Skip to content

That's Not Important, now.

oh, moment is over.

Once, when I was probably 14 or there abouts, my step father told me and my siblings that we were baggage. In a drug filled mania, he explained to us that he only loves our mother and we were extra. Now, for me in particular this was difficult, because I always thought of myself as baggage, unwanted and unnecessary. My mother got pregnant at 19, my father bailed and I was left with abandonment issues aplenty. Then, my mother and step-father had children, one boy and one girl. My sister was, and still is, my mother’s mini-me. They both possess the same auburn hair, a splattering of red freckles across almost the same small nose and the same gap-toothed smile. Blond blue-eyed me, the only blue-eyed person in my family I might add, just couldn’t compete. Not to mention, they have that something special that makes people like them, the same genetic that apparently skipped right past me. Now, while not physically similar, my brother and step-father shared many interests, not limited to their addictions to video and computer games, and he is the only boy, there’s special right there. In a family of five, five being a prime number, someone most assuredly gets left out and that someone in this instance was me.
While that might not have always been the case and if you talk to my siblings they might possess different insight than I do about our childhoods. For me, though, I always felt like an outsider in my own family. It was very challenging, truly difficult at times, growing up feeling left out at home and at school. I never felt like I fit in any where. I’ve always been awkward. Like when you’re right handed and you’re use your left hand and you’re amazed by how it doesn’t obey, as if it belongs to someone else. Using your left hand feels so odd, in fact, you would like to stop as soon as possible and that’s pretty much how I socialize. I was that kid, the one who said the wrong thing that brought the conversation to a screeching halt. Silence proceeded me into many a gathering of minds throughout my childhood. I battled with bullying and teasing long before it went viral. I was left out of games and told that I wasn’t required at birthday parties before it became the focus of a news segment. In short, I didn’t have many friends and always feel different.
That feeling has followed me my whole life and to make matters worse, as I grew up and started noticing boys, they neglected to notice me back. Many, many times I had my heartbroken by a crush who never liked me. Many crocodile tears were cried into white pillowcases over the years. Once, the skinny neighbor boy told me he knew I had a crush on him but he didn’t feel that way about me, after which I went home crying to my mother. I told her she taught me to be mean and made me unlikable to boys and with her gap-toothed smile she laughed at me. To this day, I’ve only had two boyfriends, well three if you want to count a 7th grade boy I talked on the phone with after school for about three weeks as a boyfriend, although I don’t.
So, by 14 I thought I was a Katerina Minola character, so awful in nature that I would never find love. Like Elizabeth Bennet or Jo March, I thought I was bound for spinsterhood. But one late summer day, July sometime, I received a call from my friend Cendy. I was sitting at home, in a tank-top, shorts and no shoes wasting time on the computer intent on continuing my lazy day at any expense, when she called. That lazy day wasn’t to be though, she informed me that the cute boy we saw only days earlier was at the skate park, a local haunt for teenagers who engage in athletics and the people who watch. Like a blur, or a teenage girl on a mission, I put on a baby blue shirt and my white and purple Etnies and rushed the three blocks to the skate park, which was very difficult because my Etnies were not very fitted shoes. There I found Cendy and her friend Ben hanging out with the cute “gothic” kid we had seen previously. He was laying at the foot of a large, leafy tree wearing black pants with blue stitching, a black Slipknot t-shirt and black fishnet covering his arms. His brown but so dark it’s almost black hair came down onto his forehead in meticulously created curls. I remember noticing for the first time that he was in possession of a mole, off to the left above his lips. Over the new few hours, it wasn’t just his looks that sent my stomach butterfly dancing, it was his personality too. He was funny and made me laugh, a lot. Even when the group was engaged in an all out medieval war, in place of swords we had sticks, I couldn’t help but enjoy his presence. For the longest time I had a small pink scar from where he hit me on my thigh. And he noticed me! I went home that night thinking he might have liked me.
Some of it seems like a dream to me now, our first meeting. I didn’t even know his name by the time we awkwardly walked home after the streetlights turned on. In the dark we talked about upcoming school year and what grades we were entering, he was going into his junior year and me, my freshman. I broke away early, walking diagonally across the street that led to the one my parents lived on, feeling weird that I walked away so soon but knowing it was because I was nervous and lovestruck. Later that night Cendy revealed his name to me, having heard earlier in the day. I didn’t seem him, Jason, until school started again.
He had a custom of wearing headphones and ignoring people, so when I saw him at the bus stop outside my school it was a bit of work to gain his attention. Being a savvy teenager in the 2000’s, and taking his attention as encouragement, I gave him my e-mail address. In what felt like months I waited for an e-mail from him. It came on September 11th, 2001 and we discussed the American tragedy that had occurred earlier that day. We began to correspond via e-mail and instant message and then onto phone calls. We had our first date shortly after that first e-mail. In actuality the date was very informal and we just hung out at the same skate park we had met at.
The remarkable, funny, strange, and amazing thing about him, is that he really liked me. Even after he talked to me, even after he saw just how awkward and rude I can be, he liked me. And I felt comfortable with him, I could talk to him. Like that sense of ease you get when you return home after a vacation, I felt that with him. I’ve never once before, or after, found a person that I took to so easily. Even with my family I was never completely myself. In all situations in my life I present a different me to suit the needs, but with him it’s the me that’s closest to who I really am. He has given me, the hunchback, asylum from the mob by just being there.
Now, ten years later I can handle anything knowing he’s there. We’ve survived three years apart, two deployments to Iraq and my mother and we’re stronger than we’ve ever been. It’s cliché, I know, to write about how meeting my husband changed my life but it did. I’m not talking about the money he makes and not about how he got me out of my parents house, the war zone that it was. I’m saying he has changed how I look at myself. I am still the same awkward kid inside, the one who had trouble making friends and says the wrong things. But now, at 25, I’m looked at as strange, like I’m supposed to have figured out how to behave by now. In him I find hope, I see the similarities in our personalities and love them in him and realize I might not be as horrible as I fear. When I hate myself, he loves me enough for both of us. I’m naturally a pessimistic person, my mother has always told me this, but he makes me slightly less pessimistic, because I’ll never be an optimist no matter how great he is. He is my sanctuary, with him I feel whole and hate the world a little bit less.

This was for a class I’m taking.


%d bloggers like this: