Self Esteam Room
I am an adult survivor of Ugly Duckling Syndrome. UDS is a less lethal strain of the Avian Flu (H5N1).
I was not a cute child. Dad denies this. "Oh, honey. All children are beautiful in their own buck toothed freakish way," he tells me. Mom is more honest. She still sends a Christmas card and a fruit basket to my orthodontist. My orthodontist refuses to pin my "Before" photo up on his bulletin board. I am a success story, but he doesn't want to scare off prospective clients.
I have a staff of people to thank for my recovery. At the end of my life, I expect to see all of their names roll by in the credits.
I've grown into my teeth and I've learned that my hair and mousse are not a good combination. I have not worn clothing sewn by my mother in years. I grew an a$, and I still have hopes that I will grow real boobs. Most importantly, I have developed the ability to breath through my nose.
All of the suffering that I endured has paid off. I am the picture of grace and humility. If I had grown up this cute, I would be a b*tch. I remember. Even on days like yesterday, when my hair was so fabulous that I had to leave the house just so people could see me. I wasn't showing off. I did it for the ugly children. I have not forgotten what it was like. I went to the middle school at dismissal time and stood outside, waiting for them to admire me.
I made eye contact with the especially homely children, as if to tell them, "All is not lost, little fugly ones." I didn't say it outloud, but I think they knew.
A pimply faced kid came up to me. I smiled benevolently, prepared to discuss the advantages of tetracycline. "Who's Mom are you?" he asked.
Instantly, I was 12 again. "Is that your face, or does your butt have teeth?"
It was the best I could do.