of things to do, or that he thought needed to get done, just so she would get out of the house. Family members would just “drop in” for visits, but it was hard for her.
I was so excited about heading out that night, but didn’t want to tell my Mother about the new boy, it was something I never discussed with her.
She told me to go upstairs, she had a surprise for me. Now, my Mother was never one to have surprises, she wasn’t the most organized person to actually create or find a surprise. I ran upstairs, and headed into my room, and there in a bizarre mess on my bed, was a mess of netting on top of a black dress. I had no idea what it was, but my Mother was beaming. It was the bride of Frankenstein costume, and it wasn’t exactly cute. I attempted to tell her I was already wearing my costume, but she said my costume was silly and only for school, but that she had made this one so that I would look more goolish, she even went so far as to buy special makeup.
I was at a loss for words, my Mother was so happy, the happiest I had seen her since stepping foot in our country, but on the other hand, I wanted to look cute, I had a boy to impress.
I sighed, and put on the outfit my Mother made. The layers of tulle wrapped around my body, my Mother added plastic spiders, and put white and black makeup on me. I looked unrecognizable, and pretty darn fantastic, but not cute.
My friends arrived, they all were dressed up as hippies, Madonna in the 80’s, you name cute, and they were it. Again, I was the odd one out. I turned around, my Mother was jumping up and down she was so excited, handing kids candy, and dressed up herself. I couldn’t help but feel she had turned a corner.
I walked out onto the street, and the guy who I danced with was dressed as a Ninja, totally unoriginal, not the Bruce lee, or Jackie Chan cool, just blah. As we walked he approached me, and asked what I was supposed to be, I told him. He just looked at me and went quiet.
The next day at school, it turned out, the guy who I had a 2 minute crush on, didn’t like me any more because of my costume, I was UGLY. He didn’t realize, his costume was a dud, and so was he.