Monday, September 3, 2012

Say, You're Pretty...Pretty Ugly

Okay, here's a little tale from long, long ago. It happened around the time I was eleven and, to this day, helps shape my self-image and beliefs about beauty. I had a crush, my very first, on someone other than John Stamos or various members of Duran Duran (not Roger and never Andy. Sorry dudes, you just weren't my type.) It was powerful and scary and something I ONLY confided in my very best friend at the time who happened to be three years older than me and clearly MUCH more sophisticated and worldly about such things. Anyway, I thought he was just the cutest thing ever and my friend found the whole thing entirely too adorable and was bound and determined to find out if he liked me, too. I insisted that she keep her trap shut, thank you very much, I had NO intention of sharing these thoughts with ANYONE but her and knew that I was in no way capable of handling the crushing blow that would, most certainly, be the result of her inquiry. Some time later, this boy decided, perhaps on his own, perhaps due to some of my "friend's" machinations, to bestow upon me a most lovely moniker, one that I clearly recall to this very day. Are you ready for it? Seriously, you'll just LOVE it, I know I sure did. He began to refer to me as...The Plop From Pluto. Couldn't you just die? Actually, I wanted to. If there was anything my fragile little psyche needed at such a formative time in my life it was a DELIGHTFUL little nickname like that, especially from the boy I had, until that point, thought was the absolute bees knees. *THUD* Yes, that's what it sounds like when your heart drops, just before it shatters. For an indeterminate amount of time after that, when he addressed me, if he addressed me at all, it was as The Plop From Pluto and I died a little more inside each time. For some godforsaken reason, somewhere down the line, my aforementioned friend decided to talk to him about this and ask him, I'm paraphrasing, if he really thought I was THAT ugly. His response, allegedly, was that I was "kind of pretty." This according to my friend who may or may not have been trying to spare my feelings (too late for that, sister) and soften the blow that had been dealt to me, time and time again, for months, at the very least. Now, maybe he did think I was "kind of pretty" and was just doing that crazy boy thing of being meanest to the girl he liked the most, maybe not. But the fact of the matter is, what I have always held on to is the feeling that I am, indeed, The Plop From Pluto, beyond repulsive and certainly, without question, not worthy of being liked or, dare I say, loved. Clearly, this happened a long time ago. I have since been told I am "pretty, cute, beautiful" even, at one point, "the most beautiful thing I have ever seen" but I'll tell you, even now, it is SO much easier to believe that I am disgusting, hideous and wretched than any of those good things. I have said that everyone is born beautiful and it is one's actions (or inaction) over time that enhance or diminish one's beauty but, I'm being perfectly honest here, that applies to everyone BUT me. Still, I feel passably decent-looking today. I took the time to put on a fucking DRESS (I know, right?) for no apparent reason, which I NEVER do and even shot a few self-portraits in my bathroom to commemorate the event. I think the reason I feel this way today is, as people have tried to tell me for YEARS, that beauty really does come from within and I kind of like myself today.  When I like myself, even if it's just for a passing moment (usually) or maybe even a whole day (stay tuned), I feel less than disgusting, slightly cute and maybe, just maybe, a little bit beautiful.

By the way, in case you're wondering, I would still like to kick that boy square in the balls, if he has any, just cause.


  1. Ok. What does "Plop from Pluto" even mean?? It's amazing the things that happened to us so many years ago that still affect us now. I bet that kid doesn't even remember. Why should you?? You are giving this little boy (that's what he was) so much power over your life.

    Consider letting this go now that you've been able to blog about it.

    The fact is that you ARE BEAUTIFUL and not just outside. Wish you could see yourself the way others see you. You'd feel so much better about your life. :-)

    Love you, Kari. More!!

  2. Kari..."pretty Ugly" sounds familiar....hmmm.
    What a great, awful story, and I can most definitely relate.
    But you know how at the end of Ch. 2 in GUTS, where I thank my tormentors for inspiring me to become an interesting person?

    That is the gift he gave you.

    Perhaps it's time to embrace your "pretty ugliness" and just become the person you already are (you just don't know it yet)

    Because from where I stand, you're a funny, smart, flawed, goofy, kind & generous person.

    The minute you start accepting that, I promise you, you'll be beautiful.


    Kristen Johnston

  3. I tell you to me you are beautiful all the time and to always tell me "you have to say that you're my husband". You know me know I never HAVE to do anything .. but I love you because I do because you are to me everything I never knew I always wanted and to me you are beautiful from your smile to your snore when I know you are deep asleep to you holding conversations with yourself or the cats .. you are my beauty and all this man needs and more!!

  4. T, KJo and my dear sweet husband, thank you for your thoughts and comments. They mean more to me than you'll ever know. This blog is step one in my becoming who I am meant to be. Trust me, there is a lot more to come and I am so incredibly grateful for the support along the way.

    T, no fucking clue what that name was supposed to mean, other than I was not only shit but otherworldly shit? ;) You know I adore you but really, who gets tired of hearing that? I ADORE YOU! <3

    KJo, I hope you don't mind the little *wink* with the title. I couldn't help myself. You're such an inspiration to me and your new friendship is such a gift. Thank you, truly, from the bottom of my heart.

    Brian, wow, what can I say? Whenever I start to think I am thoroughly unlovable, you remind me that I am not. You are my best friend and I love you so very much. P.S. I SO don't snore! ;)

  5. This was so amazing to read! I feel so identify with this story! And have so many crappy memories of my youth like this. And it really never goes away, is like what that people do to you in that age stay and helps to feel bad. I'm on meds and therapy to heal all those scars that where made on my youth, and my teens years. It is so incredible how other people can affect you where you are that age. I have being thinking these days a lot on a moment like this that i have when i was like 9: a girl become my friend for a few days and then tell me that she can't stay friends with me because of what another girl tells her. That really make me so untrustfull (i think isn't that how is written) between that and my big sister being so angry and mean to me make me don't trust in people today i think. I think that to know those things and to understanding it can maybe someday make that let go. About what happened to you i have a story almost the same at 16 years old, a year after my father dies, and today i still want to erase that moment! I love to know this from you, to share all of this stories. We have to break the spell!!! Xoxo Alba.

  6. Thank you so much, Alba. I really appreciate you sharing your story with me. No more silence!

  7. Maybe otherworldly shit is beautiful and sparkly and made of marshmallow. Seriously though that guy was an idiot, people don't know what they do. Please keep working to see your beauty, more dresses! x

  8. Think you do much, Lisa. I promise you, I'm working on it. ;)