Tuesday, June 9, 2009

On Matters of Unfashionable Raiment

Last night I was chatting with my sister on the phone. Somehow we stumbled upon the topic of childhood and a particular story came to mind that I thought I might share. And yes, there is a moral to this particular story.

One day, when I was in kindergarten, I was barreling at an alarmingly fast pace of about 70 mph towards the school from the school bus. Whilst carelessly cantering, on a typically rainy Astoria day, I managed to slip and I plummeted into what was unquestionably mud. I was unsure as to what to do next, so I thought crying would be fitting for the ocassion. I sat in the mud whimpering whilst all my schoolmates ignored me and sauntered into the school. After awhile, I mustered up the guts to arise from the mud and I toddled into the school.

When I crossed the threshold into the building, the school teacher looked at me and my muddy jeans and said in shock, "What's happened to you?"
"I I f-fell down in t-th-the m-mu-mud," I managed to sputter out through tears. I had no idea what to do. What does a five year old do when they've found themselves wearing muddy jeans? Life was just so overwhelming.

She took me by the hand and brought me upstairs to a room stuffed with old clothes. Perhaps I was in the lost and found. Puffy turquoise coats, old Nike high-tops, and stirrup pants. Remember the 90's? 'This is going to be fun', I thought happily to myself—new clothes! Little did I know, I was in for a bit of a rude awakening.

Well, most of the clothing up there was meant for 2nd through 5th graders and I was only a kindergartner. The teacher scrounged up some jeans for me to robe myself in. Hot-pink acid-wash jeans two sizes too big for me. "There you go now. Much better!" she probably triumphantly said.

I stood there frozen with traumatization. Those jeans were traumatizing. As if my little-falling-down-in-the-mud-accident hadn’t left me in a an uneasy twitter. This was just too much. But, there was nothing else available and I couldn’t walk around with any pants on, now could I? These trousers were my only option.

I have to admit, I distinctly remember feeling quite self-conscious in these hot pink acid wash jeans. Or perhaps, they were more of a crushed-strawberry pink pair of acid-wash jeans. Yes, that's it—crushed-strawberry.

I entered my kindergarten classroom about twenty minutes late. Oh gosh, all my little friends had seen me fallen down in the mud crying—how embarrassing. And I'm late and everyone is going to notice me because I'm late. And to top it all off, here I am in these hideous pants.

I joined my comrades on the floor to say the ABC's, recite the pledge of allegiance and count to twenty.
"Hey, ya get some new jeans?" Someone asked me.
"Wow, cool pants," another girl said.
"Um yeah", "Uh, thanks," I blubbered sheepishly, with a quivering lip, in response. This was going to be yet another challenging day in kindergarten.

For the rest of the day, I felt out of place and self-conscious. But how was I going to explain to my parents what happened to my original jeans and why I was wearing these ludicrous crushed-strawberry acid-wash jeans?

When the bus dropped me off at home and I sulked my way up the grass to my house, I came into the house and just stood behind the chair, not really doing anything—just ya know, standing.

That was my tactic. If I just stand there, maybe they won't notice and eventually, I can make good an escape and put on some other jeans. Then I'll bury these pink jeans deep in the earth. No one will ever know.

"I don't know why she's just standing there," my mom said.
"Hey, why don't you come out from behind there?" my dad probably said.

The moment of truth had arrived.

So, I stepped out from behind the chair and revealed myself. There I stood, swimming in my big huge crushed-strawberry acid-wash jeans, dreading the prospect of explaining myself.

And then I warily told them my super embarrassing morning mishap. I explained the jeans, being late for class, crying and the unpleasant tumble I experienced. And my parents raised their eyebrows in amusement as if the whole matter was comical.

Well, I certainly didn't find it comical at all. That day was one of the more objectionable days of my life.

So, the moral? Life is hard when you're five. Little incidents can really make for less than pleasant day.

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