A Soft Butch's Near Miss
Christina, having gone by “Chris” for so long, occasionally forgot her nickname was not her real name. To say she walked with a chip on her shoulder was to understate the nature of her entire being. She understood she differed from other kids, but she could not fathom why a few differences should matter so much to everyone else. During recesses, Chris was often torn between playing Chinese jump rope with the other girls or, playing more physically challenging games like tetherball with the boys. Most days she alternated between the two groups. Every new school year added a slew of social requirements, Chris refused binding herself by expectation, preferring instead, to continue to mix with groups regardless of gender-based segregation.
By the time Chris entered high school, she was well versed in the ever-growing gap between her levels of femininity and that of the girls she had known since elementary school. While her contemporaries embraced cosmetics and boy bands, Chris felt pulled towards physical exertion and music of the non-swooning variety. Chris looked at the prattling of her female
friends as time wasting and she certainly had better things to do than ogle and giggle over the current boy-of-the-week. Life being tough for teenagers, Chris received shocking news from two of the girliest girls she knew—Homecoming would be a Sadie Hawkins Dance.
Her heart faltered and she fought off a panic attack. Expected to attend, but moreover, expected to ask a boy to go with her? For days, Chris worried over her options, she settled on non-attendance as the most obvious and clear-cut choice. Yet, all her friends were going to the dance and she longed for the experience, to be there laughing and dancing. The thought of dolling up made her ill: the frills, the heels, the facial caking and painting. Why would anyone wear such horribly uncomfortable attire?
On the night of Homecoming, Chris sank into her comfy reclining chair. Her parents only occasionally glanced at her as they were ethralled with the Friday night movie. Her heart ached, though she stood by her guns. She thought about how close she had come to cashing in her principles to be with the group. “A near miss,” she sighed sadly shaking her head, “to go would have been a full on collision.” Chris rested certain she made the safe decision. And positive that she should have thrown a middle finger to their rules and gone in her tuxedo.
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