Words Hurt

Glass blue heel shoe

When I was in junior high school, 7th grade, I was sitting in a group/circle of about 12 girls at lunchtime.  We were outside it being California.  I noticed one of the other girls (fairly popular and pretty) had the same shoes on that I did. I mentioned it “hey Kim we have the same shoes”.

Her reply has stuck with me today 46 years later. “Yeah, but they aren’t my only pair”.

It hurt because yes, those shoes were my only pair other than my gym shoes.

I grew up in a working poor family, with plenty of physical and emotional abuse.  My mom was an alcoholic, my dad had anger, rage issues. They both beat us often.

My mother made most of my clothing, and cut my hair (which I hated because she cut it short and ugly)

This bitchy remark hurt deep. I had never realized that others could see my poverty. I was naive, I didn’t invite kids to my house, but did go to their houses to play.

Kim’s remark, in front of so many girls shamed me. I’m sad to say it led to me being overly conscious of whether I bought name brands. I worked several jobs in high school to by the “right” clothes and always shoes. 😅🤣

As an adult, I went to law school, became an attorney and married well.

Realized I was doing all of these things to please society and get approval rather than satisfaction. (not the marriage though, met him when I was 20, married at 30 and still happily married at 58). At 40, I gave up caring about approval and enjoy my wild side now. I’m trying a second act as an artist. I dye my hair bright blue or purple if I feel like it. I wear whatever I feel like, whether it makes me look fat, too weird, or to young for my age. I’m much happier and life is good, although I still own many pairs of shoes, but I choose them for either comfort or art.

-Elaine

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