WHEN I WAS 17…
- I used and abused the fact that I was a breech ( bridge? ) baby. As often as possible. Along the lines of “If I wasn’t a breech baby , I could have been far more intelligent. But as my head was born last, my brain lacked oxygen and that’s why I didn’t do so well in the Maths test. ”
“If I wasn’t a breech baby I could have been far prettier. But because my head was squashed in there for too long I have a weird nose and that’s why boys aren’t asking me out on dates.”
Followed by the melodramatic slamming of doors, the refusal to get out of the car at shopping malls and a deafening silence that lasted for days.
My poor mother. She was pregnant with me in the sixties . Ultrasound scans were unheard of. How was the woman to know that her first child would come into this world backside first?
– I refused to wear anything but black for my entire 17th year.
– I refused to be photographed. ( yes. because of the imagined squashed nose.)
– I refused to visit family members. ( particularly my Aunt Doris who told me in person that she prayed to God to please bless me with lots of talent. Singing or playing the piano or being good at crochet. Anything other than looks. Because I was so ugly straight after birth. Because I was a breech baby and my face got squashed. )
– I permed my hair. And teased it to defy gravity with the help of industrial strenght hair spray. It was the 80’s. I thought it a great diversion from the nose.
– I spent days in the bathroom. Working the hair. And the black eyeliner.
HAIR TO HIDE A NOSE BY…..no, this isn’t me. This is the hair I wanted when I was 17…
To end off : a quote from the movie PARENTHOOD (1989) :
Frank: [on parenting] It’s like your Aunt Edna’s ass. It goes on forever and it’s just as frightening.