I was a weird kid. (I was going to write “I think I was a weird kid,” but I’ll just own it. That is one of those things that if you have to ask, the answer is always yes.)
Anyway, as I was saying, I was weird. During recess, I would run around pretending to be an alien. In class, I would do weird things to get attention…which usually resulted in some sort of attention from the principal (i.e. “What is wrong with you?”). I’m still not quite sure what was wrong with me. Way too creative for the box into which they were trying to cram me, maybe? Well, generally speaking, my weirdness didn’t seem to help me much, other than to be occasionally humiliated in front of my entire class; by “occasionally,” I mean “all the time.”
Once in Mrs. Kirby’s third-grade class (that’s Grade Three for any Canucks reading this), I had a rather embarrassing and weird episode(s) involving the preparation for, and execution of, an in-class Christmas play. I thought I’d be receiving some assistance in designing the reindeer costume I was expected to don (gaily, I suppose), but they only helped the blind kid. The nerve. So, the reindeer I tried to throw together in 15 minutes looked as if it had been run over by Santa’s sleigh…repeatedly. To top it all off, when it came time for me to deliver my (single) line, I yelled something incoherent (i.e. Hurrrkkkkkaalllaaaaaaaabeeeeeee), and bolted for the door. Uh…I don’t know. That still makes me blush, to this day. I will fill in the other details in a future post.
In fourth-grade (Canadians: that’s Grade—oh forget it) one wintry day, our teacher Mr. Bowns asked us if we knew what “coping” was. I raised my hand enthusiastically and told everyone about a gray powder that was, apparently, highly addictive and a really bad idea. The slack jaws and the stares should have clued me into the fact that the teacher had not asked about “cocaine” after all. Chalk up another point for my shame. Later, my friend Jason was kind enough to inform me that cocaine was white, not gray, and only made me feel like a more complete idiot. Oh, the hot tears etching arroyos into my reddened cheeks… Probably more on that in a later post, too.
The point is: Just between you and me…I
think I have always felt awkward in many social situations involving crowds or classrooms or meetings or jobs or other people, or alone with my thoughts. Did all my adolescent weirdness cause me to tend toward being an introvert, or vice versa? Again…I don’t know. Maybe telling the world will be some cathartic exercise, resulting in my hard candy shell breaking off for all humanity to see the real me.
Huh. On second thought, that seems weird.