All Nonfiction Bullying Books Academic Author Interviews Celebrity interviews College Articles College Essays Educator of the Year Heroes Interviews Memoir Personal Experience Sports Travel & CultureAll Opinions Bullying Current Events / Politics Discrimination Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking Entertainment / Celebrities Environment Love / Relationships Movies / Music / TV Pop Culture / Trends School / College Social Issues / Civics Spirituality / Religion Sports / Hobbies
- Summer Guide
- College Guide
- Author Interviews
- Celebrity interviews
- College Articles
- College Essays
- Educator of the Year
- Personal Experience
- Travel & Culture
- Current Events / Politics
- Drugs / Alcohol / Smoking
- Entertainment / Celebrities
- Love / Relationships
- Movies / Music / TV
- Pop Culture / Trends
- School / College
- Social Issues / Civics
- Spirituality / Religion
- Sports / Hobbies
- Community Service
- Letters to the Editor
- Pride & Prejudice
- What Matters
Me, Myself, and I
My name is Kristy. Kristy Reece. I have beach blonde hair, a heart-shaped face, porcelain skin, green eyes, tiny waist… what one would deem a perfect body. You have no idea how many dumb-blonde stereo types have been flung at me. It’s ridiculous.
So I had to do something outrageous. Well, to other people’s standards anyway.
School had been out for two weeks for the winter break. I go to a public school that should be a private school: the girls wear the same thing, the guys wear the same thing, all the girls have perfect hair in different shades of blonde to brunette to midnight black, the guys all look at the right girls. Everything is so cookie-cutter molded at my school that it’s scary, like a million and a half clones were imported just to make my life a. weird, b. annoyed, c. freaky, d. all of the above. ‘D’ is the right answer.
What would I have to do to set myself apart? I asked this question every day during winter break. Whenever I went into a store, I went on the hunt for something… different.
Sure, I’ll buy that pair of camouflage cargo shorts, that black tank top, that studded belt and matching bracelet, those pair of boots and strappy sandals which are also studded, that black purse draped with chains, that shade of orange eyeliner, those black and ripped skinny jeans… you get the idea. Now, for the grand ultimatum: I’m going to dye my hair red. Bright red. A slight orangey red. It would go perfectly with my thin, short hair, cut in sharp layers and with the bangs that fall into my eyes just so. Perfect.
And so I got ready for my first day back to school. I had checked the school dress code, and I am pretty sure I’m safe. As for the dress code enforced by the Student Clones, well, that’s why the ultimatum is necessary. In their eyes, I’m breaking all the rules.
The morning of the first day back arrived, and as I was stuffing my binders back into my bag and cramming my breakfast, a Nutrigrain bar since I’m running a little late, down my throat, I felt some sense of accomplishment. The bracelet was around my tiny wrist, my tank top hugging my skinny torso (thanks to weight training), my jeans with their artful tears and rips holding nicely to the contours of my legs, my belt loosely draped around my waist. My boots felt like that perfect pair of heels, except the boots were ten times more comfortable. I brushed back a strand of my red hair, being careful not to smudge the orange eye-liner. I took a deep breath, slung my messenger bag onto my shoulder, and pulled the keys to my mom’s red Prius out of the vase near the door.
“Have a good day, sweetie!” called my mom from her kitchen sanctuary.
“You too,” I called back. For some reason that I cannot fathom, Mom noticed nothing of my change. Part of me is glad my dad, the same dad who divorced Mom when I was three, isn’t here; he would probably break me into tiny pieces then ship them off to different parts of the country. I hate my dad. I like my mom. My mom’s just kind of looks things over, as one can see from my transformation.
I get into the warm car, pressing the power button and popping in a U2 CD. I sang along to “Pride (In the Name of Love)” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday” all the way to school.
Ah, yes, my school. Compromising of several brick buildings built sometime in the mid-80s, with a bigger one for the auditorium/cafeteria, it is one of the more mundane schools ever built. The teachers are dry imitations, and the kids, as I have said before, are nothing more than clones. I don’t think we even have nerds or geeks or anything of the sort. Everyone is pretty and perfect, athletic and muscular, tall and thin. Today is their rude awakening.
I parked in my usual parking spot and got out, slinging my bag onto my shoulder. I took a deep breath, then settled into an amused smirk.
“Show time,” I breathed. With that, I made my way to my first class: English.
I came into class right when the bell rang. All heads turned to me. I kept my chin up, and I had to fight back a grin. All my friends (Lucy, Miranda, Thalia, Katie, and Angelina), looked like each in turn had a heart attack. The teacher, Mrs. Mulch, was taking deep, steadying breaths as she used her desk to support herself. A couple of the guys looked like they had been slapped, and a few looked so astonished they were forcing back guffaws of laughter.
“Miss Reece, please take your seat,” gasped Mrs. Mulch. I smiled at her and, trying not to skip in delight, took my customary seat in the back between Miranda and Thalia. In front of me, Lucy turned180 degrees to stare, and in front of Miranda and Thalia, Katie and Angelina were turning 90 degrees to gape.
As soon as Mrs. Mulch had resumed her lesson, The Great Gatsby analysis, Miranda choked out, “What in the world did you do?”
I beamed at her. “What do you mean?” I teased.
“What’s with your hair? God, girl, its red!” said the oh-so-observant Katie.
“And your bracelet!” gasped Thalia in disgust.
“Your shoes!” exclaimed Angelina, who, like everyone else, was wearing stylish flats.
“Your outfit!” Lucy quietly shrieked.
I laughed at them, their incredulous faces and identical outfits (floral print tee, white shorts, and flats). I shook my head, running a hand through my hair as I looked at each of them in turn.
“Jeez, relax you guys! It’s not like I grew a second head or something!” I sniggered. “And shut up, I’m trying to listen to Mrs. Mulch.”
My day continued more or less like that. No one would sit with me during lunch, and I didn’t care. That just proves what good friends they are.
However, by the end of the day the victorious high was leaving me. Weariness was growing on my mind, and the eyes that followed me now burned into my skull. My stomach kept clenching and unclenching, like a fist unsure whether or not to hold its position.
Then I saw him. My ex-boyfriend-but-I-still-really-like-him-though-he’s-a-total-jerk. Brilliant.
He came towards me. He looked me up and down. I wanted him to say that he absolutely loved my new look and that he wanted to get back together with me. I wanted him to hold me tight and tell me he loved me. I wanted him to –
“Jeez, Kristy, what happened to you? Your new look makes me so glad I dumped you.”
Holy s***, he did not just say that. I blanked, and I felt all the color drain slowly from my face to be replaced by stinging tears.
“Well,” I breathed, slowly but surely I hope getting myself together, “That’s weird. I thought I dumped you because you are such a jerk.”
Oops. Actually, he totally deserved that.
He let out a humorless laugh, turned on his heel, and left. I watched his retreating back just like everyone else, and then looked away, hoping desperately to hide my tears.
PE was next and my last class of the day.
I ditched it.