23 November 2004

home ec

I signed up for Home Ec class instead of art my freshman year of high school. I think that was the end. I stopped being creative and instead learned how to follow patterns.

And, did I get good at patterns. I made a dress and wore it to Christmas dinner that year. Black crushed velvet. I found a hat that matched perfectly. Floppy black velvet with a hugh fabric rose in the front. My granny helped me make a matching flower from the leftover dress material and we pinned it to the front of my dress.

My sister took a picture of me that day. I remember thinking later that I looked prettier in that picture than I did in real life. And happier.

I made a puple dress from the same pattern. Thin cotton with tiny black flowers. I wore it to high school with my Chinese mary janes from the french quarter. What was I thinking? No one wore dresses. They wore jeans with body suits or polo shirts.

I remember right before the first day of high school my mom took me shopping for clothes. I didn't have any clothes; I was used to uniforms. We bought shorts because it was hot. They had to be to the knee to fit the dress code. I was literally the only person in the school wearing shorts the first day. I wore knee length black pleated shorts and a short-sleeved collared tie-dyed shirt with black buttons. As soon as I got there I realized I was clueless about life outside of my little Catholic middle school. But how did everyone else know? I still haven't figured that out.

People probably would have thought I was weird had I not been invisible. Really. Later when I got skinnier, prettier, and more popular people thought I was new. I could count on one hand the people who remembered the me from the first two years.

I learned in high school that fitting in was much better than being yourself. I still wonder what I would have learned had I taken art class instead.

No comments: