This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Name Calling

So my post on being compared to a CARTOON CHARACTER brought back memories of some names I have been called as a kid.

In fact, somehow it came up with my kids last night, to which they laughed hysterically about the names I was called. It's quite silly now but at the time, it was devastating. I stayed up many a night tormented by my deformed body. If only I could now convey to my own kids, or to young kids, to say "fuck you" to the name callers.

OK. Maybe not the f bomb, but the attitude that's behind those two words is what I would love to "give" my kids. Forget what they say. They don't know jack. Don't let anyone make you feel bad about yourself.

First off, my nose has been a target nearly my entire childhood. I come from a mixed race family: my mom pure Filipino and my dad, white American. I ended up with "his" nose: more pointed than my mom's less pointy nose.

This is a big deal in my Filipino family and throughout my childhood years, I endured constant pinching of the nose. You know how people pinch cute kids' cheeks? That's what my nose was to my relatives.

I hated it. It was so annoying. And yet I could do nothing about it. I was already labeled a brat so making any other bratty face just added to my reputation.

But one day...I got a nosebleed after a nose pinch. It could have been coincidence. It could have been a result of the nose pinch. But I was so happy that it happened. Maybe nose pinching would end.

And it did shortly after, but as I say, karma can be a bitch. What happened next is that my nose "led" my legacy.

I became known as "Nose 1" and my BFF, Karen, was "Nose 2". All because our noses were "big".

This was further backed up by a random few folks who claimed I resembled Barbara Streisand. Yes, you are dumbfounded. But when I was a tweenager, I was told by many people how much I looked like her. In hindsight, I think my face hadn't caught up with the growth of my nose and perhaps for a finite amount of time, I may have resembled her. I never thought I did. And I was heartbroken to think I would look like her...but tried hard to find her good qualities (I did :)) so that I wouldn't feel so bad.

The "Nose 1" stuck for awhile. But "chicken legs" lasted for a short time.

Sixth grade track and field day, I came with my shorts and shirt, ready to participate in mandatory track and field day. Side note: if only I loved running then as much as I do now...a totally different outcome.

But I didn't and I still remember running those little races and running as hard as possible, only to end up near the end of the pack. It was disheartening. But what traumatized me were the fellow boys who laughed at my legs and called them "chicken legs". I had never been made fun of before and I had always wore dresses or shorts that showed off my legs, so what was different that day?

If only I had the attitude I have now. I would have known they were just being silly. But what happened was I never wore shorts in public again. It wasn't until I was in the states, at a totally different school, two plus years later, when teen boys were actually gawking at my legs, did I feel certain that my legs were not "chicken legs".

The other name I had, along with "Nose 1", was "butt" or "big butt". My name callers were not very inventive with their names... But when I came on the school bus, I would hear either "There's Nose 1 and Nose 2" or just "big butt".

I was so worried about the way I walked. Did I stick my already big butt out more? How can I make it look smaller? The worst part was when someone stuck my big butt into the trashcan at school...along with the rest of me.

Oh sure. We thought it was funny...or at least I pretended it was funny. But I felt like one deformed girl: chicken legs, holding up a big butt, with a big pointy nose.

I won't even mention, what I call my Voltes V (roman numeral five) that I have on my forehead. TO THIS DAY, it flares up when I get flushed or mad. I don't know who called me that but it still can embarrass me -- only slightly -- to this day.

The rest I am *so* over.

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