Monday, July 19, 2004


Well, it's just typical.
Yesterday, my family came over for an overnight stay.  My parents brought their dog, Ollie, and Karen's fiance brought his dog, Sunny.  Added to my two dogs, it was a mad house.  So we decided to take all of the dogs for a walk.
It was quite a sight--this big glob of people walking down the street, four of them being pulled along by their dogs.  The leashes kept getting tangled up in each other and two of the dogs wanted to pee on anything that stood still.
We rounded the corner and I saw a friend of mine from high school, who was visiting her parents who lived down the block.  I say "friend" but we were really just fringe friends.  I was friends with some of her friends, like fringe hanging on a curtain.  She was very popular in high school.  Voted "Most Beautiful."  I always wanted to hate her, but she was too dadgum nice. 
For some reason, every time I've seen her since high school, I have somehow managed to thoroughly humiliate myself.  For instance, the last time I saw her, we were at the same wedding shower.  (A friend of mine was a friend of hers.  Again, fringe friends.)  The day of this shower, I had broken out in a horrible rash from the penicillin I was taking at the time.  I was splotched out in big red hives from the top of my head to my toes.  I decided to go ahead and go to the shower, but I put a floppy hat on to try and cover my blotchy face as much as possible.  Of course, Brandy was there, looking gorgeous as ever.  Perfect complexion.  I tried to explain to everyone at the beginning of the shower why I looked like Violet Beauregard from Willy Wonka, and everyone gave me little sympathetic nods, but I still looked hideous.  I pulled up my shirt collar, pulled down my hat and just tried to sink into the background.  Oh, and I also called her "Brittany" repeatedly until I realized my mistake and begged her forgiveness. 
So yesterday, we are walking by and we wave at each other.  I stop to talk.  In my mind I am making a check list... "Lack of hives? Check.  My hair?  Messy but decent.  Check.  Introducing her by the correct name? Check."  We have a pleasant conversation and she introduces me to her third baby, I introduce her to my family.  We move on our way.
As we neared home, Jason (who had declined the family walk) ran outside and took a picture of the lot of us, since it was quite the sight to behold.  We went inside and he downloaded the picture onto the computer.  I glanced at it, to make sure there were no hives. 
I stared in horror.  Karen and I were wearing the EXACT SAME SHIRT.  My dorky little sister and dorky little me were wearing matching shirts.  I mean, we had acknowledged it earlier and laughed about it, but promptly forgot it.  What's worse is that they were both bright red shirts (given to us for Valentine's Day by my mother) with a big white heart in the middle.  There was no mistaking our matching shirts and khaki shorts.
"NOOOOOO!"  I cried in horror.  "No! No! No! No! NO!"  Brandy, Most Beautiful Student 1993, had seen me in a little matching number with my sister. 
My mother thought it was a hoot.  "Why do you care?"  she said.  "I don't's just...Most Beautiful...." I sputtered.  "Well, it's too late for you to ever compete for that title," my mother replied.  "I know...." I lamented.
"Besides," says my mother (and the following statement I shall never forget), "You've done fairly well, considering the genes that you were given."


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