Given that we're all still feeling nauseous, frightened, anxious, angry, frayed, despairing and humorless, and that photo of me on the surfboard with the cute man behind me perhaps didn't do the trick for those of you most despairing, I've decided to come out as a survivor of the worst awkward adolescent stage -- if not in history, than certainly at my alma mater, The Lovett School in Atlanta, Georgia. There I am, circa fall 1976, my shiny coffee-colored locks freshly curling-ironed and not brushed out, apparently. I had just grown out my Dorothy Hamill bob, I believe. A brainy eighth grader, I had yet to try hard contact lenses and that year sported rose-tinted goggles with rose-tinted lenses. It's too bad this photo isn't in color, because pink makes you look gorgeous, I'm told. Notice, too, the skinny cords of my neck, wrapped in a puka bead necklace. The collar of my polyester blue shirtwaist uniform dress is artfully arranged, and what you can't see is my wide macrame belt cinched around my fly waist, my chunky navy knee-socks, my bony knees and L.L. Bean Bluchers. I'm smiling, but trust me. I was miserable and had no idea that delirious beauty, an effortless ability to eat what I wanted and still stay thin, and a handsome man behind me on a surfboard would be in my future. All I knew was that the girls giggling in the bathroom as they stroked on blue and green eye-shadow or the boy who told me that I was a pirate's dream (a buried chest) were light years ahead of me in anything that mattered.
I sure showed them.
P.S. Don't tell me that I looked beautiful, like my mother always did, because I'll never trust you, again.